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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: sophial] #2110379
06/29/13 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sophial
His Mozart is likewise exquisite, but the Scarlatti should blow you away.



And the Mozart.

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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2110395
06/29/13 10:52 PM
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I thought I would jump in here to "rain" in the discussion by pointing out that the proper spelling of the word "reign" in the phrase "**** in" is "rein." As in horses and slowing them down.

I saw two misuses of "reign" in the thread and it brought out my inner BruceD.

Ok. You folks can go back to arguing. I will say that I have always thought that Brahms 2 is probably about as hard as anything else that is really worth listening to for its musical value, as opposed to the "wow factor" of the technical difficulty.


Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2110398
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Fantasy Impromptu is definitely the hardest song by Showpan.

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Grandalf] #2110451
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Originally Posted by JoelW
Fantasy Impromptu is definitely the hardest song by Showpan.


Are you sure you don't mean Choppin'? wink
Yeah, he sure wrote some cool songs, dude.


"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] #2110458
06/30/13 04:15 AM
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While thinking about this question, I remembered that the first movement of the Schumann 2nd piano sonata has never been surpassed in difficulty, since it requires an impossible speed heading into the coda, and then asks for more.

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Orange Soda King] #2110461
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Also, I find it incredibly laughable that certain people say one piece is objectively more difficult than another...


You may laugh incredulously, but I think Scarbo is objectively more difficult than "The Happy Farmer". But don't ask me to verbalize why I think so. smile


Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: wr] #2110491
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Originally Posted by wr

You may laugh incredulously, but I think Scarbo is objectively more difficult than "The Happy Farmer". But don't ask me to verbalize why I think so. smile



I believe (but don't quote me on this) that Scarbo has a few more notes than The Happy Farmer. Heck, it's even got a few more notes than "Mary had a little lamb". (But again, don't quote me on this).

But does that make it more difficult? What about all the minute nuances you have to put into each note of 'The Happy Farmer', to make him really happy? wink

After all, Webern demanded the same of the performers of say, his Op.27 Variations....(and that's immensely difficult).


"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: wdot] #2110503
06/30/13 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by wdot
I thought I would jump in here to "rain" in the discussion by pointing out that the proper spelling of the word "reign" in the phrase "**** in" is "rein." As in horses and slowing them down.

I saw two misuses of "reign" in the thread and it brought out my inner BruceD.

Ok. You folks can go back to arguing. I will say that I have always thought that Brahms 2 is probably about as hard as anything else that is really worth listening to for its musical value, as opposed to the "wow factor" of the technical difficulty.


As one who prides himself on "pretty darn good" spelling, I feel deeply wounded. blush But you are absolutely correct, and I wasn't thinking as I typed (or maybe my keyboard has an acutely sensitive 'g'). Kings may "reign", but horses (and virtuoso instincts) must be "reined" in. Thanks, wdot. (I think).

Last edited by Old Man; 06/30/13 06:57 AM.
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: bennevis] #2110513
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by wr

You may laugh incredulously, but I think Scarbo is objectively more difficult than "The Happy Farmer". But don't ask me to verbalize why I think so. smile



I believe (but don't quote me on this) that Scarbo has a few more notes than The Happy Farmer. Heck, it's even got a few more notes than "Mary had a little lamb". (But again, don't quote me on this).

But does that make it more difficult? What about all the minute nuances you have to put into each note of 'The Happy Farmer', to make him really happy? wink

After all, Webern demanded the same of the performers of say, his Op.27 Variations....(and that's immensely difficult).


By your measuring stick, since there are more notes in Scarbo than in Happy Farmer ("HF"), and each is surely at least as deserving of all sorts of minute nuance as the ones in HF, the one with the most notes is the more "difficult", if we are saying that the nuance applied to each note is difficult. But I'm not sure we were saying that...

Last edited by wr; 06/30/13 07:17 AM.
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2110516
06/30/13 07:34 AM
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Returning to the OP, I dug out this article from The Etude magazine which offers a list from 1895, in an era when popular involvement in piano-playing was at a peak:

http://etudemagazine.com/etude/1895/10/the-hardest-piano-piece.html

Just for the record.


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: sophial] #2110524
06/30/13 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sophial

If you want to here Horowitz play Baroque music exquisitely, listen to his Scarlatti. It's immaculate, completely controlled, and totally musical. It will erase any doubts you might have. His Mozart is likewise exquisite, but the Scarlatti should blow you away.

