Everyone knows what a great piano piece sounds like. There are like thousands of awesome pieces we’ve heard from famous classical pianists: Charles-Valentin Alkan, Martha Argeric, Maurice Ravel, just to name a few. These artists have been creating stunning classical pieces from the past centuries. They are such masters, they have also been creating notoriously difficult pieces that may be impossible to play for mere beginners or even experienced players. Here are three of those classical hard-to-play pieces:
3 Piano Sonata No. 1 (Rachmaninoff)
After a numerous revisions and substantial cuts made at the advice of his colleagues, Sergei Rachmaninoff completed “A Piano Sonata in D minor” on April 11, 1908. It received a lukewarm response in Moscow on October 17, 1908, where Konstantin Igumnov premiered the piece. Itremains one of the more underperformed of Rachmaninoff’s works. The piece has 3 movements and takes about 35 minutes to perform. The sonata is structured like a typical classical sonata, with fast movements surrounding a slower, more tender second movement. Although this first sonata is a substantial and comprehensive work, its successor, Piano Sonata No. 2 (Op. 36), written only five years later, became the better-regarded and more enduring work.
Transcendental Étude No. 5 (Liszt)
Franz Liszt, the composer of the Feux follets piece has went through three versions: The first is Étude en douze exercises from 1826, second is Douze études d’execution transcendentale from 1838, and the last one is the 1851 revision of the 1838 set. The difficult piece is the last version from 1851, and it is also the on that is most performed.It is a trimmed down and refined edit of the 1838 version. Its rapid double-note passages in the right hand accompanied by wide broken intervals in the left that are notoriously difficult to play.
Gaspard de la nuit
And probably, one of the most hard-to-play classical piano piece is Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit. The piece was written in 1908, with three movements that are based from a poem of Aloysius Bertrand. Why it became number one on this list? Simply because the piece became famous due to its movement, technical and profound musical structure.
Many of these classical pieces are played by masters on expensive pianos that are top of the line. Playing classical pieces sound best when performing on Grand Pianos and players are often only as good as the pianos they use to play so often players will rely on piano rental rather than purchasing their own significantly expensive pianos. Leave your favorite hard-to-play piano piece in the comments.