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Originally Posted by Ferdinand
Any Mozart sonata.

OMGOSH YES! They're all impossible to play.


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Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

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I'd say La Campanella has a fairly large discrepancy between how difficult it's perceived to be and how hard it actually is. It is still definitely a difficult piece... but so many people see it as being so much more difficult than it really is. A lot of the techniques fall into place comfortably if you're at the level of being able to attempt it. The runs are mostly simple chromatics, the jumps just take a bit of dedicated practice, and then you've got them, and the ending sounds a lot more difficult than it really is.

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Originally Posted by Butters109
I'd say La Campanella has a fairly large discrepancy between how difficult it's perceived to be and how hard it actually is. It is still definitely a difficult piece... but so many people see it as being so much more difficult than it really is. A lot of the techniques fall into place comfortably if you're at the level of being able to attempt it. The runs are mostly simple chromatics, the jumps just take a bit of dedicated practice, and then you've got them, and the ending sounds a lot more difficult than it really is.

Just listened and watched again, and it looks and sounds very difficult to me, even when player looks relaxed like this one. The end seems crazy hard. My compliments to you for being able to play this smile


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That's a different version then is usually played, and I believe it is a bit harder than the standard one.

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Originally Posted by jdhampton924
This thread reminds me of when I played the Brahms D minor concerto. It was my first concerto, my teacher said to me, I will not teach you the Grieg or Schumann I am sick of them. Then he said, you should play Brahms First. It is not difficult at all, except for a horrendous octave passage.

Interesting. I recall that after Ruth Laredo recorded all (or most?) of Rachmaninov's piano music, she said in an interview that when she tackled the Brahms D minor for the first time, she found it relatively easy after plowing through Rachmaninov's heavily contrapuntal piano writing.

Otherwise, as much as I love the Grieg and Schumann concertos, IMO they have nowhere near the musical depths of the Brahms. The big octave salvo in the Brahms is painfully exposed (like the piano entrance in Beethoven's 3rd?), but I would think not more difficult than what one casually encounters in Tchaikovsky's 1st, or the piano entrance of the Liszt Eb for that matter.





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Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
Originally Posted by Ferdinand
Any Mozart sonata.

OMGOSH YES! They're all impossible to play.

Even those damned slow movements are hard. They're just so booby trapped at every juncture. tiki

And no, we're not talking 'notes' (anybody can play them), we're talking about musical decisions. You sit there staring at the score dumbfounded, wondering how the heck to come to terms with it. Truly music that only young prodigies can easily play. Good on them!



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Originally Posted by Butters109
That's a different version then is usually played, and I believe it is a bit harder than the standard one.

The pianist replies to a youtube comment "the Busoni version is more economical technically, and certainly not more difficult." But maybe he can't tell laugh Both versions are way beyond me at this point.

I think I should go and do a bit of a survey with my own rep to see which is generally percieved as more difficult, then I'll know what to pull out when I want to impress wink I think it's difficult to tell how "average person" will judge.

It's a very important question in teaching kids too; you want to give them the opportunity to really impress their friends. It's a question dear to their hearts (yeah and mine hehe).


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Yes that opening passage of the Liszt Concerto. I think it took me five play through of that darn jumps to finally play all the right notes. Of course the cadenza was a mess. Then again that's at Argerich tempo. Wouldn't it be quite easy at Richter tempo or Michelangeli tempo.

I believe Laredo. My experiences with Godowsky make everything else appear easy. Don't get started on the size of the chords and jumps in his Sonata. I'd rather Rachmaninoff any day in comparison.

The Ravel Gmajor I think is underestimated for it's difficulty. Sure technically it's not too bad, but it's like other simple pieces in that it derives it's difficulty from trying to do something other than looks cool.

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Originally Posted by Canonie
Originally Posted by Butters109
That's a different version then is usually played, and I believe it is a bit harder than the standard one.

The pianist replies to a youtube comment "the Busoni version is more economical technically, and certainly not more difficult." But maybe he can't tell laugh Both versions are way beyond me at this point.

I think I should go and do a bit of a survey with my own rep to see which is generally percieved as more difficult, then I'll know what to pull out when I want to impress wink I think it's difficult to tell how "average person" will judge.

It's a very important question in teaching kids too; you want to give them the opportunity to really impress their friends. It's a question dear to their hearts (yeah and mine hehe).


