Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
Mr. PianoWorld - the full interview
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
55 registered members (cmb13, Craig Hair, bennevis, Angelos58, Carebear, cathryn999, Beowulf, 14 invisible), 1,226 guests, and 5 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4
Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) #2109592
06/28/13 10:04 AM
06/28/13 10:04 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
O
Old Man Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
Old Man  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
Yes, another "superlative" list. (Please roll eyes, facepalm, and move on.) I Googled the topic, but didn't find a related thread in PW since 2003, and I'm well aware that zombie threads are not appreciated by many members.

Since the perceived difficulty of any piece of music is purely subjective, I thought this topic might produce some fascinating and varied insights from PW members. But please take the subject at face value. I'm talking technically demanding, physically demanding, pure acrobatics. So statements like "Traumerei, if you're truly playing it correctly" don't cut it. For purposes of this discussion, let's set aside the difficulties of musicality.

So, which would YOU consider to be the 5 (or 10, or whatever) most technically difficult pieces for piano? This could include solo works, concertos, or chamber works. If you want to be more granular you could list specific movements within larger works. I don't think we need to get down to the measure level, but feel free to mention specific passages if you care to. For this list, try to disregard your own feelings about the quality of the music itself, and simply judge its difficulty.

But to enhance the discussion a little, let's add two more elements.

1. Are there any works from your list that you are able to play, or are working on? Not at performance level necessarily, but that you can play reasonably well?

2. Here's the really subjective part. Among the works on your list, which would you consider worthy of the enormous investment of time it would take for you to learn them? In other words, which ones would be on your "bucket" list? You might have listed Sorabji's OC in your top 5 most difficult, but would you really want to learn to play it, or even parts of it, or would you prefer to leave that one to John Ogdon?

After you make your own list, you can sneak a peek at this one. I accidentally ran into it while surfing, and this is what actually prompted me to start this thread. So my thanks to this guy.

Another Top 5 List

Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109598
06/28/13 10:12 AM
06/28/13 10:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,151
New York
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Mark_C  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,151
New York
Traumerei, if you're truly playing it correctly.

Oh....you said not to say that!!! ha

OK:

1. Foo Follets by Liszt
2. a bunch of other etudes by Liszt....main one that comes to mind is the Eb major Paganini-Liszt
3. Chopin etude in 3rds
4 & 5: Probably a couple of pieces that I don't much know and don't think of because I can't get much interested in most pieces like this. If we're talking pieces that I care about:
4. Beethoven Hammerklavier
5. Chopin Sonata #3 (IMO harder than the Liszt Sonata but it's close)

Worth working on? Yes, all those that I mentioned -- provided that one is capable of doing them any semblance of justice, which I couldn't on #'s 1, 2, and 3. (Yes, I've tried.) smile

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109602
06/28/13 10:18 AM
06/28/13 10:18 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Orange Soda King  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Highly subjective, but let me try:

Ravel Gaspard
Chopin 2nd Sonata
Feux Follets and some other works by Liszt
Albeniz Iberia
Multiple works by Alkan (he's relevant enough to count, now) smile

Sort of cheated smirk

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Mark_C] #2109669
06/28/13 11:52 AM
06/28/13 11:52 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
O
Old Man Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
Old Man  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Traumerei, if you're truly playing it correctly.

Oh....you said not to say that!!! ha

ha To quote Sinatra, "It had to be you."

What's funny is that I originally had Chopin's E-Minor Prelude as my example, but then thought "Nah, why encourage him?" Lotta good that did! grin

Originally Posted by Orange Soda King

Multiple works by Alkan (he's relevant enough to count, now) smile

He definitely seems relevant -- especially to this discussion. Check out the link I provided above. (To give full credit, it's a blog site by pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont). You'll see many responses to his list, among them:

"(P.S. If anyone is looking for some difficult, unknown music, I’d suggest Alkan. [Le festin d'esope, Le Preux, Le Chemin de fer]. Lots of fun stuff.)"

