POLL: Hardest Liszt piece

NEW EDIT: I’m going to narrow down the most frequently mentioned options here and going to put a poll accordingly. Please pick your choice of what you think is the most difficult; if none of those are, just pick the last option and perhaps comment on what you think is the hardest.

    1. Beethoven Symphony No. 9 transcription
    1. Berlioz Symphonique Fantastique transcription
    1. Grosse Konzertsolo uber Spanische weisen, S. 253
    1. Tannhauser Overture
    1. Lucrezia Borgia fantasy
    1. Sonnambula fantasy
    1. Scherzo und Marsch
    1. None of the above: comment your choice.

0 voters

Okay, so after a little Internet research, I’ve narrowed down the vast Liszt rep to the few that seem to be common contenders for “hardest Liszt piece”.

It is to be organised into two areas: Short Pieces (those under 10 minutes) and Long pieces (10m-1hr).

However, a third option will be added which will consider the hardest regardless of length.

I’d like to know which of you here think is his most difticult work, in each area. You may also rank them from easiest to hardest if you like.

  1. Short Pieces (1-10m)
  • Paganini etude no. 4b (1838)
  • Paganini erude no. 6 (1838)
  • Feux Follets (1837)
  • Wilde Jagd (1837)
  • Rocket (no. 2, 1837)
  • Mazeppa (1837)
  • Chasse Neige (1837)
  • Etude No. 10 (1837)
  • El Contrabandista
  • La muette de portici Tarantella
  • Scherzo und Marsch (Leslie Howard is said to have stated this as his hardest original work)
  • Grand galop chromatique (harder version)
  1. Longer Pieces (10+ minutes)
  • La Clochette
  • Don Juan fantasy
  • Fantasy on Don Juan and Figaro
  • Norma fantasy
  • I Puritani
  • Great Spanish Concert Solo (S. 253)
  • Les Huguenots fantasy
  • Sonnambula fantasy
  • Lucrezia Borgia fantasy
  • Sonata in b minor (not all claim this as the hardest but often cite its length)
  • Beethoven Symphony 9 transcription
  • Hexaneron
  • Tannhauser overture transcriptipn
  • Berlioz symphonic fantastique transcription
  1. All pieces - what is the hardest amongst all of them? Or the ranking?


P.S. pls. tell me if I missed out on anythig.

Tannhauser Overture
Berlioz-Liszt Symphonie Fantastique

Grand Galop (without simplifications and played PRESTO)

Grosse Konzertfantasie über spanische Weisen, S.253

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Not familiar with all those pieces, but the ones that look the most unplayable are the Spanish fantasy and the 4th movement of the Beethoven 9th symphony

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Hexameron merits consideration, though it’s not remotely 100% Liszt of course. Quite nasty though, as everyone bar Chopin basically tried to get one up on the others.

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Of the things I’ve played, would definitely vote for the Scherzo and March, it’s very awkward.


You consider the Grosse as the hardest? I wanna know why. I’ve seen some people pick this as the hardest though for some reason Leslie Howard didn’t mention it when he was asked this question.

Edited the OP for the extra left-outs.

Also are there no poll options here? I wanted to make surveys lol.

How can I also obtain the pdf of the harder galop? Can’t seem to find it. The one Cziffra played uberfast was the simpler one right?

Probably OG FF tied with Paget 4b

Hardest long liszt piece this abortion of a piece tru right YouTube


it is hard to say what is the hardest, so many of his works are damn hard.

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REZPEC yo inquirin mind n obviouz fervah fo ZPEED n FURY


becuz da LEZBO zed zo…

iz not generally cuntzidahed a valid argument on da SDC :sunglasses:


Why not??

The leszbo brain more impressive than his fingers. Also his recs mysteriously sometimes not recorded at any place or time hmm (conspiracy)


anotha :hatto: ???

What does that last statement mean?

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This guy has a really strange method of playing octaves

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In as much as if actual hatto with cancer did the recs :sunglasses:


Hmm…that’s too bad. I mean he played all those neglected “unplayable” early works lol. But somehow, I sensed this coming, lol!!!

So he’s to be added to my list of “Eccentric Controversial pianists”.

  1. BachScholar
  2. Richard Kastle
  3. Glenn Gould (eccentric but not as controversial)
  4. Leslie Howard
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On the whole I love the lezbo for introducing me to lots of liszt stuff btw… the forum a bit loose!


tru, diz forum iz a bit INZANE courtesy of :tm:


Missing out Norma Fantasy is weak sauce


Tru but I feel lyk tiz zuch gud muzic mofoz iz more willing to figure out da imzane difficultiez :doc:

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