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Piano concertos according to difficulty #1287077
10/14/09 06:16 PM
10/14/09 06:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 27
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philip...
Ludwig23 Offline OP
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Ludwig23  Offline OP
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Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philip...
I was always fascinated with the Piano concertos of the Romantic/contemporary period. Very beautiful + very difficult works.

Can anyonw please arrange these works according to difficulty?
1. Rachmaninoff no. 2
2. Tchaikovsky no. 1
3. Schumann
4. MacDowell no. 2
5. Saint-saens no. 2
6. Chopin in e
7. Moszwoski
8. Ravel in G

That's all for now. Thank you!


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Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: Ludwig23] #1287116
10/14/09 07:34 PM
10/14/09 07:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,462
Denver, CO
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Check out this site:
http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/iol/

Music for Piano and Orchestra
An Annotated Guide

Maurice Hinson

INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS
Bloomington and Indianapolis

It may not give you a very fine detailed comparison of the levels, but it is a start.

Rich


[Linked Image] [Linked Image]
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: DragonPianoPlayer] #1287136
10/14/09 08:17 PM
10/14/09 08:17 PM
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Posts: 728
South Carolina, USA
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That's a pretty good question, as these things go. I don't know all of these works. I would put the Schumann, Ravel, and Saint-Saens on "easier" end of the scale, with Chopin not being far behind. I don't know the MacDowell or the Mos . . . (I can't spell it either). It's hard to decide whether the Tchaikovsky or the Rachmaninoff is more difficult. If push came to shove, I would say the Tchaikovsky is harder, but reasonable minds could certainly differ on this. I never really learned either, but I've certainly spent decades fooling around with them.

Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: wdot] #1287171
10/14/09 09:21 PM
10/14/09 09:21 PM
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Iowa City, IA
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I don't know the Moszkowski, but the order I was going to put them in is the same as in the original post. smile


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: Kreisler] #1287195
10/14/09 10:15 PM
10/14/09 10:15 PM
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I have played/play Rach 2, Chopin E minor, Schumann & Tchaikovsky 1.

For me the hardest is the Rach 2 - particularly movt 3, but as I have played none with orchestra that may be misleading as I have been told the Schumann sychronisation in movt 3 is an absolute b!tch. To be fair, I think what is "hardest" depends on the [limitations or skills] of the pianist.

Brahms 2 and Rach 3 are usually rated as the hardest concertos. Personally I would go for Tchaikovsky 2, Balavirev 2, Dvosak or Massenet's concerto. As for Saint-saens I would have to vote for the "Egptian" no 5 or C minor no 4.


You play it & I'll hum it, but currently rehearsing:

Bach WTC book 2 no 15 G major, no 20 A minor, no 22 Bb Minor
Mozart A minor Sonata K310
Mendelssohn Op 35 preludes and fuges
Busoni Carmen Fantasy
Rachmaninov Bb prelude OP 23 no 2
Lyapunov Humoreske Op 34
and others
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: Ludwig23] #1287206
10/14/09 10:50 PM
10/14/09 10:50 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,718
not somewhere over the rainbow
Pogorelich. Offline
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Pogorelich.  Offline
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From most difficult:

Chopin e minor (third mvt.................!!!!!!)
Tchaik 1
Ravel G
Rach 2
Schumann
Saint-Saens

And I don't know the other two sorry =(

But Chopin is MUCH MUCH more difficult than Rach 2 in every way, including stamina.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: Pogorelich.] #1287218
10/14/09 11:15 PM
10/14/09 11:15 PM
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Are you connected to Ivo Pogorelich, Angelina?

One of my piano teacher's slobodan Visovic coached Ivo when he was 13. The arrogant pup apparently said to Slobodan "I will be better than you soon". By age 14/15 it was clear he had used up anything poor Slobodan could give him. I immensely admire Ivo's range and style. He is one of my favourite performers.

I doubt many would agree with your appraisal of Chopin versus Rachmaninov. Though I find Chopin's preludes & Op 25 Etudes some of the most challenging works I have attempted. How is your performance of Rach 2nd Sonata? This is so easy to perform badly!!


