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Piano Concerto Grand Ranking #2862476
06/24/19 08:27 PM
06/24/19 08:27 PM
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achoo42 Offline OP
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Factors taken into account include technical difficulty, staminal difficulty, interpretative difficulty, difficulty of synchronization with ensemble, and it is vaguely sorted by difficulty within their classes from top to bottom.

I don’t have real playing experience with a large amount of the pieces here so I would really appreciate feedback on placement. Even if you don't like lists like these I hope you can explore some new repertoire since I've tried to include many lesser-known concertos smile

Extraordinarily Difficult
Sorabji Concerto per suonare da me solo
Sorabji Concertos
Busoni Concerto
Messiaen Des Canyons aux Étoiles
Barber Concerto
Alkan Solo Concerto
Carter Concerto
Ives Emerson Concerto
Ginastera Concerto No.1
Rautavaara Concerto No.1
Lutoslawski Concerto
Ligeti Concerto
Rautavaara Concerto No.2
Corigliano Concerto
Cage Concert for Piano and Orchestra

Ridiculously Difficult:
Vine Piano Concerto
Ginastera Concerto No.2
Bartok Concerto No. 2
Prokofiev Concerto No.2
Xenakis Palimpsest
Babbitt Concerto
Bartok Concerto No.1
Messiaen Oiseaux Exotiques
Bortkiewicz Concerto No.2
Strauss Burlesque
Rachmaninov Concerto No.3
Busoni Indian Fantasy
Tveitt Aurora Borealis
Scriabin Prometheus or the Poem of Fire
Perle Piano Concerto No. 1
Korngold Left Hand Concerto
Perle Piano Concerto No. 2
Rozycki Concerto No.1
Kapustin Concerto No.6
Ravel Left Hand Concerto

Extremely Difficult:
Tchaikovsky Concerto No.1
Marx Concerto
Atterberg Concerto
Ireland Concerto
Kapustin Concerto No.5
Brahms Concerto No.2
Rachmaninov Concerto No.1
Lyapunov Concerto No.1
Rubinstein Piano Concertos
Penderecki Concerto
Lyapunov Concerto No.2
Medtner Concerto No.1
Medtner Concerto No.3
Bortkiewicz Concerto No.3
Medtner Concerto No.2
Bliss Piano Concerto
Brahms Concerto No.1
Rachmaninov Concerto No. 4
Schoenberg Concerto
Liebermann Concerto No.2
Liebermann Piano Concerto No.1
Vaughan-Williams Concerto
Liszt Totentanz
Bortkiewicz Concerto No.1
Moszkowski Piano Concerto No.2
Coff Concerto No.3

Very Difficult
Tchaikovsky Concerto No.2
Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto
Ravel Concerto in G
Tchaikovsky Concerto No.3
Prokofiev Concerto No.3
Chen Er Huang
Macdowell Piano Concerto No.1
Macdowell Piano Concerto No.2
Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini
Kapustin Concerto No.4
Schnittke Piano Concerto
Jaëll Concerto No.1
Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds
Liszt Concerto No.2
Debussy Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra
Rautavaara Concerto No.3
Prokofiev Concerto No. 4
Scriabin Concerto
Xinghai Yellow River Concerto
Rachmaninov Concerto No.2
Stenhammar Piano Concerto
Franck Variations
Liszt Concerto No.1
Chopin Concerto No.2
Bronsart Concerto
Chopin Concerto No.1
Kapustin Concerto No.3
Reinecke Concerto No.1
Moszkowski Piano Concerto No.1
Britten Diversions for Piano Left Hand and Orchestra
Reinecke Concerto No.2
Prokofiev Concerto No. 5
Khachaturian Piano Concerto
Bartok Concerto No.3
Alkan 3 Concerti da Camera
Balakirev Piano Concerto
Schumann Concerto in A Minor

Difficult:
Saint-Saens Concerto No.3
Beethoven Concerto No.4
Hummel Concerto No.2
Kapustin Concerto No.2
Adams Century Rolls
Beethoven Concerto No.5
Poulenc Concerto
Saint-Saens Concerto No. 2
Mendelssohn Concerto No.2
Moscheles Concertos
Saint-Saens Concerto No.5
Massanet Concerto
Dvorak Piano Concerto
Saint-Saens Concerto No.4
Beethoven Concerto No.3
Mozart Concerto No.20
Mendelssohn Piano Concerto
Weber Konzertstück for Piano and Orchestra
Arensky Concerto
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
Prokofiev Concerto No.1
Chopin Andante Spinato et Grande Polonaise Brillante
Gershwin Concerto in F
Grieg Concerto
Mozart Concerto No.27
Mozart Concerto No.15
Mozart Concerto No.17
Busoni Early Concerto
Mozart Concerto No.22
Mozart Concerto No.25
Janacek Concertino
Yoshimatsu Memo Flora
George Gershwin Variations on the theme of "I Got Rhythm"
Shostakovich Concerto No.1