AND

"In my opinion, any of Alkan’s pieces are the hardest. Definitely takes a lot of skill to play them. I would have to say that “Le Preux” is the hardest piece because it hasn’t been decently enough at the right tempo. I’ve only heard pianist play it slowly or not decent enough."

So you've got lots of company, OSK. smile

Last edited by Old Man; 06/28/13 11:53 AM.
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109675
06/28/13 11:57 AM
06/28/13 11:57 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
K
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Kuanpiano  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
K

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
IMO, the Liszt sonata is harder than Gaspard....in my opinion.

I'll take a musical/ technical standpoint and just list 5 hard pieces from the standard repertoire....they're not the hardest, but they're sort of those mountains than deserve being climbed.

Hammerklavier
Gaspard
Liszt Sonata
Rachmaninoff's 1st sonata
Prokofiev's 8th sonata.

I've performed the Liszt, am working on Gaspard, and plan on learning the rest.


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

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109676
06/28/13 12:00 PM
06/28/13 12:00 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
K
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Kuanpiano  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
K

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
Oh, and if we're doing 20th century trends, Boulez 2, Carter's Night Fantasies are insanely difficult but also worth the learn.


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

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109685
06/28/13 12:13 PM
06/28/13 12:13 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kreisler  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Boulez 2nd Sonata
Xenakis - anything
Sorabji - anything
Alkan - ask Orange Soda King
Godowsky - Chopin Etude arrangements


"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: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109688
06/28/13 12:22 PM
06/28/13 12:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,973
B
bennevis Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,973
1) Ravel's Gaspard - which I'm currently playing (and still learning)
2) Boulez's Piano Sonata No.2 - which I have no desire to learn..
3) Ligeti's Etudes - which I might have a go at in the future, but I'm not holding my breath

P.S. Just saw that two out of the three are on Dablemont's list also. Great minds think alike wink .


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109694
06/28/13 12:27 PM
06/28/13 12:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,654
San Jose, CA
J
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member
jeffreyjones  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,654
San Jose, CA
Ferneyhough wrote all of the hardest classical music I'm aware of. That doesn't mean I would ever want to play or even listen to any of it, of course.

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109697
06/28/13 12:30 PM
06/28/13 12:30 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,073
G
Grandalf Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Grandalf  Offline
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,073
NOT COUNTING ETUDES

Off the top of my head... Liszt sonata, Chopin last ballade, Ravel Gaspard.


Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109715
06/28/13 01:19 PM
06/28/13 01:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
D
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Derulux  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
Whenever I try one of these lists, I always try to pick different categories of difficulty. Otherwise, I'd have to list dozens of pieces. So, for example:

Pure technical pain in the @$$: as Mark said, "Foo Follets" laugh

Stamina beyond stamina: Rach 3 (particularly when you hit the fast octave jumps just before the big recap, at approximately 38-40 minutes into the performance..), or perhaps the Liszt arrangement of Beethoven's 9th symphony.

Utterly exposed / "clarity": Mozart K545 or K330

Acrobatic folly: actually, a transcription of Brahms Hungarian Dance #5 that I once wrote specifically trying to make it as increasingly difficult as possible.. but barring that submission, probably Mazzeppa for the last repetition of the theme. Most people take it below tempo, and for good reason...

And since I can't think of a 5th category off the top of my head, and I'm late for my own party:

The "if you're playing it correctly" category: Clair de Lune grin (but in all seriousness, I think use of rubato in this piece has gotten away from many a performer to where you can barely recognize the rhythmic patterns Debussy originally intended)


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Kuanpiano] #2109726
06/28/13 01:36 PM
06/28/13 01:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member
laguna_greg  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
The Liszt sonata is not harder than Scarbo. I think it's easier.

And if we're really just talking acrobatics and not contest or concert rep, we should include the Leopold Godowski transcriptions of the Chopin Etudes. You know, the ones where the black key etude is written for the left hand, or the one where the left hand plays the winter wind while the right hand plays the one in thirds? There are 24 of them, and they're all awful.

And nobody thinks the Prokofiev 3rd concerto is hard anymore? It's harder than the Rach 3.

