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The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
#3051395 11/30/20 06:19 PM
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Another interesting video I'd like to share.



I made an effort to mesh in as many lyrical sections as possible so that the passages would have more artistic variety rather than being simply note-spinning.

Hopefully some previously unheard concertos will make their voice heard through this video.

Last edited by achoo42; 11/30/20 06:20 PM.
Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051461 11/30/20 10:27 PM
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My goodness: grin

Those 18 concerti are really harder than Brahms' 2nd?

(for all I know, maybe they really are -- but I sure wouldn't have thought there were 18 that are harder, or even more than 1 or 2)


One thing I can say for sure: The 32 ahead of the Henselt Concerto aren't actually harder. Maybe a couple of them might be....

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Despite all that, that video is a pretty cool collection.

Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051558 12/01/20 08:15 AM
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Listing 100 pieces in order of difficulty is a nonsensical exercise IMO. Have you studied even ten of them? Far better to have four to six groups of pieces arranged by difficulty the way ratings systems are usually done. At least half of these pieces are almost never played and IMO mostly for good reasons.

Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051575 12/01/20 09:09 AM
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It seems like difficulty is a major and maybe your unique criteria to select pieces. So you end up with a number of compositions that are never played and like you say in your comments, pieces for which you cant even find a score and or a recording. What is the interest of a piece that is almost never played except maybe for its first and seemingly also last performance.

The vid has an interest though maybe not the one you intended, but 1 hour is very long. A number of these pieces are modern ones. I can understand why there is so little audience for this type of music.

Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051669 12/01/20 01:47 PM
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Once pieces get up even into the very difficult range but certainly in the extremely difficult range, I don't think it is possible to rank them accurately without actually playing them. And the relative ranking will not be the same from pianist to pianist.

There is a lesson in this though. If you are a composer and are not immortally famous, writing music that competes for the most difficult to play will send the music straight to the dust bin.


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Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
pianoloverus #3051771 12/01/20 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Listing 100 pieces in order of difficulty is a nonsensical exercise IMO. Have you studied even ten of them? Far better to have four to six groups of pieces arranged by difficulty the way ratings systems are usually done. At least half of these pieces are almost never played and IMO mostly for good reasons.

You ought to read the description of my video. I separated it into about four groups.

Quote
Once pieces get up even into the very difficult range but certainly in the extremely difficult range, I don't think it is possible to rank them accurately without actually playing them. And the relative ranking will not be the same from pianist to pianist.

Read the description of the video. I suspect you are missing the point, because I never claimed this to be anything more than an approximately ranked list of what are 100 difficult works.

Last edited by achoo42; 12/01/20 07:18 PM.
Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
Sidokar #3051774 12/01/20 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
It seems like difficulty is a major and maybe your unique criteria to select pieces. So you end up with a number of compositions that are never played and like you say in your comments, pieces for which you cant even find a score and or a recording. What is the interest of a piece that is almost never played except maybe for its first and seemingly also last performance. The vid has an interest though maybe not the one you intended, but 1 hour is very long. A number of these pieces are modern ones. I can understand why there is so little audience for this type of music.


I'm not sure where you found this opinion.

There are only a few works on the list that do not deserve to be played at all—the Thalberg, Czerny, and perhaps the Cramer. Several others like Medtner, Mcdowell, Lyapunov, Hahn, and Sgambati have strong artistic qualities and certainly deserve a place in the repertoire.

And then the vast majority of the other concertos on this list are in the standard repertoire, or composed by a well regarded composer.

It looks like you are actively searching for a problem and then whisking one out of thin air. Just enjoy the video and perhaps pick up something new. You would rather see a video full of things you had already heard a dozen times?

Last edited by achoo42; 12/01/20 07:29 PM.
Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051783 12/01/20 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Listing 100 pieces in order of difficulty is a nonsensical exercise IMO. Have you studied even ten of them? Far better to have four to six groups of pieces arranged by difficulty the way ratings systems are usually done. At least half of these pieces are almost never played and IMO mostly for good reasons.