You play it & I'll hum it, but currently rehearsing:

Bach WTC book 2 no 15 G major, no 20 A minor, no 22 Bb Minor
Mozart A minor Sonata K310
Mendelssohn Op 35 preludes and fuges
Busoni Carmen Fantasy
Rachmaninov Bb prelude OP 23 no 2
Lyapunov Humoreske Op 34
and others
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: Ludwig23] #1287260
10/15/09 12:52 AM
10/15/09 12:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,373
Pacific Northwest, US.
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argerichfan Offline
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I've read through all of these concertos numerous times, and whilst the difficulties will be different for each pianist, this is how I would arrange them:

1. Tchaikovsky 1
2. Rachmaninov 2
3. Chopin E minor
4. Moszkowski
5. Ravel G Major
6. MacDowell 2
7. Schumann
8. Saint-Saens 2

The Moszkowski is very difficult, IMO, if only for the sheer amount of notes per square inch. I suspect few people learn it, as there wouldn't be many opportunities for performance, so why spend the time?

The Saint-Saens 2nd is peaches compared to the 4th which I did learn. And the outright heroic virtuosity (think of those terribly exposed octaves, plus the unisons in the last movement) of the Tchaikovsky put it ahead of Rachmaninov 2, which is much more modestly written. (At least compared to his 3rd!)

The Schumann is, of course, a supreme musical achievement, but it doesn't come close in difficulty and endurance to his major solo works.



Jason
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: PartyPianist] #1287383
10/15/09 08:36 AM
10/15/09 08:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,718
not somewhere over the rainbow
Pogorelich. Offline
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Originally Posted by PartyPianist
Are you connected to Ivo Pogorelich, Angelina?

One of my piano teacher's slobodan Visovic coached Ivo when he was 13. The arrogant pup apparently said to Slobodan "I will be better than you soon". By age 14/15 it was clear he had used up anything poor Slobodan could give him. I immensely admire Ivo's range and style. He is one of my favourite performers.

I doubt many would agree with your appraisal of Chopin versus Rachmaninov. Though I find Chopin's preludes & Op 25 Etudes some of the most challenging works I have attempted. How is your performance of Rach 2nd Sonata? This is so easy to perform badly!!


No but I would really love to meet him!

Anyway, I am standing by my point 100%. Chopin requires SO much precision, so much elegance yet expressiveness. I've played both concertos and this is what I've found. Although for me it was slightly easier to put Chopin with orchestra than Rach. But this would be different with the f minor, I think.

I don't know, I find the third movement a total killer, so difficult.. The fugue in Rach 2's third movement looks like a game compared to the Chopin.. Any Chopin is harder than Rachmaninoff IMO.

As for the 2nd sonata, I love that piece so much! Such an incredible work.. Although the third movement is a nightmare. I don't understand why most composers are so cruel to leave the absolute hardest movement to ALWAYS be the last one.

Last edited by AngelinaPogorelich; 10/15/09 08:39 AM.


"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: Pogorelich.] #1287397
10/15/09 09:00 AM
10/15/09 09:00 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
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I always put the Schumann higher than other people because of the ensemble issues in the 3rd movement.

The first two movements aren't so bad, and the third movement isn't too bad if you only worry about the solo piano part, but getting the ensemble to really click is quite difficult. (As evidenced by the number of pianists who learn it very well, only to completely fall apart upon their first rehearsal with 2nd piano.)


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: Kreisler] #1287446
10/15/09 10:20 AM
10/15/09 10:20 AM
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argerichfan Offline
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Just goes to prove that there a lot of facets to the 'difficulty' of a particular concerto, not all of them obvious in a casual run-through. Several years ago a friend and I slopped through the Schumann on 2 pianos, and if I don't recall any serious ensemble issues in the 3rd movement, we certainly weren't aiming for accuracy, let alone refinement. (Plus, we'd both had a few drinks.)

I've read several times that the slow movement of the Ravel is a particularly nasty thing to memorize, but that might not be immediately apparent upon looking at the score or reading through at the piano.


Jason
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: argerichfan] #1287475
10/15/09 11:04 AM
10/15/09 11:04 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
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Horowitzian Offline
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
[...] we certainly weren't aiming for accuracy, let alone refinement. (Plus, we'd both had a few drinks.)

[...]


Well wouldn't that ensure that it sounds great to you? grin


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: argerichfan] #1287477
10/15/09 11:06 AM
10/15/09 11:06 AM
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Posts: 6,163
Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
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I think it's interesting that Angelina pegged the difficulty of Chopin's Op. 11 on the Rondo in particular. That's always been my impression, too; the fundamental double-note figuration of the left hand feels so uncomfortable as to deter me from studying that movement.

The Allegro maestoso, on the other hand seems—with the exception of the coda!—is relatively unintimidating. I learned most of it as a teenager, and even then found that the passagework lay very well under the fingers in the customary Chopinesque fashion. (FWIW, the Maestoso of Op. 21 seems less congenial for the same reason, though I've never worked on it and understand that most pianists rank it as the less difficult of the two.)

