Fall is officially here, and it’s my favorite time of year. I love the clean, crisp air, watching the leaves change to yellow, orange, and red, and seeing pumpkins everywhere. If you’re also an autumn lover, you’ll want to add these ten pieces to your “Must Learn” list.
10 – Autumn in New York by Vernon Duke
This soulful jazz standard is a blend of nostalgia, longing, and expectation. It has been sung by Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and many more.
9 – September from Fanny Mendelssohn’s Das Jahr
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel wrote the song cycle Das Jahr (The Year) based on her experiences traveling through Italy with her husband. This movement is melodic and lyrical, perfect for playing on a quiet, rainy September afternoon.
8 – September of My Years by Jimmy Van Heusen
This classic is the title of both a song and a record by Frank Sinatra. It’s a quiet, thoughtful reflection of years gone by as the singer finds himself in the autumn of his life.
7 – Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma
Another nostalgic entry, this popular song reminisces about an absent loved one It’s been recorded by more people than I could list here, but my personal favorite is the version by Nat King Cole.
6 – In Autumn from Edward MacDowell’s Woodland Sketches
From the same collection as MacDowell’s famous “To a Wild Rose” this bright and energetic piano piece illustrates the warmth and beauty of a lovely autumn day.
5 – November from Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Das Jahr
The November movement of Fanny’s year-inspired song cycle has a somber beginning that transitions into a sparkling and passionate autumnal celebration.
4 – Early Autumn by Ralph Burns and Woody Herman
This jazz classic is a reflection of a longing heart and a desire to go back to the blossoming hope of a springtime romance. Ella Fitzgerald’s version is one of the best.
3 – October from Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Das Jahr
Das Jahr’s October movement is lively and energetic, reminiscent of sunlight poking through the colorful October leaves. Perfect for a sunny fall day.
2 – Autumn from Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons
You probably expected this one to make the list. Vivaldi’s seasonal violin concerti remain popular for a reason. Autumn represents the joy of the harvest and the peaceful calm of the fall breeze.
1 – Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin
If you’re in the mood to learn an upbeat classic this fall, look no further then this masterpiece by Scott Joplin. It’s one of the most popular rags of all time.
What are your favorite autumnal pieces? Let me know in the comments.