You ought to read the description of my video. I separated it into about four groups.
I read your description before making my post. I think you should just leave four groups. You divided each group in order which I think is silly and pretentious.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/01/20 08:11 PM.
Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
pianoloverus #3051788 12/01/20 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Listing 100 pieces in order of difficulty is a nonsensical exercise IMO. Have you studied even ten of them? Far better to have four to six groups of pieces arranged by difficulty the way ratings systems are usually done. At least half of these pieces are almost never played and IMO mostly for good reasons.

You ought to read the description of my video. I separated it into about four groups.
I read your description before making my post. I think you should just leave four groups. You divided each group in order which I think is silly and pretentious.

I don't think you read the description:

"Like my previous ranking video, this is less of a truly accurate list of difficulty but rather a compilation of interesting bits and pieces from great concertos throughout history."

What about that is pretentious? A numbering system does not have to be taken at face value.

People are attracted to numbers and the idea of a "top something", and so I did that while adding a disclaimer.

Last edited by achoo42; 12/01/20 08:32 PM.
Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051795 12/01/20 08:47 PM
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I liked this video alot, I saw it on YouTube a couple days back. I commented on it actually, I mentioned MacDowell's Piano Concerto No. 2 was my favorite.

Though I must say, MacDowell's Piano Concerto No. 1, while less technically difficult, is much more musically difficult than its successor. Maybe that's why many pianists, professional or otherwise, choose to play the second piano concerto instead (Cliburn, Watts, my unimportant self etc)

Another pet peeve if I may, MacDowell is not really an American Brahms (more so an American Grieg, to be honest). MacDowell detested Brahms and had very little patience for his compositional style.

Eddy much preferred Liszt, Grieg, and Wagner!

Last edited by iaintagreatpianist; 12/01/20 08:48 PM.

Pianist-in-training. Also an 19 year old who hasn't grown up at heart.

Fanboy of Edward MacDowell. His Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor really needs some revival, IMHO.

Repertoire in progress.
Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
iaintagreatpianist #3051796 12/01/20 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by iaintagreatpianist
I liked this video alot, I saw it on YouTube a couple days back. I commented on it actually, I mentioned MacDowell's Piano Concerto No. 2 was my favorite.

Though I must say, MacDowell's Piano Concerto No. 1, while less technically difficult, is much more musically difficult than its successor. Maybe that's why many pianists, professional or otherwise, choose to play the second piano concerto instead (Cliburn, Watts, my unimportant self etc)

Another pet peeve if I may, MacDowell is not really an American Brahms (more so an American Grieg, to be honest). MacDowell detested Brahms and had very little patience for his compositional style.

Eddy much preferred Liszt, Grieg, and Wagner!


Is that so? Certainly sounds more accessible than Brahms, very interesting information! His writing was definitely not Chopinesque (at least what I heard from the Woodland Sketches) so I just headed in the opposite direction...Grieg seems like a good fit. Of course Brahms and Grieg both borrowed a lot of their writing from Schumann.

Last edited by achoo42; 12/01/20 08:51 PM.
Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051797 12/01/20 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by achoo42
Originally Posted by iaintagreatpianist
I liked this video alot, I saw it on YouTube a couple days back. I commented on it actually, I mentioned MacDowell's Piano Concerto No. 2 was my favorite.

Though I must say, MacDowell's Piano Concerto No. 1, while less technically difficult, is much more musically difficult than its successor. Maybe that's why many pianists, professional or otherwise, choose to play the second piano concerto instead (Cliburn, Watts, my unimportant self etc)

Another pet peeve if I may, MacDowell is not really an American Brahms (more so an American Grieg, to be honest). MacDowell detested Brahms and had very little patience for his compositional style.

Eddy much preferred Liszt, Grieg, and Wagner!


Is that so? Certainly sounds more accessible than Brahms, very interesting information! His writing was definitely not Chopinesque (at least what I heard from the Woodland Sketches) so I just headed in the opposite direction...Grieg seems like a good fit. Of course Brahms and Grieg both borrowed a lot of their writing from Schumann.
Schumann, huh? I'll have to study some more of his music, my teacher's been telling me to and I've yet to get around to it.

