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Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915819
05/16/03 05:59 PM
05/16/03 05:59 PM
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Valarking, they composed it to advance music and the technique of the piano, not to satisfiy mediocre pianists who cannot play them. It has been like this for a long time, Beethoven's sonatas were obviously too difficut for the bulk of performers during his time, as well as ours. If no one bothers to compose transcendental music, we will always be playing the samething, which is very musically boring. (Try composing a sonata in the style of Mozart for any reason besides learning, you will see that new styles are a must for modern composers, and with those styles come new techniques.)

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Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915820
05/16/03 06:45 PM
05/16/03 06:45 PM
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Mr. Gould Offline
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I have realized that whenever this Topic is presented no one really comes up with a definitive answer! So come on guys, lets all agree on one piece. I have no idea what it is, and even if I did say something the more advanced pianists would disagree. cool

Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915821
05/16/03 06:47 PM
05/16/03 06:47 PM
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Renauda Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by valarking:
[QUOTE]You have to ask yourself, why did any of them either bother composing it at all?
True enough, but as Crash has pointed out it was not to satisfy mediocre pianists. I suspect that in Villa-Lobos' case, he did not know how difficult the piece was being that he could could barely manage the instrument. Also he had a recognized virtuouso in mind when he wrote it. Have you heard it? It is perhaps the most violent piece of music, other than perhaps Galina Ustvolskaya's 6th sonata, I have ever heard for piano. Its really worth a listen if you can get a copy of either of those discs (the Hamelin disc is quite common) that I mentioned.

As for Sorabji, he was on a different planet or dimensional universe. He intentionally wrote difficult music so that mediocrities, or what he considered to be mediocrities, could not play it. Very interesting person to say the least. Over the years his music has grown on me and I enjoy it very much.

You may be surprised but another set of fiendishly difficult pieces of music are Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues. Although I would not necessarily rate them as being in "the most difficult" category they are not for the weak of technique and demand a very highly developed sense of pianism and musicality in order to be comprehensible. Their difficulty, like all great music, lies in their subletly and simplicity of form.


"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae
Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915822
05/16/03 07:02 PM
05/16/03 07:02 PM
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I find the piano music of Charles Ives very difficult. At least I know I CAN play things like Chopin Studies, Mazeppa, Islamey (if I ever finish relearning it!), admittedly not to concert standard - perhaps they need dexterity but at least they're all in homogeneous, conventional patterns. Ives wrote for the sound and not at all for the sake of difficulty, but for this very reason, and because his music is so personal, it's still beyond me to grasp it. I love listening to it, but playing it - I still haven't caught the bus.

In trotting out the same conventional but physically taxing pieces of the romantic repertoire as the most difficult we tend to forget that certain areas of piano music are so special they need, in the long run, much more effort than it takes to learn a Liszt study. At the moment I am memorising Waller's "Gladyse". To me it's a joy because I've played many things like that for many years. But to somebody trained solely in classical music I imagine the rhythmic problems would be formidable.

In short, difficulty concerns many things aside from physical dexterity.


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley
Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915823
05/16/03 09:05 PM
05/16/03 09:05 PM
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Canada
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My vote goes for the left hand godowsky etudes.
Especially the one based on op 25 no 2. Eighth note triplets in the right hand and Quarter note triplets in the left.


♪♫♪♫
Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915824
05/16/03 09:30 PM
05/16/03 09:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
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Okemos, MI
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Quote
It is perhaps the most violent piece of music
eek Anyone have an mp3 or midi link? I want to hear this. The word "violent" makes me think of Ginastera.

I'm a Philistine. Are we talking about the guitar guy Villa-Lobos?


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
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Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915825
05/16/03 09:54 PM
05/16/03 09:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 59
hongkong
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Quote
Originally posted by Classical Player:
I have realized that whenever this Topic is presented no one really comes up with a definitive answer! So come on guys, lets all agree on one piece. I have no idea what it is, and even if I did say something the more advanced pianists would disagree. cool
Let's do in 2 stage,

Stage 1

nominate some difficult pieces in a week.(may be limit to 10 pieces).

Stage 2

start a new thread for voting.

agree??

Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915826
05/16/03 10:02 PM
05/16/03 10:02 PM
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Renauda Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by gryphon:
[QUOTE] eek Anyone have an mp3 or midi link? I want to hear this. The word "violent" makes me think of Ginastera...I'm a Philistine. Are we talking about the guitar guy Villa-Lobos?
The one and the same guy! And Ginastera is a lot like Villa -Lobos; how's that for reframing a question? As for an mp3 link I can't help- I'm barley past word processing. laugh


"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae
Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915827
05/16/03 10:33 PM
05/16/03 10:33 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,001
California
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My nominations:
Sonata in Bminor, La Campanella
Gaspard de la nuit-scarbo Ravel
Rachmaninoff Concerto 3
Beethoven Hammerklavier
Godowsky Studies on Chopin Etudes


"If music be the food of love, play on." -William Shakespeare
Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915828
05/16/03 11:13 PM
05/16/03 11:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 646
Los Angeles
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Solo pieces:

Godowsky: Sonata in E minor (Technically about the level of the Rach. concertos. Musically extremely difficult, due to the diversity of material)

Godowsky: Prelude and Fugue (on the B.A.C.H. theme) for the left hand only (Hamelin says it is technically more difficult than the Godowsky sonata) That oughta score pretty high smile

Scriabin: Sonata No7 (following the score faithfully, and playing this piece musically)

oh and how bout the Schumann Toccata (you need octopuses instead of hands to play that @#$%) smile

For concertos I vote for

Prokofiev 2 (that 4th movement, man! can you believe it is possible to play that at tempo?)

Of course there will always be harder pieces, but it's always fun to name difficult pieces that impress us. It gives us something to think about. A goal to aim for.


"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."
Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915829
05/16/03 11:32 PM
05/16/03 11:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 902
Philly, PA
PianoMuse Offline
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I'd put in a vote for the Prokofiev 2nd concerto as well...that thing is a BEAST...and not only physcially taxing, but emotionally very draining.


"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff
Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915830
05/17/03 12:20 AM
05/17/03 12:20 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 3,974
Seattle, Washington, USA
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Quote
Originally posted by shantinik:
Cage's 4:33. (At least for my daughter -- she could NEVER manage it. wink )
laugh lol, I don't think that I could either at times. laugh


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Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915831
05/17/03 10:51 AM
05/17/03 10:51 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
New York City
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Quote
Originally posted by shantinik:
Cage's 4:33. (At least for my daughter -- she could NEVER manage it. wink )
I have my daughter practice this one in short sections, put them together, and after a lot of patient work, she can "play" it perfectly!

Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915832
05/17/03 11:33 AM
05/17/03 11:33 AM
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New York City
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Quote
Originally posted by nickyg:
Horowitzs Carmen Variations are certainly pretty tricky, while maybe not the most difficult ever it is certainly the most flashy and show-offy.
IMO the Carmen Variatons are among the easier (relatively speaking) and least flashy of the Horowitz transcriptons.

Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915833
05/17/03 11:48 AM
05/17/03 11:48 AM
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Posts: 5,814
McAllen, TX
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Brendan Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
IMO the Carmen Variations are among the easier (relatively speaking) and least flashy of the Horowitz transcriptions.
He makes it sound easy, but I guarantee that it's not. Executing double notes pp at 120 isn't easy for many people.

Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915834
05/17/03 01:05 PM
05/17/03 01:05 PM
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Posts: 13
Singapore
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TOOL Offline
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the hardest piece is....to play the same jazz piano number and REPEAT it note-for-note later! I have great respect for jazz pianists who tend to be creative smile

didn't play enough to know what is truly difficult, but rather than giving up on a difficult piece altogether, I usually find myself getting stuck in a few small parts or phrases that just seem impossible to me...


I love Chopin!
Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915835
05/17/03 06:45 PM
05/17/03 06:45 PM
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New York City
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Quote
Originally posted by Brendan:
Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
[b]IMO the Carmen Variations are among the easier (relatively speaking) and least flashy of the Horowitz transcriptions.
He makes it sound easy, but I guarantee that it's not. Executing double notes pp at 120 isn't easy for many people.[/b]
But don't you think it's easier than his transcriptions of Hungarian Rhapsodie No.2,
Rakoczy March, Dance Macabre, Wedding March, and Stars and Stripes?

Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915836
05/17/03 08:32 PM
05/17/03 08:32 PM
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England
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Actually, I think Liszt made the Saint-Saens transcription.

Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915837
05/17/03 11:51 PM
05/17/03 11:51 PM
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Posts: 3,919
Chicago, IL USA
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Quote
Originally posted by Brendan:
Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
[b]IMO the Carmen Variations are among the easier (relatively speaking) and least flashy of the Horowitz transcriptions.
He makes it sound easy, but I guarantee that it's not. Executing double notes pp at 120 isn't easy for many people.[/b]
It's easy for me. In fact, if I play the entire piece for you, I'm sure you'll agree it has been executed! smile (Where do I get all these terrible jokes from, anyway?)


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: Most Difficult Piano PIece? #915838
05/18/03 06:38 AM
05/18/03 06:38 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Praetorian_AD:
Actually, I think Liszt made the Saint-Saens transcription.
And then Horowitz revised/added to etc.the Liszt transcription. When Horowitz plays this piece, it's listed as being by Saint-Saens/Liszt/Horowitz.

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