I can see where he might say that it is more economical technically, as in it takes out a few of the jumps and splits some of the difficulties that Liszt confines to just the right hand to both left and right hands... but these parts aren't nearly as difficult as they sound if you're at the level to attempt the piece. Busoni adds a lot of other difficulties I think that overall make his version more difficult.

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Originally Posted by MikeN

The Ravel Gmajor I think is underestimated for it's difficulty. Sure technically it's not too bad, but it's like other simple pieces in that it derives it's difficulty from trying to do something other than looks cool.

Underestimated? Who said that? laugh

I thought in a sense it is considered on a similar level with Ravel's major solo works. My piano teacher at uni mentioned that once.

And of course you do know the frightening tale for us mortals: the slow movement is supposedly a b*tch to memorize, but Argerich reportedly memorized it after one read-through. I guess she was not aware it was supposed to be difficult.


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Yea, a small feat for the same woman who Memorized Gaspard in 3 days. Yet I'm always encouraged when I hear how sloppily she plays it at times. Only Argerich could get away with some of the performances she did in the 70s and 80s.

Although none on this particular form has the nerve, I've heard the Ravel simply tossed off as easy.

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I personally think the difficulty of Bach pieces on the piano is overstated by most non-pianists. And by pianists who have good hand-eye coordination but lack the musical inclination/sense to play music which requires expression/interpretation (beyond the relatively minimal amount required for Bach piano, that is).

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In my experience, a lot of Brahms sounds much simpler than it is to play.

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Originally Posted by Phlebas
Chopin 10/2. I've told a number of non-pianists that this is one of the hardest etudes - without explaining why - and they think it sounds easy compared to - say - the Revolutionary.


When I first started looking at the etudes, this was the only one I could sight read from beginning to end, so I put it on the back-burner as something I could do anytime. Later on, a thread here at PW discussing it's difficulty had me pulling it out again and I had to admit that once I started increasing the speed, it started to become painful to play. I still can't play it to speed.

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The general idea I am getting from this thread is frankly difficulty is relative like anything else. What is difficult for some is easy for others, and vice versa.

I find Bach difficult because it was not designed for a piano, other people do not have that issue. I do not find the voicing the most difficult part, but that is due to how I learn Bach pieces.


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Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
Scriabin's 42 no.5 comes across as less difficult than it really is. I think also the etude op.65 no.1? If you just listen, you don't realize how impossible it is, with all of those ninths flying everywhere.



Speaking of Scriabin, I've always thought the op. 8, no. 12 etude was easier than its reputation seems to be (which isn't to say it is easy). Probably the Horowitz effect...

I agree with those who are saying that Brahms generally is more difficult to learn and play than it sounds.

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Originally Posted by cast12
Fantasie Impromptu is so much easier than it sounds.

1+

Chopin Nocturne 62/2 -much harder than it sounds


Slow down and do it right.
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ABRSM Grade 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taOZj_3sRsM
Sounds very busy and harder?


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G1 EA8D704B8441954D G2 64E0FE47FA591792
G3 D7DD10A2AC950B11 G4 5AF25907EDDBFCA9
G5 BA516FD389619D3D G6 AB18EFE9EA72B5AB
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
Scriabin's 42 no.5 comes across as less difficult than it really is. I think also the etude op.65 no.1? If you just listen, you don't realize how impossible it is, with all of those ninths flying everywhere.



Speaking of Scriabin, I've always thought the op. 8, no. 12 etude was easier than its reputation seems to be (which isn't to say it is easy). Probably the Horowitz effect...

I agree with those who are saying that Brahms generally is more difficult to learn and play than it sounds.


If you're bad with octaves, then it's not too bad. Interestingly enough, I had more trouble with Rach 23-5 than I am now with Scriabin 8-12


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Deux Arabesques, Debussy


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Danse Russe from Petroushka, Stravinsky
Toccata, Ravel




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Yep, the D# minor etude is one of the easier etudes he wrote, because the challenge of the left hand stops towards the end of the piece (when the A section comes back), and the hardest notes can be redistributed to the right hand. It doesn't really have the challenge of monster stretches and impossible arpeggios (you can play the left hand staccato if you want), the insane rhythmic challenges he's notorious for, or ridiculous voicings.


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Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

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