Funny thing is I'd probably be the only pianist in the world (as of right now) to say I know how to play MacDowell's Traumerei (Op. 46 No. 9) but not how to play Schumann's more famous Traumerei (Op. 15 No. 7).


Pianist-in-training. Also an 19 year old who hasn't grown up at heart.

Fanboy of Edward MacDowell. His Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor really needs some revival, IMHO.

Repertoire in progress.
Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051831 12/02/20 12:11 AM
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To me the numerical 1-100 ranking is questionable and impossible, but not silly.
I found it an interesting thing to look at, including because of the presence of concerti that are never or almost never played. There are some that I never heard of, and I was glad to see them.

Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
Mark_C #3051837 12/02/20 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
To me the numerical 1-100 ranking is questionable and impossible, but not silly.
I found it an interesting thing to look at, including because of the presence of concerti that are never or almost never played. There are some that I never heard of, and I was glad to see them.

Thanks! It goes without saying that nobody can rank that many works in any objective fashion, even if one has somehow played them all.

Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051839 12/02/20 12:54 AM
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I am at a loss to understand the point of this listening exercise. 80 minutes of 20 to 30-second segments of works both familiar and unknown doesn't say or mean anything to me. What is one supposed to get from this?

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Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051854 12/02/20 02:25 AM
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A web page listing the 100 with links to full recordings would be much more useful. Someone would not be forced to listen to 80 minutes of fragments to see the full list, and could decide which to listen to.


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Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051890 12/02/20 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by achoo42
There are only a few works on the list that do not deserve to be played at all—the Thalberg, Czerny, and perhaps the Cramer. Several others like Medtner, Mcdowell, Lyapunov, Hahn, and Sgambati have strong artistic qualities and certainly deserve a place in the repertoire.

And then the vast majority of the other concertos on this list are in the standard repertoire, or composed by a well regarded composer.

It looks like you are actively searching for a problem and then whisking one out of thin air. Just enjoy the video and perhaps pick up something new. You would rather see a video full of things you had already heard a dozen times?


As you said, it is a matter of opinion. The fact that composers are well regarded does not mean they are often played and have an audience. Boulez is extremely well regarded and I think probably more played than many of the pieces in this list, and yet he has only a niche audience. As i said, the video is interesting as it is listing many compositions that are unknown to many, the problem is that they are actually never played, and probably for a reason. And i dont see why the difficulty is the main criteria ? Why does the difficulty makes it worthwhile to be listened ?

Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051899 12/02/20 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by achoo42
I don't think you read the description:

"Like my previous ranking video, this is less of a truly accurate list of difficulty but rather a compilation of interesting bits and pieces from great concertos throughout history."

What about that is pretentious? A numbering system does not have to be taken at face value.

People are attracted to numbers and the idea of a "top something", and so I did that while adding a disclaimer.
Again, you assume I didn't read something before I posted but in fact I did. The pretentious part is that someone thinks they know enough about these pieces to offer an even approximate ranking. It's probably true that people are attracted to a top 100 listing but even with a disclaimer I find the title is misleading or even dishonest.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/02/20 07:18 AM.
Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
achoo42 #3051911 12/02/20 07:37 AM
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Amongst the less well known works, I particularly like the Lutosławski and Ginastera.

Re: The 100 Hardest Piano Concertos
pianoloverus #3052148 12/02/20 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by achoo42
I don't think you read the description:

"Like my previous ranking video, this is less of a truly accurate list of difficulty but rather a compilation of interesting bits and pieces from great concertos throughout history."

What about that is pretentious? A numbering system does not have to be taken at face value.

People are attracted to numbers and the idea of a "top something", and so I did that while adding a disclaimer.
Again, you assume I didn't read something before I posted but in fact I did. The pretentious part is that someone thinks they know enough about these pieces to offer an even approximate ranking. It's probably true that people are attracted to a top 100 listing but even with a disclaimer I find the title is misleading or even dishonest.


I admit that it's a fraudulent title, if that's what helps you sleep at night. Looks like your making a criticism over something relatively minute, I say just enjoy the content.

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