Then there's the Brahms 2nd concerto. Hardly anybody plays it live because it's so hard.

And what about the Ravel Toccata? Talk about a nasty piece, although beautiful. All of Liszt's repeated note textures are easy compared to it.

Islamey fell off the list because 1- nobody likes it, or 2- nobody knows it?

The only thing difficult about the Chopin sonatas are the last movements, the 2nd moreso than the 3rd.

Mark, that E-flat Liszt Paganini etude is not that hard! Heck, I can play it...

Last edited by laguna_greg; 06/28/13 01:57 PM. Reason: thinking thinking thinking

Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Derulux] #2109777
06/28/13 03:16 PM
06/28/13 03:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
O
Old Man Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
Old Man  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
Originally Posted by Derulux

Acrobatic folly: actually, a transcription of Brahms Hungarian Dance #5 that I once wrote specifically trying to make it as increasingly difficult as possible..

Now why would you go and do something like that? Are you a masochist, or vying to be the next Godowsky? Or maybe they're one and the same. grin

Last edited by Old Man; 06/28/13 03:17 PM.
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Kreisler] #2109784
06/28/13 03:27 PM
06/28/13 03:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
O
Old Man Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
Old Man  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
Originally Posted by Kreisler
Boulez 2nd Sonata
Xenakis - anything
Sorabji - anything
Alkan - ask Orange Soda King
Godowsky - Chopin Etude arrangements

Wow. You don't mess around when it comes to difficult!

In fact, here's a post from that other internet piano site that certainly bolsters your statement about Xenakis.

Quote
The most difficult piece of music is unarguably, and I MEAN unarguably, as in any pianist with experience in these fields, or even seeing the sheets ought to prove it for you, is XENAKIS EVRYALI. Compared to Herma even, Xenakis HIMSELF says he wrote it to be difficult, and when Xenakis writes to be difficult...... well you know what that means. Only lasting about 10 minutes, Evryali is more difficult that Stockhausen Klavierstucke XII, Sorabji Opus Clavicembalisticum, Barrett Tracks, Finnissy's History of Sound in Photography or even the infamous piece "Trinity". Ian Pace, who plays the COMPLETE WORKS OF FINNISSY says that Evryali is the most rediculous and nearly-impossible piece of music to ever play. I have only heard what the sheets look like and I desperately want to see them; I have an MP3 so if anyone wants it I can send it.

Anyways... the lesson is when Xenakis writes something to be "a marathon for both the mind and body" you better get scared.

This guy's got me scared just reading about it. shocked

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: laguna_greg] #2109796
06/28/13 03:45 PM
06/28/13 03:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,151
New York
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Mark_C  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,151
New York
Originally Posted by laguna_greg
The only thing difficult about the Chopin sonatas are the last movements, the 2nd moreso than the 3rd.

IMO the hardest technical thing from any of the Chopin Sonatas is the Scherzo of #3.

Quote
Mark, that E-flat Liszt Paganini etude is not that hard! Heck, I can play it...

Good for you. I can't. grin

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109851
06/28/13 05:22 PM
06/28/13 05:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,214
San Francisco, CA
A
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Auntie Lynn  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,214
San Francisco, CA
Interesting that someone mentioned Clair de Lune - it's VERY hard if you're doing it right...also, that Fourth Ballade de Chopin - you just have to be a real "Chopin player" to get it right and there's few of them around.

Anyway, I am reminded of the old story: Woody Allen's psychiatrist asked him if he thought sex was dirty.
Woody sez: "It is if you're doing it right..."

Kiss kiss...

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109860
06/28/13 05:41 PM
06/28/13 05:41 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kreisler  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Another good candidate - the Barraque sonata:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJqQk3mgpYY



"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: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109877
06/28/13 06:16 PM
06/28/13 06:16 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,652
D
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Damon  Offline
6000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,652
That Chopin prelude Op 28 no 7. Sure, the notes are easy......

