12 Of The Most Beautiful Piano Pieces Of All Time

Written by Robert Jackson
Last updated

If you are learning how to play the piano, you are probably interested in playing some beautiful pieces that your family members and friends will love. Of course, you will turn to classical piano, as that will not only challenge your technical abilities but also give you access to some beautiful repertoire that other genres simply cannot match.

With this in mind, what are the most beautiful piano pieces of all time? Take a look at our list below, and see if you are ready to tackle any of these pieces. 

1. Ballade No. 1 – Chopin

You will see multiple pieces from Chopin on this list, as he was a titan of the Romantic Period who was so prolific that there is even a professional piano competition named after him.

Without a doubt, one of his most iconic pieces is the first ballade.

Most professional pianists recognize the piece by hearing the first note alone, but the recurring themes are unparalleled.

They are absolutely beautiful, tugging at the heartstrings every step of the way, with the famous piece making appearances and TV shows and movies throughout the years.

2. Les Adieux – Beethoven

Beethoven wrote a number of beautiful sonatas during his Middle Period, but this one might be his most beautiful.

Many people thought he was saying goodbye to the piano, but with the last movement called “The Return,” it is obvious that he wasn’t saying goodbye just yet.

This is an incredibly challenging piece that pushes even the most experienced of pianists, but the piece is still absolutely gorgeous.

3. Italian Concerto – Bach

Bach wrote a number of beautiful pieces, but the Italian Concerto might be at the top of the list.

This is a gorgeous piece marked by numerous runs, chords, and arpeggios.

The speed changes throughout the piece, and it will wow the audience with not only its gorgeous sound but also its technical challenges.

This is another piece that has been on TV from time to time.

4. Liebestraum – Liszt

Without a doubt, the pieces written by Liszt are unbelievably challenging, and this one is no different.

As you listen to this piece, envision two people madly in love talking to one another. You will instantly feel what the piece is all about.

It takes a tremendous amount of technical ability to play this piece properly, as it flies up and down the keys, but it doesn’t make it any less beautiful.

5. Fantasie in F Minor – Chopin

Here is another piece by Chopin, and it is unlike any other that he wrote.

He only wrote one Fantasie, the Fantasie in F Minor, and it left many people wondering why he didn’t write more.

The slow march at the beginning immediately gives way to a fast-moving section, with the numerous elements of the main theme unfolding like waves on a beach.

The piece has massive tempo changes, challenging arpeggios, and a climactic finish.

6. Moment Musicaux No. 4 – Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff is known for his massive hands and challenging pieces, and this one is close to the top of the list.

Only lasting approximately two-and-a-half minutes, this is a blistering piece that will leave the left hand feeling sore, but it is absolutely gorgeous.

The main theme that recurs throughout the piece is gorgeous, and it is a piece commonly tackled by professionals.

7. Claire de Lune – Debussy

Not all beautiful piano pieces are solely reserved for advanced pianists or professionals, and this is a gorgeous piece that beginner and intermediate pianists can play.

Clair de Lune is one of the most iconic classical piano pieces of all time, and it is one of the most beautiful.

It is a relatively slow-moving waltz on an evening night, and it is popular among pianists of all backgrounds.

8. Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven

Arguably the most popular piece from Beethoven’s repertoire is the Moonlight Sonata. It is a gorgeous piece with three separate movements.

The first movement consists of slow triplets, the second movement is a happier sounding, quicker movement, and the third movement is a very challenging, fast-paced movement full of chords and arpeggios.

A beginner pianist can play the first movement, but the second and third movements are typically reserved for more advanced pianists.

Regardless, it is still one of the most beautiful classical piano pieces of all time.

9. Rhapsody in Blue – Gershwin

Even though some people may call this piece jazz, there is some overlap between classical piano and jazz piano. This piece might be the prime example of exactly that.

Even though it is a long composition, there are multiple versions of the piece written.

Some are meant for solo piano, some are meant for two pianos, and some are meant for a full band.

No matter which version you try to play, you will immediately realize that it is a gorgeous piece.

With numerous tempo changes and mood changes, it is easy to see why this piece has been so popular over the years.

10. Nocturne In Eb Major, Op. 9 No. 2 – Chopin

This is another piece from Chopin, and this one is one of his most recognizable.

Not everything Chopin wrote was incredibly difficult, and this is a piece that can be played by intermediate piano.

It is a relatively slow piece, but it is absolutely beautiful.

It will immediately have you thinking about the night sky, as though you are relaxing on the beach underneath a full moon.

It isn’t a very long piece, but it is something that you can play for your family members and friends.

11. Jeux D’eau – Ravel

This is a beautiful piano piece that literally means playing in water or fountain.

It will have you daydreaming, thinking about times long since passed.

Compose at the beginning of the twentieth century, it is meant to make the noise of water, making it a beautiful piece.

You might think about rivers, a stream nearby, or even a lake.

12. Fantasia in D Minor – Mozart

Mozart is one of the most prolific composers of all time, and his pieceFantasia in D Minor is one of his most popular pieces.

Even though he wrote some exquisitely challenging pieces during his time, not all of them fall into this category.

This is a piece that can be played by an intermediate pianist, and it is absolutely beautiful.

It consists of a lot of tempo changes, rolling arpeggios, and beautiful chords.

It lasts about five minutes long and is something that you can play for other people.

Summing Up Our List of Beautiful and Relaxing Piano Pieces

These are just a few of the most beautiful piano pieces of all time. If you are looking for a challenge, consider giving these an attempt!

Then, do not forget that there are professional pianists who might be willing to give you a lesson or two.

That way, you can learn the technique necessary to play these pieces as they were meant to sound!

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Robert is a professional pianist and writer who's been playing the piano for over 20 years. He studied music education at college and now works as a full time musician and piano teacher all over the country.