But this afternoon I finally got around to looking at new repertoire. Today I started with Johannes Brahms Op. 76. Listening along to some of these pieces was my first deliberate exposure to Brahms' piano works. I enjoyed listening to them, but I definitely found them distinctive and different from the works of Liszt that I was listening to last week.
I suppose this is nothing terribly original to say, but this is the first time I've really heard the differences. Brahms is significantly less flashy than Liszt, but the interest is all harmonic. It's less about melodies or tone colors, and more about dense harmonies.
As I listen to more of these pieces, and those by other composers, I hope to be able to reflect more comprehensively on them.
I'm also spending more time with my Christmas books, and today I started with Mark Hayes's "Christmas for the Intermediate Pianist". I like that it has more obscure Christmas songs, such as "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" and "I Wonder as I Wander". Hayes has interesting harmonies and pianistic textures that don't hide the melody. I really enjoy playing these.
The exploration continues!