Good point, sophial. Don't worry, I own plenty of Horowitz CDs, including one that is exclusively Scarlatti. And I couldn't agree more that his renditions were "immaculate, completely controlled, and totally musical". In fact were it not for VH, I doubt that I would've paid much attention to Scarlatti. But in the hands of Horowitz, Scarlatti's music becomes mesmerizing.

But I still think there was something about Bach's music that Horowitz was not comfortable with. Scarlatti and Bach are, after all, entirely different composers. I think Scarlatti's music lends itself to a more cantabile style of playing that VH would've favored, as opposed to the strict counterpoint of Bach. But I have to concede that the reasons I gave for his avoiding Bach are probably not applicable. It may have been as simple as not liking Bach's music, but who knows?

As far as Mozart goes, VH seems to have "found" Mozart later in his career. But I agree that when he did, it was exquisite. Had he lived longer, who knows what other composers Horowitz may have "found", and wouldn't that have been a treat for all of us!

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: wr] #2110548
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Originally Posted by wr
While thinking about this question, I remembered that the first movement of the Schumann 2nd piano sonata has never been surpassed in difficulty, since it requires an impossible speed heading into the coda, and then asks for more.


The impossibility of Schumann's tempo markings has been commented upon from the day of the sonata's publication. But personally, I don't agree as to that. The So rasch wie moeglich marking for the main body of the movement is in relation to the difficulty of its particular set of physical demands. At the penultimate Noch schneller, the material becomes much less physically demanding, permitting a quicker tempo. Provided that material is not itself executed so rasch wie moeglich, one will still have something in reserve for the final accelerando, where the material is still relatively undemanding compared with that of parts of the movement's main body.

I think the opening so rasch wie moeglich marking is also relevant to the rhythmic features of certain passages in the main body of the movement, which need to be articulated in an ungarbled manner, but without holding up the overall pace of the music.

To my way of thinking, this latter consideration is artistically more important than what is physically feasible for a given pianist. Tempo is dependent on musical content, and shouldn't be decided on the pretext that "I can play it up to MM=1000, so that's the right tempo for the music". Agility and speed are criteria relevant to gymnastics and athletics, not to music. Music needs, before all else, to be hearable, and needs to be articulated at a pace that allows time for the listener to auditorily decipher its content. Misjudge that, and it becomes meaningless, shapeless cacophony.


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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2110549
06/30/13 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Old Man
As far as Mozart goes, VH seems to have "found" Mozart later in his career. But I agree that when he did, it was exquisite. Had he lived longer, who knows what other composers Horowitz may have "found", and wouldn't that have been a treat for all of us!


VH lived a long time. He had every opportunity during his seven decade career to seek out new composers and compositions. My guess is that he probably "found" all the composers he wanted to find. smile


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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2110724
06/30/13 04:27 PM
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One piece I really should have included -- and I'm sure it'll seem like one of those wiseguy type things like if we say "Traumerei" or "anything by Mozart," but I really mean it in a pure technique way, and I say it's totally up there with Feux Follets or anything else that anybody has mentioned:

Couperin's Le Tic Toc Choc

.....provided you really play it as written, meaning that you don't put the hands an octave apart. Oh -- and assuming you're only playing on a 1-manual keyboard.

....and also assuming that we don't mean that it counts if you play it lousy, which isn't hard at all. grin

The piece is a one of Sokolov's special tricks. Here he is with it.... and I'm posting a video that shows the score, so you can see what's going on. (There are also videos of it showing him.) Warning: it's very deceptive. It doesn't look hard at all, until you try to play it -- and then it becomes almost impossible, particularly because of the hands repeating the same notes in rapid order, and even more because of the many places where the hands have the same note at the same time. The latter would be hard in any event, but it's even harder because it doesn't occur in any regular pattern. So, besides the basic technical challenge, it's a very complex challenge of coordination, both mental and physical -- hard to appreciate unless you've tried doing it. It's an absolute brain scrambler and hand scrambler. And in addition to all else, the repeated-note thing limits and dictates the possible musical approaches. You can't do the repeated notes without a particular kind of attack -- which you then need to do pretty consistently, even where the repeated-note thing isn't happening, because otherwise you just have a lot of isolated "bumps" for no musical reason. I imagine this will seem like gibberish to most people who haven't tried playing the piece -- which is appropriate because gibberish is what your hands and brain might feel like if you do try playing it. ha

Cliff's Notes: It's awfully, awfully hard. Yes, it sounds pretty hard when you hear Sokolov, but it's even much much harder than it sounds. Some might say it's not hard, it's "tricky." But it's extremely both, and that's what puts it (IMO) off the charts.