Less Difficult:
Shostakovich Concerto No.2
Ustvolskaya Concerto
Nyman "The Piano Concerto"
Scott Early One Morning
Mozart Concerto No.21
Mozart Concerto No.23
Mozart Concerto No.16
Mozart Concerto No.26
Mozart Concerto No.19
Haydn Concerto No.11
Beethoven Concerto No. 2
Kabalevsky Piano Concerto No.2
Emerson Piano Concerto No.1
Kabalevsky Piano Concerto No.1
Beethoven Concerto No. 1
Kabalevsky Piano Concerto No.3


Schumann is the mann.
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Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2862495
06/24/19 09:26 PM
06/24/19 09:26 PM
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I have to ask: What's the point?

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2862512
06/24/19 10:09 PM
06/24/19 10:09 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,612
New York City
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To be honest, I find it difficult to believe that the OP has listened to all these over 125 concerti, no less tried them out on a piano or become familiar enough with them to evaluate their interpretive difficulty.

Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2862522
06/24/19 10:23 PM
06/24/19 10:23 PM
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Rankings aside, I think if anything it's a nice list to discover more new music. Some of these composers I didn't know ever wrote a piano concerto, others I've never even heard of.

Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: pianoloverus] #2862530
06/24/19 10:50 PM
06/24/19 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
To be honest, I find it difficult to believe that the OP has listened to all these over 125 concerti, no less tried them out on a piano or become familiar enough with them to evaluate their interpretive difficulty.

Make no mistake, I have listened to all of these pieces thoroughly, but I've only played perhaps a quarter of them all the way through, and even less in concert. I don't claim to have such a vast repertoire as to be able to make a completely accurate appraisal of these pieces. That's why I included at the beginning: "I don’t have real playing experience with a large amount of the pieces here so I would really appreciate feedback on placement. Even if you don't like lists like these I hope you can explore some new repertoire since I've tried to include many lesser-known concertos." I'm hoping that people can work together to make the list more accurate and comprehensive.


Last edited by achoo42; 06/24/19 10:50 PM.

Schumann is the mann.
Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: BruceD] #2862533
06/24/19 10:55 PM
06/24/19 10:55 PM
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The Woodlands, TX
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Originally Posted by BruceD
I have to ask: What's the point?

Regards,


I'm sure many people would appreciate being exposed to new music or gauging what kind of music can be in their repertoire without having to play through all of it.

For example, if one is currently able to play Rachmaninov's Second and they want to aim for another work at a similar level, they can use the list as a reference point to pick a piece to listen/read through in order to find out if it fits for them. If a piece that they've chosen doesn't, then they have a myriad of options to try reading next. When picking a new piece, it is much more difficult to blindly pick and choose and perhaps waste time on a piece that is not anywhere in the same level as the player.

Also, that is why it is important that this list be as accurate as possible. I don't claim to be any sort of expert so I would definitely appreciate feedback on what could be a better placement for works in this list (especially the more obscure ones).


Schumann is the mann.
Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2862587
06/25/19 06:45 AM
06/25/19 06:45 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,612
New York City
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Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
To be honest, I find it difficult to believe that the OP has listened to all these over 125 concerti...
Make no mistake, I have listened to all of these pieces thoroughly...
Wow!

Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/25/19 06:47 AM.
Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2862589
06/25/19 07:25 AM
06/25/19 07:25 AM
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Dublin
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Why is Prokofiev 3 in a lower difficulty ranking than Liszt's Totentanz? The Prokofiev has bits in it that are widely regarded as unplayable. Almost nobody plays the last movement as written.

Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2862630
06/25/19 09:54 AM
06/25/19 09:54 AM
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Thank you achoo42 !

Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: johnstaf] #2862704
06/25/19 05:35 PM
06/25/19 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Why is Prokofiev 3 in a lower difficulty ranking than Liszt's Totentanz? The Prokofiev has bits in it that are widely regarded as unplayable. Almost nobody plays the last movement as written.

I know which part you mean, and one of my piano teachers had some deliciously vulgar comments about it.

One hesitates to criticize Prokofiev's piano writing, but considering the effect he was going for, the same thing can be accomplished with a simple (and safer) re-write, for example Argerich's many videos wherein you can see exactly what she is doing, and not doing.

Prokofiev recorded his concerto 11 years after its premiere and I do wonder if he still played that passage the same way.