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109886
06/28/13 06:34 PM
06/28/13 06:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
D
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Derulux  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
Originally Posted by Old Man
Originally Posted by Derulux

Acrobatic folly: actually, a transcription of Brahms Hungarian Dance #5 that I once wrote specifically trying to make it as increasingly difficult as possible..

Now why would you go and do something like that? Are you a masochist, or vying to be the next Godowsky? Or maybe they're one and the same. grin

hahaha definitely not the next anybody, but a masochist? Maybe. grin

I did it somewhere around the time I graduated college. I was looking at Horowitz's Carmen Variations, specifically, and a few other transcriptions, and I wanted to write one of my own. Since the Brahms was such a popular tune and the only transcription I could find was Cziffra's, I thought I'd write my own.

I don't think it's particularly well-composed (transitions irk me), but I think it's pianistic enough to fit in to the hands. The last section is a bear, though.


Is this the Xenakis piece? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3qYqmOD-qU



Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109893
06/28/13 06:42 PM
06/28/13 06:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 928
Queensland, Australia
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member
backto_study_piano  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 928
Queensland, Australia
This is all out of my league. What I need is the "Five EASIEST Piano Pieces which sound Difficult".


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Derulux] #2109906
06/28/13 07:45 PM
06/28/13 07:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
O
Old Man Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
Old Man  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Old Man
Originally Posted by Derulux

Acrobatic folly: actually, a transcription of Brahms Hungarian Dance #5 that I once wrote specifically trying to make it as increasingly difficult as possible..

Now why would you go and do something like that? Are you a masochist, or vying to be the next Godowsky? Or maybe they're one and the same. grin

hahaha definitely not the next anybody, but a masochist? Maybe. grin

I did it somewhere around the time I graduated college. I was looking at Horowitz's Carmen Variations, specifically, and a few other transcriptions, and I wanted to write one of my own. Since the Brahms was such a popular tune and the only transcription I could find was Cziffra's, I thought I'd write my own.

I don't think it's particularly well-composed (transitions irk me), but I think it's pianistic enough to fit in to the hands. The last section is a bear, though.


Is this the Xenakis piece? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3qYqmOD-qU

Yep, you got the Xenakis right. Listened to the whole thing. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I can certainly understand the difficulties: Two, three, or four staves throughout - depending. Even Steve Gillmore would have problems sight-reading this baby!

And speaking of Cziffra, I never heard of the guy until I came to PW, but I've been reading about him recently. I know he receives a lot of criticism for his interpretations, but what a life! He went to he*l and back and still preserved his soul for music. I have to say, he was an amazing human being and pianist, regardless of what you may think of his music making.


Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109917
06/28/13 08:29 PM
06/28/13 08:29 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,741
McAllen, TX
B
Brendan Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Brendan  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,741
McAllen, TX
Originally Posted by Old Man

In fact, here's a post from that other internet piano site that certainly bolsters your statement about Xenakis.

Quote
The most difficult piece of music is unarguably, and I MEAN unarguably, as in any pianist with experience in these fields, or even seeing the sheets ought to prove it for you, is XENAKIS EVRYALI. Compared to Herma even, Xenakis HIMSELF says he wrote it to be difficult, and when Xenakis writes to be difficult...... well you know what that means. Only lasting about 10 minutes, Evryali is more difficult that Stockhausen Klavierstucke XII, Sorabji Opus Clavicembalisticum, Barrett Tracks, Finnissy's History of Sound in Photography or even the infamous piece "Trinity". Ian Pace, who plays the COMPLETE WORKS OF FINNISSY says that Evryali is the most rediculous and nearly-impossible piece of music to ever play. I have only heard what the sheets look like and I desperately want to see them; I have an MP3 so if anyone wants it I can send it.

Anyways... the lesson is when Xenakis writes something to be "a marathon for both the mind and body" you better get scared.

This guy's got me scared just reading about it. shocked


It's hard because the notation is stupid. Had Xenakis written it on two staves instead of four, it would be manageable. As is, it's just hard to visually decipher.