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2110804
06/30/13 06:09 PM
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Mark, first let me say I agree. Now, I'll disagree. grin

The piece is highly repetitive, almost deceptively so. So, I think that detracts from the difficulty (like Islamey, which I also didn't list).

Interestingly, I'm going to make a second comparison to Islamey, which makes me say this piece is incredibly hard: layering a melody on top of a note you have to strike again (which also happens in Islamey) is incredibly difficult to do well.

I think that skill, more than any of the others, makes this piece difficult. Would I put it in my top five? Maybe not. I think once the coordination is worked out, it wouldn't be too hard, so for me, it's not really up at the top of my list. But I wouldn't ever go so far as to say this piece is easy.

Nice pick, by the way. Definitely never heard the piece before. Thanks for bringing it up! smile


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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Scordatura] #2110805
06/30/13 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Scordatura
Originally Posted by wr
While thinking about this question, I remembered that the first movement of the Schumann 2nd piano sonata has never been surpassed in difficulty, since it requires an impossible speed heading into the coda, and then asks for more.


The impossibility of Schumann's tempo markings has been commented upon from the day of the sonata's publication. But personally, I don't agree as to that. The So rasch wie moeglich marking for the main body of the movement is in relation to the difficulty of its particular set of physical demands. At the penultimate Noch schneller, the material becomes much less physically demanding, permitting a quicker tempo. Provided that material is not itself executed so rasch wie moeglich, one will still have something in reserve for the final accelerando, where the material is still relatively undemanding compared with that of parts of the movement's main body.

I think the opening so rasch wie moeglich marking is also relevant to the rhythmic features of certain passages in the main body of the movement, which need to be articulated in an ungarbled manner, but without holding up the overall pace of the music.

To my way of thinking, this latter consideration is artistically more important than what is physically feasible for a given pianist. Tempo is dependent on musical content, and shouldn't be decided on the pretext that "I can play it up to MM=1000, so that's the right tempo for the music". Agility and speed are criteria relevant to gymnastics and athletics, not to music. Music needs, before all else, to be hearable, and needs to be articulated at a pace that allows time for the listener to auditorily decipher its content. Misjudge that, and it becomes meaningless, shapeless cacophony.


Yeah, I know - but still...

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Derulux] #2110812
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Originally Posted by Derulux
....I think once the coordination is worked out, it wouldn't be too hard....

How easy do you think the coordination is to work out? grin

I was sort of practicing the piece last night. Trying to work out the coordination made me feel like a spastic moron. smile

As I said, it's hard to appreciate how hard the piece is unless you've actually tried it, and it's good that you can so immediately appreciate that it's hard at all. So, it's no slam on you if I say that saying it's not that hard once you work out the coordination is kind of like saying it's easy to win in the Olympics if you just run fast enough. grin

Don't forget the thing of those notes that are 'played' at the same time by both hands, and especially the irregularity of where they occur. The thing that you said makes the "coordination" thing hard. This extra thing is what makes it so impossible.

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Mark_C] #2110818
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+1, Mark!


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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Scordatura] #2110828
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Originally Posted by Scordatura

The impossibility of Schumann's tempo markings has been commented upon from the day of the sonata's publication. But personally, I don't agree as to that.

Indeed. Schumann's tempo marking simply means as fast as the pianist can play it. That all depends on the capabilities of the pianist, and Argerich's lightning speed is only about how fast she can play it.

Clara gives a metronome marking of 160 per crotchet in the last movement (which only reflects what she might have been capable of on a good day), but dares not suggest anything in the Prestissimo. Fair enough, yet I suspect in later years, she did not programme this sonata.


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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Mark_C] #2110867
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Derulux
....I think once the coordination is worked out, it wouldn't be too hard....

How easy do you think the coordination is to work out? grin

I was sort of practicing the piece last night. Trying to work out the coordination made me feel like a spastic moron. smile

As I said, it's hard to appreciate how hard the piece is unless you've actually tried it, and it's good that you can so immediately appreciate that it's hard at all. So, it's no slam on you if I say that saying it's not that hard once you work out the coordination is kind of like saying it's easy to win in the Olympics if you just run fast enough. grin

Don't forget the thing of those notes that are 'played' at the same time by both hands, and especially the irregularity of where they occur. The thing that you said makes the "coordination" thing hard. This extra thing is what makes it so impossible.

