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Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement (Read 26800 times)

Offline davidjosepha

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Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
« on: April 10, 2011, 05:40:27 PM »
I've heard that Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto is extraordinarily difficult. I was wondering if that is every movement, or if one in particular is much more difficult, or anything. I know the first is quite long. Could someone tell me the order of difficulty of the three movements, and how much more difficult the most difficult is than the second most, and least. Thanks!

piano sheet music of Piano Concerto 1


Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 05:56:12 PM »
the first one is exactly 10 more difficult than the second. The second is this much *measure with my arms, like a child* harder than the third and the this is 366(days of each 4th year)multiplicated with the fingers on a sailor who was bitten by a shark minus all the homosexuals in the Eurovision song contest. Then you add pi (3,141592....). That is, exactly how difficult it is.

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 09:51:37 PM »
Davidjosepha, it has some physically taxing moments definitely, and if one is not proficient enough in those areas (for example, fast octaves, quick arpeggios, dense chordal textures, etc.) it would seem like quite a struggle.

However, I have practiced it (before deciding that I didn't like it and didn't want to play it for now) and cannot fathom it being harder than Brahms 1 and 2, Prokofiev 2 and 3 (or 4 or 5), Rachmaninoff 3 (probably not 2 either), Beethoven 4, Saint-Saens 4 and 5, etc. If you have the chops to play the demanding parts, then it should come together very easily.

Maybe it's around the level of Liszt E flat?

And also, I've heard the first movement is more difficult than the other two.

Personally, I don't think this concerto is quite as good as the reputation it has gathered.

Offline joao975ca

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #3 on: April 10, 2011, 10:04:49 PM »
It is not as hard as it looks like!  ;)
Try it for yourself!
Working on:
Bach - Toccata in f sharp minor, BWV 910
Beethoven - Sonata op.57, "Appassionata"
Liszt - "Après une lecture du Dante"
Tchaikovsky - Concerto 1

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 10:28:21 PM »
Personally, I don't think this concerto is quite as good as the reputation it has gathered.

I am with you on that one man.

Thal
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Concerto Preservation Society

Offline invictious

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 01:07:49 AM »
If you just play the first theme that everyone loves (not for the piano part), ie the opening Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso, then I think  no, it is not too difficult. Otherwise, the rest of it seems very difficult.
Bach - Partita No.2
Scriabin - Etude 8/12
Debussy - L'isle Joyeuse
Liszt - Un Sospiro

Goal:
Prokofiev - Toccata

>LISTEN<

Offline richterfan1

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 07:18:37 AM »
Cadenza in 1st movement before "fight between piano and orchestra" is dificult, 3rd movement is hard, especially famous scales  ;), concerto is WONDERFUL, most beautiful romantic concerto 4 sure :)

Offline aintgotnorhythm

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 09:57:39 AM »
There is a great recording of this by Yevgeny Sudbin - in his notes to the recording Sudbin writes that parts of the 2nd movement were more difficult than the cadenza in the 3rd.

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 02:43:06 PM »
I am with you on that one man.

Thal

Honestly, I feel he did have something good going on in the beginning. Sure, it is in the "Tchaikovsky" style which I am personally not a huge fan of (he's not one of my favorite composers in general), but I can respect that he had something good going in the beginning. However, the rest of the concerto just seems like rambling and sub-par piano writing. It just seems to be faster and faster chords/octaves and arpeggios to make it seem difficult. I still feel Brahms 1 is superior in all ways, and that is why I declined learning Tchaikovsky 1 to learn Brahms 1 instead. (Although you may not like that concerto, either.)

Offline argerichfan

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 04:29:22 PM »
I am with you on that one man.
Count me in too. But to express anything less than rapture for the piece (along with Rach 3) would be tantamount to suicide on PW.

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #10 on: April 11, 2011, 05:48:27 PM »
Hi argerichfan! I temporarily deactivated my FB for Lent, and it will be back up on Easter, as well as using PW again. (I find that I don't waste as much time here, so I decided to stay here.)

Rach 3... I haven't listened to any Rachmaninoff concerti in a long time, and I will probably come back to them one of these days.

Same with Tchaikovsky, but I'll probably have to endure hearing many students play it this summer. BTW I'm going to PM you, because I have some news for you that you will like!  :D

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #11 on: April 11, 2011, 06:47:19 PM »
Count me in too. But to express anything less than rapture for the piece (along with Rach 3) would be tantamount to suicide on PW.

Oh good, then I must do so.