Jason
Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: argerichfan] #2862708
06/25/19 05:57 PM
06/25/19 05:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 67
The Woodlands, TX
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achoo42 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Why is Prokofiev 3 in a lower difficulty ranking than Liszt's Totentanz? The Prokofiev has bits in it that are widely regarded as unplayable. Almost nobody plays the last movement as written.

I know which part you mean, and one of my piano teachers had some deliciously vulgar comments about it.

One hesitates to criticize Prokofiev's piano writing, but considering the effect he was going for, the same thing can be accomplished with a simple (and safer) re-write, for example Argerich's many videos wherein you can see exactly what she is doing, and not doing.

Prokofiev recorded his concerto 11 years after its premiere and I do wonder if he still played that passage the same way.

I've played the Prokofiev concerti and I'm assuming that you guys are referring to the runs towards the end that pretty much everyone plays as quasi-glissandi? I suppose it would be very difficult to play it as written but most pianists get close enough with a much easier technique (as argerichfan mentions) and thus I don't really consider it as a very difficult section.

Also, I've changed the list significantly since it's inception but there's no edit button on original posts? Brahms 2nd should be one level higher and the Ravel concertos one level lower.


Schumann is the mann.
Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: argerichfan] #2862709
06/25/19 05:58 PM
06/25/19 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by argerichfan

I know which part you mean, and one of my piano teachers had some deliciously vulgar comments about it.

One hesitates to criticize Prokofiev's piano writing, but considering the effect he was going for, the same thing can be accomplished with a simple (and safer) re-write, for example Argerich's many videos wherein you can see exactly what she is doing, and not doing.

Prokofiev recorded his concerto 11 years after its premiere and I do wonder if he still played that passage the same way.


Natalia Trull did it as written in the 1986 Tchaikovsky final. Maybe it's from knowing the passage and how hard it is, but it looks very impressive!

I heard Argerich play it in Berlin a couple of months ago. After all my years as a fan of hers, I was gobsmacked. I didn't actually know how good she was.

Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2862866
06/26/19 05:28 AM
06/26/19 05:28 AM
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The fact that you have the Dvorak concerto listed in the second from last category demonstrates you really haven't a clue!

Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2863007
06/26/19 02:18 PM
06/26/19 02:18 PM
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You have also omitted Mozart K491 which has a good claim to be the finest piano concerto written by anybody (I would probably vote for Beethoven 4 for that distinction, but only by a tiny margin ahead of K491!) Also, K467 is extremely hard and well ahead of K488 for technical difficulty...

Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2863011
06/26/19 02:26 PM
06/26/19 02:26 PM
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For any classification like this one to be discussed , you would need to have a detailed list of criteria used to determine any of the factor. Like what makes a piece more or less difficult. How do you weight the different criteria; if a piece is less difficult technically but more difficult from an interpretative standpoint than another piece, what's the outcome, are they in the same category, lower, higher ? By the way how do you measure interpretative difficulty or staminal difficulty ? In short without some kind of formalized ranking methodology this looks like a personal biased ranking which is worth any other one. In any case for this type of ranking to be usefull to anybody you would need to come up with a detailed description and assessment of the various difficulties so that like you say potential future players could use it to make decisions. Without that, a raw list like this one has limited usage.

Also I think players do not make decisions based on the difficulty of the piece, but based on the style and content of the piece, so a more logical way would be to rank them within certain stylistic criteria. By the way for most of the pieces in your first category I gave up listening after a few minutes, bu then I am not a great fan of modern pseudo-classic music.

Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2863031
06/26/19 03:19 PM
06/26/19 03:19 PM
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I wonder - and I'm asking, rather than stating - if one criterion of whether or not one might attempt one of the more obscure works might be the availability and the cost of the score. What chance, for an advanced professional, is there to perform some of these works with orchestra if the scores are hard to come by or extremely expensive even to rent? If the chances are limited to slim, might that not remove some works from a potential performer's list? What public interest in the more obscure works would encourage or discourage one from working on one of these concerti?

That doesn't diminish the academic interest to some of such a list.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: Hatchestron] #2863106
06/26/19 07:06 PM
06/26/19 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatchestron
The fact that you have the Dvorak concerto listed in the second from last category demonstrates you really haven't a clue!


I might not have a clue about some of the more obscure works on here, but I've personally played the original version of the Dvorak concerto and it's Beethoven difficulty, nothing more.