I'm always amazed by these "hardest anything ever" threads because while I've played most of the stuff that typically gets listed (Petrushka, Prokofiev Eight, Brahms 2, The People United, the Liszt Sonata) it's more challenging for me to play Bach well. Even when I originally learned those pieces, I still found them more manageable and comfortable to perform than an English Suite, Partita, or even a Prelude and Fugue. I dunno, maybe I just suck on some fundamental level!

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109922
06/28/13 08:42 PM
06/28/13 08:42 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member
laguna_greg  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted by Old Man


This guy's got me scared just reading about it.


Oh for pity's sake don't be. That guy's not a pianist, and clean playing is not a requisite for any of the these modernists, not even Messiaen.


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Mark_C] #2109923
06/28/13 08:44 PM
06/28/13 08:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member
laguna_greg  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Mark,

Get over yourself, and get off this thread then. I mean, really, if we're talking about "the most difficult piece in the rep", then this is definitely not it. Go take some lessons

You can do better. Give it a go!

Last edited by laguna_greg; 06/28/13 08:50 PM.

Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Brendan] #2109927
06/28/13 08:47 PM
06/28/13 08:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member
laguna_greg  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Brendan,

I hear that! It's easier, much easier to play loud and fast than it is to play sublime.

But getting back to the matter of gymnastics, how about the Scriabin etude in 9ths? Which requires the most squeaky clean playing? It's beautiful music, but it's also something I never want to perform in front of the public, and I have a really big hand...


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Kreisler] #2109928
06/28/13 08:52 PM
06/28/13 08:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member
laguna_greg  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Kreisler,

You actually put the Barraque Sonata on there? This is just hard to learn, and not very interesting. The Bartok sonata is much harder physically, and magnitudes more interesting for both the player and the listener. Bartok actually understood how to play the piano, and I cannot say the same thing for most contemporary composers.

Last edited by laguna_greg; 06/28/13 09:10 PM. Reason: a thought came to me

Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Brendan] #2109930
06/28/13 08:55 PM
06/28/13 08:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member
laguna_greg  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Brendan,

RE: the Xanakis "Everyali" I agree completely. Frankly, I think the Barber sonata 4th movement is much, much harder, and it has to be squeaky clean in order for the effect to through.

Cheers!

Last edited by laguna_greg; 06/28/13 08:58 PM.

Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Kreisler] #2109932
06/28/13 09:08 PM
06/28/13 09:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member
laguna_greg  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Oh Kreisler,

You put Sorabji on this list? I mean really! It's very dissonant, hard to learn. But not a single thing he writes is more difficult technically than Prokofiev 3rd and 7th Sonatas, and much less interesting. And neither of those sonatas qualify as the hardest things in the literature, although they do come close.


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: laguna_greg] #2109939
06/28/13 09:17 PM
06/28/13 09:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Orange Soda King  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Oh Kreisler,

You put Sorabji on this list? I mean really! It's very dissonant, hard to learn. But not a single thing he writes is more difficult technically than Prokofiev 3rd and 7th Sonatas, and much less interesting. And neither of those sonatas qualify as the hardest things in the literature, although they do come close.


Some Sorabji is pretty nice, actually... And honestly, not hard on the ears compared to many other composers in the 20th century.

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2109945
06/28/13 09:29 PM
06/28/13 09:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 9,321
New York City
P
Polyphonist Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Polyphonist  Offline
9000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 9,321
New York City
A few concertos for consideration:

Rachmaninoff 3rd
Brahms 2nd
Prokofiev 2nd
Bartok 2nd


Regards,

Polyphonist
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Success through failure: Thank you ABF
by Zilthy. 11/19/18 11:31 PM
Online lessons for advanced student viable?
by rach3master. 11/19/18 10:25 PM
Black Friday iOS Sales
by IosPlayer. 11/19/18 05:25 PM
Standard piano literature progression
by vetrano. 11/19/18 03:44 PM
Kawai CA87 key action noise in comparison
by Carebear. 11/19/18 02:11 PM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics188,423
Posts2,762,776
Members91,525
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2