12 Of The Most Romantic Piano Pieces Of All Time

Written by Robert Jackson
Last updated

There is something undeniably special about the sound of a piano. Its melodies can be both haunting and beautiful, evoking a wide range of emotions, and is definitely one of the most romantic instruments in the world.

So, if you’re looking for some of the most romantic piano pieces to add to your playlist, we’ve got you covered. Here is our list of 12 of the most romantic pieces of classical music for piano of all time.

1. Ballade 1 in G Minor – Chopin

Given that Chopin was a composer during the Romantic period, it should come as no surprise that a lot of his music ends up on this list.

All of his Ballades can certainly qualify as romantic, but there is something special about this one. It doesn’t exactly end on a happy note, but not every love story ends happily.

There is nothing quite like the melody found about halfway through where the piece climaxes.

If you consider tackling this piece, keep in mind that it is one of the most challenging piano pieces of all time.

2. Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven

There are a lot of great Beethoven sonatas that qualify as romantic, and the Moonlight Sonata definitely falls under this list.

You may feel like you are dancing with your special someone underneath the light of a full moon, which is what a lot of people feel like doing as they listen to the third movement.

The piece starts off kind of slowly, and then you can imagine the moon rising during the second movement. It becomes a bit brighter out, and you dance happily.

Then, as the third movement arrives, the pace quickens, climaxing at the end.

3. Liebestraume – Liszt

Classical piano pieces by Liszt are among the most diffuclt pieces in all of the piano’s classical repertoire.

That being said, plenty of his pieces certainly qualify as romantic, and this one falls under the list.

You can imagine someone singing to the love of his or her life as the piece unfolds, and the music simply gets more challenging as it goes along.

4. Moments Musicaux No. 5 – Rachmaninoff

Another difficult one, there is something very special about Rachmaninoff’s Moments Musicaux. Each of them has its own distinct feel, and not all of them are happy.

At the same time, Number 5 definitely feels like a respite from the tempestuous nature of the other pieces that fall under this category.

It is light, airy, and whimsical, like a brand-new love. Even though you should certainly listen to all of them, some are more challenging than others.

It’s also a relatively easy classical piano piece, so you might be able to learn it for yourself.

5. Fantasia in D Minor – Mozart

Next, we have Fantasia in D Minor which is one of Mozart’s most famous piano pieces of all time.

Even though it is not a very long piece, it does have a lot of different moods as it unfolds, resembling true love between two people.

Love is like a roller-coaster, with lots of ups and downs, and you will certainly feel them as this piece goes along.

It is also quite easy so you might be able to tackle it for yourself.

6. Clair de Lune – Debussy

If you are a fan of classical music, you have probably heard Clair de Lune by Debussy before.

It is a popular piece among intermediate pianists, and it will certainly evoke some romantic feelings.

You can imagine spending time underneath the full moon, watching it rise and then set again.

You might even feel like you are spending time out on the lake with the love of your life.

You might want to listen to some of the other songs in the Suite Bergamasque, but without a doubt, Claire de Lune is a popular romantic piano piece and one of Debussy’s most famous piano works.

7. Fantasie in F Minor – Chopin

There are a lot of people who are disappointed when they learn that Chopin only wrote one Fantasie, but it is certainly a titan of the Romantic period.

Some people even call this piece the 5th Ballade. It is one of his longer works, but it is certainly romantic.

There’s nothing quite like it in all of classical piano, as this piece has a wide variety of twists and turns as it unfolds.

You can go back and forth, swaying to the music as the piece goes along, and you will probably feel love’s rollercoaster unfold.

8. Jeux D’Eau – Ravel

Literally translated, Jeux D’Eau by Ravel means “playing water.”

This is a dreamy piece that will transport you to another dimension, and it is obvious it is meant to be romantic.

It was written in 1901, and Ravel says that he was inspired by the noise of flowing water. You may even feel like you are sitting next to a waterfall or a stream.

This could be a great way to spend time with the love of your life, which makes this piece incredibly romantic.

9. Nocturne in Eb Major – Chopin

It is difficult to imagine a list of the most romantic classical piano pieces without Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb Major.

It is one of the most popular Chopin nocturnes, and it perfectly describes youthful passion.

It is one of Chopin’s first compositions, but it remains one of his most popular.

You are sure to evoke some strong emotions if you play this piano piece, and it is meant for intermediate pianists.

10. To a Wild Rose – MacDowell

There aren’t a lot of famous American classical piano composers, but Edward MacDowell is one of them.

His piece To a Wild Rose was written at the end of the nineteenth century, and it is one of his most popular works.

Even though it was initially discarded, his wife uncrumpled the song and called it charming.

It isn’t an overly challenging piece, so you might be able to learn it relatively quickly.

11. Valse Sentimentale – Tchaikovsky

People think about Tchaikovsky, they usually think about the Nutcracker Suite.

He is one of the most prolific composers of all time, and his Valse Sentimentale is one of his most popular romantic works of the period.

It was composed in 1882, it is meant for a solo pianist, and there is a rumor that the piece is literally talking to a woman that he loves.

This is a wall that has a direct quality to it, and it is a perfect representation of the music of the Romantic period.

If you are looking for a romantic piano piece, this could be the one for you.

12. Ballade No. 4 – Chopin

Chopin is all over this list and for good reason. A lot of his music is incredibly romantic, and his fourth Ballade is no different and it’s one of his most famous works.

It starts with a blissful tune reminiscent of a warm summer day before it immediately turns south.

Much of the piece sounds like sadness, which is not unlike a lot of people’s love lives.

Then, it turns happy again for a brief moment before ending on one of the most challenging codas in all of classical piano.

Without a doubt, this is a piece that contains the love experiences of a lifetime.

Consider Learning a Few of These Pieces

These are a few of the most popular romantic classical piano pieces.

If you are looking for pieces that evoke feelings of love, you may want to give a few of them a try.

Some of them are more difficult than others, but if you really want to play these pieces as they are intended, you may want to consider signing up for a few lessons.

They might even help you impress the love of your life.

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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.