I think that might depend on the pianist, their abilities, and their comfort level. I have extremely good coordination, and I'm very comfortable with overlapping figures. That said, I haven't had the chance to sit down at a keyboard and work through any of this, but I don't imagine it would be as difficult (for me) as something like Feux Follets. I may end up eating my words when I can actually put my hands on the keys and try it out, but I'm usually pretty good at identifying things I will find difficult. (I have a lot of experience staring at them for hours on end.. grin )

I like your slam! I think "winning" the Olympics isn't really in the same category, but if we're talking about at least running at an Olympic pace, then you've got something there. Someone who can play this piece might not "win" the Cliburn, because a lot of factors go into winning any competition, but they might be able to qualify, at least. (For example, the world champion doesn't always win the Olympics, and the Olympic champion doesn't always win the worlds.)

But the comparison is valid: to run at an Olympic pace, you must have the skill, coordination, strength, flexibility, endurance, etc etc. To play this piece, you must have the skill, coordination, technique, etc etc. If you have all of those components, in the right amount and at a high enough level, you can do either. But for either skill: running at an Olympic pace, or playing this piece, most of the work must be done before approaching the starting line (or the piece itself).

So, to recap, that was very prophetic of you to use such an analogy. Great choice, too. smile

I'll shut up about the piece until I actually have a chance to try it. Then, I might considering coming back and recanting -- or furthering wink -- my earlier comments.


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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2111460
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a list of pieces that I play(ed) and I think are/were exceptionally hard:

Liszt Feux follets
Lyapunov Sonata
Schumann Toccata
Ligeti Fanfares/Automne a Varsovie
Bach Goldbergvariations



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Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2111473
07/02/13 09:21 AM
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Gaspard
Iberia, taken as a whole
Vingt Regards, for length and technical difficulty
A bunch of Liszt stuff. Seems like Don Juan is reallllllly tricky.
A bunch of Godowsky, the Java Suite is a great choice though.

A note on Scarbo - it is such a different kind of virtuosity than other pieces. There are no flashy octave interludes. Sure there are fast repeated notes, but it serves the image of the piece. All of the difficulties serve the overall message of the piece. Boy do I love Scarbo, and Gaspard as a whole.


Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Scordatura] #2111731
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Originally Posted by Scordatura
Returning to the OP, I dug out this article from The Etude magazine which offers a list from 1895, in an era when popular involvement in piano-playing was at a peak:

http://etudemagazine.com/etude/1895/10/the-hardest-piano-piece.html

Just for the record.


The more things change, the more they stay the same? Reads a lot like PW..

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: jeffreyjones] #2111785
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by Scordatura
Returning to the OP, I dug out this article from The Etude magazine which offers a list from 1895, in an era when popular involvement in piano-playing was at a peak:

http://etudemagazine.com/etude/1895/10/the-hardest-piano-piece.html

Just for the record.


The more things change, the more they stay the same? Reads a lot like PW..

Great article, Scordatura! And Jeff, I've always maintained the same thing: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." I've yet to discover anything truly "new" about human nature.

I had to chuckle at this quote: "For me the most difficult of piano pieces is whatever piece I happen to be playing while I am playing it." I read the exact same quote in another piano forum, and have been waiting patiently to see it pop up here ever since I started the thread. How refreshing to know that PW members are willing to subordinate cleverness to thoughtfulness. smile (MarkC, don't even think about it!) laugh

Thanks, everyone!

Last edited by Old Man; 07/02/13 06:18 PM.
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: jeffreyjones] #2111810
07/02/13 07:14 PM
07/02/13 07:14 PM
Joined: May 2001
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Joined: May 2001
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Originally Posted by Scordatura
Returning to the OP, I dug out this article from The Etude magazine which offers a list from 1895, in an era when popular involvement in piano-playing was at a peak:

http://etudemagazine.com/etude/1895/10/the-hardest-piano-piece.html

Just for the record.


Great article especially this part:
The other Beethoven sonata that figures in the list of the 16 most difficult compositions, opus 57, the familiar “Sonata Appassionata,” is in the repertoire of about every professional pianist. Opus 106 is very seldom played in public. As practical proof of its difficulty it may be mentioned that Von Bulow once publicly broke down in it while playing it from memory, some years ago, at Chickering Hall. The break-down was covered up, the audience being given to understand that something had gone wrong with the instrument. The tuner in attendance was sent on the stage with instructions to spend 15 or 20 minutes in ostensibly putting the piano to rights, while Von Bulow, out of earshot of the audience, utilized the time thus gained by furiously practicing, on an upright piano, the passage that had baffled him.