Have you played it yourself? Or are you just riding off the words of (admittedly legendary) pianist Leslie Howard when he says it's difficult than all the Liszt he's played? You ought to read through the Dvorak concerto yourself and you too will discover that it is nothing in comparison to Feux Follets, Beethoven Transcriptions, Don Juan, etc. I'm thoroughly impressed at Howard's rendition of so many fantastically difficult pieces and I'm stumped as to how he came to the conclusion that Dvorak even approaches the high-end of Liszt on a technical level.

Others have noted that it's a concerto written "for two right hands", a statement that I have found largely to be untrue except for the fact that many areas in the piece have both the right hand and left hand playing identical notes, making it actually easier to read.

Also, I apologize for leaving out many concerti (such as the Mozart you have mentioned and a number of Haydn's). It's by no means a comprehensive list and since its inception I have added many other works to it (I just can't seem to add them to the Pianoworld list since there's a limit on time for editing). I sometimes will have to rely on user input like yourself to make the list larger and better.

Last edited by achoo42; 06/26/19 07:14 PM.

Schumann is the mann.
Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: Sidokar] #2863109
06/26/19 07:12 PM
06/26/19 07:12 PM
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Posts: 67
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achoo42 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
For any classification like this one to be discussed , you would need to have a detailed list of criteria used to determine any of the factor. Like what makes a piece more or less difficult. How do you weight the different criteria; if a piece is less difficult technically but more difficult from an interpretative standpoint than another piece, what's the outcome, are they in the same category, lower, higher ? By the way how do you measure interpretative difficulty or staminal difficulty ? In short without some kind of formalized ranking methodology this looks like a personal biased ranking which is worth any other one. In any case for this type of ranking to be usefull to anybody you would need to come up with a detailed description and assessment of the various difficulties so that like you say potential future players could use it to make decisions. Without that, a raw list like this one has limited usage.

Also I think players do not make decisions based on the difficulty of the piece, but based on the style and content of the piece, so a more logical way would be to rank them within certain stylistic criteria. By the way for most of the pieces in your first category I gave up listening after a few minutes, bu then I am not a great fan of modern pseudo-classic music.


Good question. I have the way I measure difficulty outlined here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1W1JU3ZptwH6FVbJ3pCztEW4B4cVmTsuiavU6n1fiZ78/edit?usp=sharing
However, I don't think that it is possible to measure difficulty in a formalized, objective way because it is different for everybody. I am certain that there are bits of personal bias in the ranking but I am also striving to categorize the works in a way that each entire category is attainable for somebody who has mastered/learned at least one piece in said category.

Also, it's fine for players to choose by style but none of that matters if it's too difficult for them. Thus, I put the concerti in categories so that the player can choose a piece that is right for them within a smaller margin of choices, instead of wasting time reading through works that may be far too difficult or too easy.

The pieces in the top category are definitely not for everybody, although out of these I'd say the Alkan and Busoni are the most accessible for a "normal" audience although being extremely lengthy (about 70 minutes each). For pieces that are easier to grasp onto I suggest that you try the Moszkowski, Kapustin, Bortkiewicz, and Scriabin concerti.

Last edited by achoo42; 06/26/19 07:18 PM.

Schumann is the mann.
Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: achoo42] #2863116
06/26/19 07:26 PM
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Hinson has a more comprehensive book.


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Re: Piano Concerto Grand Ranking [Re: BruceD] #2863120
06/26/19 07:32 PM
06/26/19 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
I wonder - and I'm asking, rather than stating - if one criterion of whether or not one might attempt one of the more obscure works might be the availability and the cost of the score. What chance, for an advanced professional, is there to perform some of these works with orchestra if the scores are hard to come by or extremely expensive even to rent? If the chances are limited to slim, might that not remove some works from a potential performer's list? What public interest in the more obscure works would encourage or discourage one from working on one of these concerti?

That doesn't diminish the academic interest to some of such a list.

Regards,


All of the obscure works on this list are available for free on IMSLP save for the ones not yet in the public domain (generally works written after 1922 if I'm not mistaken). In that case, scores have to be purchased and if cost is an issue, it should definitely be taken into account.

However, I can't see it being much of a problem, since the only pianists and orchestras that are technically capable of properly executing some of the less-available pieces on this list are the ones that already have significant prowess and standing. Xenakis' music, for example, takes a dedicated and extremely experienced conductor as well as a technical giant on the piano. A performer who is capable of performing the works on the top list (most of which is probably not in the public domain) should already be well-known in music circles or in high demand by orchestras (people like Garrick Ohlssohn, Marc Andre-Hamelin, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, etc.) Anyone at this level who cannot access the resources to pull off a performance of these works must have been living like a recluse.

Otherwise, a performer will have no choice but to stick to older music, which can't be such a bad thing after all.


Last edited by achoo42; 06/26/19 07:33 PM.

Schumann is the mann.
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