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What do you think is the most difficult of this pieces

Balakirev Islamey Opus 18
5 (16.1%)
Liszt Fantasy On La Clochette
1 (3.2%)
Liszt Fantasy On Spanish Themes
1 (3.2%)
Liszt Réminiscences de Don Juan
3 (9.7%)
Liszt Rondo Fantastique "El Contrabandista"
4 (12.9%)
Liszt Transcendental Étude No.4 "Mazeppa"
4 (12.9%)
Liszt Transcendental Étude No.5 "Feux Follets"
2 (6.5%)
Liszt/Horowitz Hungarian Rhapsody No.2
1 (3.2%)
Ravel Gaspard de La Nuit
4 (12.9%)
Stravinsky Trois Mouvements de Pétrouchka
6 (19.4%)

Total Members Voted: 12



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Topic: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)  (Read 3324 times)

Offline joseffy

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Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
on: November 28, 2017, 12:44:01 PM
I know this has been asked a million of times, but I made this one based on the generally believed to be the most difficult pieces in the repertoire.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 12:46:16 PM
How about Brahms Variations on a theme by Paganini???

Offline joseffy

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 12:48:40 PM
How about Brahms Variations on a theme by Paganini???

I know this is a very difficult piece, but I don't think it's on the same level of the others above mentioned.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 02:58:40 PM
No Alkan?

I've a recollection that the Horowitz version of the HR2 rewrites the lh to make it sound more spectacular whilst in fact simplifying it.
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Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 03:01:21 PM
And tbh I think the Tausig Halka fantasy is probably harder than Don Juan. The Liszt Sonnambula is harder too I think, as is the Tarantelle di bravoure. Personal opinion though!
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Offline pianopro181

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #5 on: February 19, 2024, 09:18:42 PM
No Godowsky?

Offline ravelfan07

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #6 on: February 20, 2024, 09:17:37 PM
Either:
Reminisces de Lucretia Borgia, Liszt
Concord Sonata by Ives
Or the Beethoven’s ninth symphony transcription by Liszt
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Offline ravelfan07

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #7 on: February 20, 2024, 09:22:45 PM
Either:
Reminisces de Lucretia Borgia, Liszt
Concord Sonata by Ives
Or the Beethoven’s ninth symphony transcription by Liszt
Rating those pieces (with Chopin’s Ballade no 4 being 1 to differentiate them better)
All from a technical basis
1. 9
2. Not sure
3. 8 or 9
4. Not sure
5. 6, if not 5 (still very hard, just not on the same level as everything else here)
6. 9
7. Probably on the same level as Chopin’s Ballade no 4, if not slightly harder, 1 - 2ish
8. 6 - 7, very difficult, however often overstated
Since the main hard parts are the middle section of Scarbo and the finale of Ondine
9. Not sure
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Online liszt-and-the-galops

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #8 on: February 21, 2024, 08:17:17 PM
Where are the galops from Liszt?
Where is Sorabji?
Anyways, my top 3 are
3: Gaspard
2: Galop in A Minor
1: Symphonic Variations for Piano (Sorabji piece that's never been performed, lasts ~8.5 hours)
Obviously, there exists no definitive answer.
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Offline transitional

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #9 on: February 21, 2024, 10:23:46 PM
Where are the galops from Liszt?
Where is Sorabji?
Anyways, my top 3 are
3: Gaspard
2: Galop in A Minor
1: Symphonic Variations for Piano (Sorabji piece that's never been performed, lasts ~8.5 hours)
Obviously, there exists no definitive answer.
Galop in A Minor definitely seems like a really hard piece. However, if I were to learn it, I would probably play it at like 120 bpm (not presto lol) and then say it's just moderately difficult. Still really really hard at tempo
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Online liszt-and-the-galops

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #10 on: February 26, 2024, 03:58:14 PM
Galop in A Minor definitely seems like a really hard piece. However, if I were to learn it, I would probably play it at like 120 bpm (not presto lol) and then say it's just moderately difficult. Still really really hard at tempo
That defeats the point.
The entire point of "hardest piece" threads like these is how hard they are to play as they were written. If we're allowed to reduce tempo, I can reduce the tempo of double thirds to 60 bpm and adjust the key to an easier one, then do the exact opposite for the other chopin etudes. By doing that, you can easily come to the conclusion that Double Thirds is the easiest Chopin etude by far, even when this is agreed universally to be untrue.
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Offline transitional

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #11 on: February 26, 2024, 10:16:30 PM
That defeats the point.
The entire point of "hardest piece" threads like these is how hard they are to play as they were written. If we're allowed to reduce tempo, I can reduce the tempo of double thirds to 60 bpm and adjust the key to an easier one, then do the exact opposite for the other chopin etudes. By doing that, you can easily come to the conclusion that Double Thirds is the easiest Chopin etude by far, even when this is agreed universally to be untrue.
Definitely. I just thought that I'd mention that part of its difficulty is its rapid fast tempo, because it is definitely simple compared to many "hard pieces". I'm just suggesting that it's a practical performance speed, if one finds the indicated "presto" too hard, to play it at a moderately fast speed like 152 bpm which can make the piece still work if interpreted well. This definitely worked for Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. But if we take away this factor, yes, it's a very, very, very difficult piece. I think these kinds of questions are still really up to interpretation, but this is definitely quite important when defining the "most difficult piece".
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Online liszt-and-the-galops

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Re: Most Difficult Piece (Definitive)
Reply #12 on: February 27, 2024, 05:35:04 PM
It is definitely simple compared to many "hard pieces".
I would somewhat disagree, but to each their own.
if one finds the indicated "presto" too hard, to play it at a moderately fast speed like 152 bpm
What I was trying to get across is that that shouldn't be considered in difficulty discussions unless the person who is saying that has played the piece that they're referencing. In that case, it's a valid point that adds information.
yes, it's a very, very, very difficult piece when you take tempo into account. I think these kinds of questions are still really up to interpretation.
I think basically anyone can agree with that lol.
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