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2111814
07/02/13 07:17 PM
07/02/13 07:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,058
Conway, AR USA
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Joined: Mar 2009
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1. Liszt: Concert Etude Un Sospiro in Db Major.

2. Rachmaninoff: Prelude in Bb Major Op. 23, No. 2.

3. Rachmaninoff: Moment Musical Op. 16, No. 4, E minor.

4. Stravinsky: Petruschka 1. Danse Russe. Transcription for piano.

5. Prokofiev: Toccata in D minor, Op. 11.


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: pianoloverus] #2111816
07/02/13 07:21 PM
07/02/13 07:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
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Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Scordatura
Returning to the OP, I dug out this article from The Etude magazine which offers a list from 1895, in an era when popular involvement in piano-playing was at a peak:

http://etudemagazine.com/etude/1895/10/the-hardest-piano-piece.html

Just for the record.


Great article especially this part:
The other Beethoven sonata that figures in the list of the 16 most difficult compositions, opus 57, the familiar “Sonata Appassionata,” is in the repertoire of about every professional pianist. Opus 106 is very seldom played in public. As practical proof of its difficulty it may be mentioned that Von Bulow once publicly broke down in it while playing it from memory, some years ago, at Chickering Hall. The break-down was covered up, the audience being given to understand that something had gone wrong with the instrument. The tuner in attendance was sent on the stage with instructions to spend 15 or 20 minutes in ostensibly putting the piano to rights, while Von Bulow, out of earshot of the audience, utilized the time thus gained by furiously practicing, on an upright piano, the passage that had baffled him.


I'm gonna save that bit!

I've never had a breakdown on stage, though (and I don't plan on it!)

Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: jeffreyjones] #2112037
07/03/13 06:39 AM
07/03/13 06:39 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
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wr Offline
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wr  Offline
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W

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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by Scordatura
Returning to the OP, I dug out this article from The Etude magazine which offers a list from 1895, in an era when popular involvement in piano-playing was at a peak:

http://etudemagazine.com/etude/1895/10/the-hardest-piano-piece.html

Just for the record.


The more things change, the more they stay the same? Reads a lot like PW..


Except that there is not that much overlap of the actual lists of pieces, then and now. I have trouble imagining anybody today putting the Bach Chromatic F&F on their list of most difficult pieces.

I did enjoy reading that Alkan's son said the most difficult piece was whatever he was playing at the moment - I can identify with that kind of thinking.


Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: Old Man] #2112040
07/03/13 06:56 AM
07/03/13 06:56 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,043
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wr Offline
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wr  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,043
Originally Posted by Old Man
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by Scordatura
Returning to the OP, I dug out this article from The Etude magazine which offers a list from 1895, in an era when popular involvement in piano-playing was at a peak:

http://etudemagazine.com/etude/1895/10/the-hardest-piano-piece.html

Just for the record.


The more things change, the more they stay the same? Reads a lot like PW..

Great article, Scordatura! And Jeff, I've always maintained the same thing: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." I've yet to discover anything truly "new" about human nature.



The article isn't about human nature, it's about difficult piano music.

But, since you brought up your experience of human nature - if you have yet to discover anything new, that might be more about your own perspective than it is about some fixed attribute of human nature. Just sayin'...


Re: Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces (Classical) [Re: wr] #2112055
07/03/13 07:51 AM
07/03/13 07:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 782
Michigan, USA
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Old Man Offline OP
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Old Man  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2012
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Michigan, USA
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Old Man
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by Scordatura
Returning to the OP, I dug out this article from The Etude magazine which offers a list from 1895, in an era when popular involvement in piano-playing was at a peak:

http://etudemagazine.com/etude/1895/10/the-hardest-piano-piece.html

Just for the record.


The more things change, the more they stay the same? Reads a lot like PW..

Great article, Scordatura! And Jeff, I've always maintained the same thing: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." I've yet to discover anything truly "new" about human nature.



The article isn't about human nature, it's about difficult piano music.

Yes, I had that much figured out. I was responding to jeffreyjones. And the standard interpretation of the adage he quoted is that despite changes in our environment and circumstances, we humans really don't change that much over time. In terms of this thread, I thought Jeff was pointing out that the arguments about what pieces of music are difficult remain pretty much the same today as they were when the article was published.

Originally Posted by wr

But, since you brought up your experience of human nature - if you have yet to discover anything new, that might be more about your own perspective than it is about some fixed attribute of human nature. Just sayin'...

Can I sit, or should I lie on the couch? wink

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