Steven

Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: Ludwig23] #1287542
10/15/09 12:35 PM
10/15/09 12:35 PM
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Posts: 1,733
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Originally Posted by Jan Briane Astom
I was always fascinated with the Piano concertos of the Romantic/contemporary period. Very beautiful + very difficult works.

Can anyonw please arrange these works according to difficulty?
1. Rachmaninoff no. 2
2. Tchaikovsky no. 1
3. Schumann
4. MacDowell no. 2
5. Saint-saens no. 2
6. Chopin in e
7. Moszwoski
8. Ravel in G

That's all for now. Thank you!

There's not one contemporary concerto in your list. I suppose you're just another musician who doesn't swim too far from the 19th century.


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: Pogorelich.] #1287907
10/15/09 10:27 PM
10/15/09 10:27 PM
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Posts: 281
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PartyPianist Offline
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Originally Posted by AngelinaPogorelich
Originally Posted by PartyPianist
Are you connected to Ivo Pogorelich, Angelina?

One of my piano teacher's slobodan Visovic coached Ivo when he was 13. The arrogant pup apparently said to Slobodan "I will be better than you soon". By age 14/15 it was clear he had used up anything poor Slobodan could give him. I immensely admire Ivo's range and style. He is one of my favourite performers.

I doubt many would agree with your appraisal of Chopin versus Rachmaninov. Though I find Chopin's preludes & Op 25 Etudes some of the most challenging works I have attempted. How is your performance of Rach 2nd Sonata? This is so easy to perform badly!!


No but I would really love to meet him!

Anyway, I am standing by my point 100%. Chopin requires SO much precision, so much elegance yet expressiveness. I've played both concertos and this is what I've found. Although for me it was slightly easier to put Chopin with orchestra than Rach. But this would be different with the f minor, I think.

I don't know, I find the third movement a total killer, so difficult.. The fugue in Rach 2's third movement looks like a game compared to the Chopin.. Any Chopin is harder than Rachmaninoff IMO.

As for the 2nd sonata, I love that piece so much! Such an incredible work.. Although the third movement is a nightmare. I don't understand why most composers are so cruel to leave the absolute hardest movement to ALWAYS be the last one.


I regularly play Chopin's Preludes 1, 3, 5, 10-12, 21-23, Tarentella, various Nocturnes, C minor & B minor Sonatas, Grande Polonaise, Polonaise Fantasie, plus the harder postumous Polonaises, Rondo A La Mazur, Op25 Edudes 1-3, 6ths, Octaves and number 10, Andante Spirinato & Grand Polonaise, Scherzo 2-4, Ballade 4 & his Barcarolle. Plus many others I irregularly play. My point is I know Chopin and understand him.

Rachmaninov is far more difficult technically and interpretively. This is because the great Russian had extraordinarily large hands and wrote music [in my opinion] that is sometimes beyond interpretation. I have never walked away from anything written by Chopin, but there are some Rachmaninov works that are simply beyond any interpretation I could render. For instances the Rach 3 concerto used to be rated as the most difficult of all time and Rach 2 was 3rd or 4th. Alright these ratings are stupid as it depends on the skill/interpretive range of the performer, but concensus dictates Rachmaninov is a greater perfmance challenge than Chopin.


You play it & I'll hum it, but currently rehearsing:

Bach WTC book 2 no 15 G major, no 20 A minor, no 22 Bb Minor
Mozart A minor Sonata K310
Mendelssohn Op 35 preludes and fuges
Busoni Carmen Fantasy
Rachmaninov Bb prelude OP 23 no 2
Lyapunov Humoreske Op 34
and others
Re: Piano concertos according to difficulty [Re: PartyPianist] #1287929
10/15/09 11:05 PM
10/15/09 11:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,718
not somewhere over the rainbow
Pogorelich. Offline
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^ I guess we are different then.. I too have played lots of Chopin, including many many etudes, preludes, mazurkas, nocturnes, the first 3 ballades, the 4 shcerzi and the two concertos. Rachmaninoff has always been easier for me to play - in fact, I would say Liszt is far easier too. The fact that they write for big hands doesn't really matter, so did Chopin, even though his hands weren't big. I'm not just talking about fast and loud things, I am talking musically as well.

It really depends how you define "difficult" and who you are as a pianist. I'd pick Rach over Chopin any way, it's much easier for me to interpret and play. (generally speaking, of course)



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."

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