I am having a little bit of fun on PW at the moment.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline argerichfan

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #12 on: April 11, 2011, 07:25:38 PM »
Oh good, then I must do so.

I am having a little bit of fun on PW at the moment.
Well throw in a swipe at Rach 3 whilst you're at it. Then watch all hell break loose...

People treat Rach 3 as if it's some kind of Ark of the Covenant.

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #13 on: April 11, 2011, 07:31:56 PM »
the first one is exactly 10 more difficult than the second. The second is this much *measure with my arms, like a child* harder than the third and the this is 366(days of each 4th year)multiplicated with the fingers on a sailor who was bitten by a shark minus all the homosexuals in the Eurovision song contest. Then you add pi (3,141592....). That is, exactly how difficult it is.

Obviously you have never heard of the legendary Dvorph system, an invention by Nicco, introduced on PS a while ago.

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=20353.0

;D

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #14 on: April 11, 2011, 07:43:11 PM »
LOL! xD

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #15 on: April 11, 2011, 08:31:34 PM »
Thanks for the replies, they helped a lot. I wasn't actually thinking of playing it. I've just heard recordings and watched videos, and I hear everywhere about how difficult it is, but it seems to me that it sounds a lot harder than it actually is (although I'm sure it's still quite difficult). The responses helped.

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #16 on: April 11, 2011, 09:59:43 PM »
Thanks for the replies, they helped a lot. I wasn't actually thinking of playing it. I've just heard recordings and watched videos, and I hear everywhere about how difficult it is, but it seems to me that it sounds a lot harder than it actually is (although I'm sure it's still quite difficult). The responses helped.

I share the same opinion that you do.  ;)

And argerichfan, I'm not in love with Rach 3, but I don't hate it (to tell you truth, I really just don't listen to it, haha). But at the end of the day, I will ALWAYS regard it as a better piece than Tchaik 1.  ;)

But Rach 3 vs. Brahms 1 or Brahms 2? No competition in my books.

Offline argerichfan

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #17 on: April 12, 2011, 03:59:24 AM »
And argerichfan, I'm not in love with Rach 3, but I don't hate it ...
I don't hate it either, but a certain member of PW thinks it the greatest concerto ever written.

Greater concertos than Rach 3:

Most of Mozart
ALL of Beethoven and Brahms
Liszt Eb
Busoni
Rachmaninov 2
Prokofiev 3

After that I'll find time for Rach 3, let's have at it.   

 

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #18 on: April 12, 2011, 02:35:49 PM »
I don't hate it either, but a certain member of PW thinks it the greatest concerto ever written.
 

Surprise? ;) Most of my friends think it's the greatest concerto ever written, haha. And so do plenty of others at PW. I just smile my head and nod and keep enjoying Brahms and Busoni. And I am starting to enjoy Prokofiev more and more, particularly 2 and 3. (I know who you are talking about, by the way).

By the way, you forgot Saint-Saens 4 and 5.  ;)

Offline cmg

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #19 on: April 12, 2011, 03:20:48 PM »
Weird piece, really, the Tchaikovsky First.  It sounds effective and nearly profound, Lord knows, when someone like Argerich plays it, for whom there is not one note that troubles her formidable technique.  But learning it was one of the worst experiences I've ever had.  Lousy key to read in, all those stupid diminished arpeggios with fingerings to figure out, those tedious and tiring octaves and that perfectly perverse cadenza with all those right hand leaps.  Please.  The piece is not a Fun Zone.  Rach 2 is MUCH easier.  Rach 3, well, I don't dare mention it for fear of a terrorist attack.
Current repertoire:  "Come to Jesus" (in whole-notes)

Offline argerichfan

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #20 on: April 12, 2011, 05:09:20 PM »
By the way, you forgot Saint-Saens 4 and 5.  ;)
Indeed I did. Oh the perfidy. Are you still going to learn the 4th?

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #21 on: April 13, 2011, 02:26:59 AM »
Indeed I did. Oh the perfidy. Are you still going to learn the 4th?

Sooner or later, but I don't foresee it happening this summer or through my sophomore year (though I may sneak it in next spring... It is a HARD HARD piece! At least, for me.)

Offline argerichfan

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Re: Difficulty of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto by Movement
«Reply #22 on: April 13, 2011, 04:57:10 AM »
Sooner or later, but I don't foresee it happening this summer or through my sophomore year (though I may sneak it in next spring... It is a HARD HARD piece! At least, for me.)
It's quite athletic, believe me, I know! But I shouldn't think it harder than the Brahms D minor.