Hardest piece you've played.

Chop 2 Zon and Ligetz Autumne a Varsovie for me.

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I only play since I can’t resist really, and have never polished anything up to the level required for concert performance, but the works I’ve learnt but never managed to get to a level where I get some satisfaction from playing them would be Stravinsky’s Danse Russe, Alkan’s 20s from the Piano Sonata and maybe Liszt’s first two transcendentals. I’ve had those two fuckers in my fingers since I was 16, and I can play them in tempo, but especially the first one I’ve never managed to make sound the way I want it to.

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I don’t think I’ve ever managed to make anything sound the way I wanted it too haha
I got 2 weeks notice by the orchestra to do Petroushka - couldn’t really say no but that solo in the Russian Dance is the most terrifying thing ever!
Stravinsky thoughts - hmm…let’s give the pianist 8 bars rest then have him burst on the scene with a bloody hard solo right after a page turn…

Actually the Liszt might have fallen in place over the years without me even noticing. I just went down to the piano to try it and… well it sure as hell isn’t good, but it’s not as musically crippled as I thought it was.


The Petrushka was so long ago that I don’t even remember what I found difficult in it, but I remember I really sat down and practised it for weeks, but I just couldn’t get it spinning. And there it wasn’t about getting the music “right”, it was simply about hitting the notes. I remember there’s a fiendishly difficult LH passage in La Semaine Grasse too which I excerpted as a technical exercise to play with at the time, but I never got anywhere with that either, and never learned the movement.

I think the hardest thing I’ve gotten to performance level was the Waldstein.
It was a lot more work than I expected, although this is when my dystonia first started to appear which probably added to the difficulty.

Hardest thing I’ve tried to play was probably the last movement of the Alkan Symphonie. Caused a lot of problems and I had issues with the broken fourths which I feel were largely down to it being an “unnatural” interval, ie I would have been fine with thirds. I can’t say I got it near performance level and tbh I find it harder than :pimp: DJ.

Hardest thing allowed out in public with any degree of regularity - :ziff: trovatore. And even then I did frequently wonder why the fuck am I doing this to myself?

Alkan is incredibly difficult. I’ve never looked at the Symphony, but the first movement of the piano sonata has one of the hardest passages I’ve ever seen in piano (the leaps just before the first repeat). Though I’ve noticed this is highly personal too. Another “hardest passage I’ve seen” is in the 2nd mvt of Liszt’s transcription of the Pastoral symphony, but when I showed it to a friend here who’s a professional pianist he played it immediately at sight. “Is this it? Gosh yes, very difficult”. &#%#%#…

Yeah I suspect it’s the case that some passages aren’t uniformly difficult. My teacher told me a story that when :orgy: was living with Kovacevic (or Bishop, or whatever his name was at the time), he’d been practicing all morning a tricky passage in a :brotha: sonata and finally she’d had enough and said “it goes like this” or words to that effect, as she sightread it…

Hardest things I’ve ever performed are Beethoven Op. 81 and Rach Etudes-tableaux Op. 39/3 and 39/5. The hardest thing I’ve ever played, but not performed, is the Dante Sonata. These were all recorded, so I may one day share.

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da winnzboro cotton mill bluez da mozt unpianiztic zheeyat evah put onto a piano when da handz cum togethah fo da COTTON GIN RUMBLAH :dong:

Hehe, I can imagine that happens a lot if you live with Argerich too. But in general I guess it’s simply a matter of what you’re good at. The Alkan passage I mentioned with the leaps is one I think will be difficult for anyone no matter what - it’s completely beyond me how Libetta does it the way he does - whereas the Liszt passage is actually in a slow section, but there’s a lot going on simultaneously and you have to do effortless trills and ornaments with awkward fingers while at the same time playing parts of both a melody and an accompaniment which is shared between the hands (or so I remember it). If you’ve got the finger dexterity for it it probably doesn’t require that much practise, whereas if you don’t… acquiring that can take years and years of work.

Chris - please do post Rach 39#3 when you feel brave. I’ve played that one as well (very poorly) so I know what’s to it, and the thread is about works we’ve only barely or never managed to master anyway. If you submit these and play them perfectly I’d take offense. :pimp:

Chopzon 2 tied with complete scribets op 8 (playing da whole set is a giant pain in da ass, hardest one is 8/10)

And op 111 aka da mothafucka

Fur elise. :unamused:


Official request submitted 8)

Waldstein is one hard motherfucker truuuu!

I’m surprised by the Chopin nominations to honest. I’ve heard earlier too it’s supposed to be really difficult, and I’ve never looked at it, but it doesn’t sound that hard? What’s the thing with it? Awkward writing, or?

It was so super awkward for me.
The textures don’t balance themselves.
Fortes naturally sound clangy and ugly, not enough doublings.
The first page of the 2nd sonata and parts of the scherzo were so hard for moi.

Maybe now that my dick has tripled in length and quadrupled in girth, maybe I should reattempt da fucker.

Bach-Busoni chaconne was also fuckin HELL

Ah I see. So not the mechanics, but hard to make it sound good.

And also the larger stretches. Same applies with the Chaconne… also, some of the bass writing was overly thick in the Chaconne… ugh, sounded naturally loud, unbalanced, hard to keep the pedal clean and an overall pain in the ass.

I want to bring it back and finally dominate it.
I used to program those 2 motherfuckers back to back. Rape.
People probably wuz like - who is this amateur?

Chop Op 10/2, 28/3 (at decent speed) and Ravel Ondine. Still working on them.