The Most Difficult Piano Pieces of All Time (Ft. Sophie)

添加 2021年07月 4日
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  • What is Brett doing

  • Such a shame Sophie didn’t show the part where Scarbo was insane, just the intro

  • And the hardest piece on piano is… Animenz’s cover of Unravel

  • Eddy :O Brett: -_-

  • Scriabin's sonata no.5 is REALLY difficult

  • Sophie: "So this is a hard piece" Brett: "Whoa, how does he/she do that?" Eddy: "Dayuuuuuuum"

  • Personally, I think La Campanella is harder than Don Juan, but both are great choices.

  • We love Sophie so much that the video didn't reach to 50k likes :D

  • I'm surprised she didn't mention Chopin at all. His "etudes", some solo compositions and the piano concerto seem very difficult.

  • No Scriabin or Prokofiev! That's some bullshit.

  • Thinking outside the box, I read that there are a few manufacturers who make pianos with narrower keyboards which helps people with smaller hands who want to reach those really large chords.

  • Where is La Campanella in the list..? 🙂

  • 4:09 why is Brett's left hand bigger than his right

  • Cziffra

  • Wait why are Brett and eddy quarantining? Quarantine started over a year ago why are they just now starting?

  • I'm glad she put in that Schubert Sonata -- it's good to remind people that "simple" can be really hard. It's why I like almost everything of Erik Satie: reduce the complexity and all you're left with is your interpretation of what is, on the surface, simple; technically simple and anything but straightforward. In particular what I love is that I can have 5 different performances of one set in my collection (2 by the same performer) and each is so different I can listen to one after another as different pieces of music rather than trying to compare each performance.

  • waht about transendial etude

  • Any of the player piano canons from Colon Nancarrow win, not because of their complexity, but because some of them (like #25) have ratios composed of irrational numbers. #25 has a ratio of e:pi at the first part, with the second having a ratio of (e:pi):(e:pi). Humans can't play it. Machines have a hard time dealing with it because irrational units of time cannot be represented.

  • whaat about u.n was her lol

  • The problem with Erlkonig for pianists is that it's the worst combination of being very hard and very popular.

  • 22:24!

  • Bartok’s 2nd piano concerto?

  • Man, everyone loves on Beethoven's 4th piano concerto but the 3rd is one of my favorite pieces ever.

  • shoutout to my singing teacher who let me sing the Erlkönig, knowing he'd have to accompany me

  • oh he is enjoying this

  • istg editor-san really knows how to make funny points with those little edits

  • I love her honesty .

  • I wonder what their reaction when they heard about Alkan piano pieces-

  • 12:03 it's Brett and Eddie's synchronous head tilt, for me

  • Were is alkan

  • High praise to Sophie for the selections and commentary. Insightful, even-handed, immune to critical pettiness, personally voiced yet without ego, eminently practical. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  • PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *NEVER* open with "wassuuuuuuuup?" Help fight the ubiquitous monoculture.

  • All three are talking but contributing nothing.

  • The most difficult piece is John Cage’s 4’33

  • Me, while watching : ......this is why I play piano in a cafe.

  • Just try playing "Symphony and Concerto for solo piano" by Charles Alkan.. or his Trois Grandes Etudes Op. 76.. And then Iannis Xenakis - Evryali, which is IMHO impossible to remember, it's just some random stuff on the keys.. :D

    • @Piflaser lmao

    • The hardest pieces are the Mozart sonatas.

    • @Hermann Schaefer no, because there are harder pieces. Like the 6 hour Sonata (Opus Archimagicum) by Sorabji or Tract by Barrett or Erikhthon by Xenakis

    • @NotMusicTheory Just because Hamelin played them?

    • These are hard, but not the hardest pieces ever

  • Talking about difficult piano pieces without mentioning Boulez is kind of weird. And how about ''La Fauvette des Jardins'' and ''Opus clavicembalisticum''? You were right about ''Gaspard de la Nuit'', though. I enjoyed this video. And I went to discover more about Sophie and then saw her playing with her sister Ania: extraordinary!!!

    • @Guy Buckley well

    • @NotMusicTheory Sophie Druml seems to be an accomplished musician! As such, ignoring the twentieth century's most important composer is quite puzzling.

    • They. Don’t. Know. About them

  • I'm really curious to know Sophie's opinion on Chopin. I've seen a lot of "Pianist" forums where people profess to be able to play Chopin and that it's "not actually that hard and you're just uneducated for thinking Chopin is amazing." So hearing someone with more verified knowhow talk about that would be awesome

  • 19:30 "Play as loud as you can is not the answer." This was half the reason why Glenn Gould quit the concert scene. He found himself doing "pianistic" tricks to project the music to the back row of the second baloney, and he felt he was imbuing his musicality with cheap theatrics. (The other half of the reason was that he was a nervous hypochondriac, with physical ailments that weren't entirely imaginary, but not necessarily as he perceived them, either.) BTW, _Glenn Gould The Russian Journey_ is a fantastic piece of documentary filmmaking. It was previously available on CNlinks, but got delisted in 2017. What's now available is related footage from a Russian pianist with a great analysis of Glenn Gould, entirely in Russian, unfortunately still with a Russian-only CC, and not performed on the world's greatest piano, either. If I spoke Russian, and I loved the instrument enough to tolerate grainy video, this is something I would check out. Look for _Mikhail Arkadev Glenn Gould The Russian Journey_ uploaded in 2013.

  • 12:30 Yes, but did Martha actually know this was difficult? Or did she simply wake up after hearing her roommate butcher a practice session while she slept in, stagger half awake to the piano bench with one eye not yet completely open, and bang it out nearly perfectly?

    • 14:00 Ah, precisely my point. Now the video divulges that Martha learning the piece in one week because she didn't know it was supposed to be difficult.

  • I'm kinda surprised there weren't any Sorabji Piano Sonatas. Those are arguably more musically difficult than Schumann and technically more difficult than most Liszt pieces.

    • @ClassicalClavier btw, hardest pieces time: 10/ Finnissy Concerto 4 9/ Sorabji Opus Clavicembalisticum 8/ Finnissy History of photography in Sound 7/ Sorabji Tantrik Symphony 6/ Xenakis Synaphai 5/ Hoban When the panting start 4/ Finnissy Verdi Transcription 3/ Sorabji Symphonic Variations 2/ Barrett Tract 1/ Sorabji Fifth Sonata

    • @ClassicalClavier this is gonna take quite a long time, so don’t get frustrated and give up. I swear, it gets more and more interesting

    • @ClassicalClavier but that’s just the beginning, there are many harder composers. First should be Ligeti (or you can listen to him first, it’s up to you), then Finnissy and finally Xenakis, Barrett and John Cage.

    • @NotMusicTheory Alright, thanks!

    • @ClassicalClavier next, you should go on to discover more Sorabji nocturnes, Punta d’organo, Aria and Adagio first before moving to his more aggressive ones. After that, works like his Sonatas, Toccatas and Opus Clavicembalisticum should be pretty easy to understand. Actually I think Sorabji harmonics are the most interesting and understandable in this period.

  • I love the way she pronounces the composers' names

  • Martha Argerich is amazing. Still performing at 80 years old!

  • I've never played piano before, but seriously, I bet I could play all that super hard stuff in about 20 years time with some serious practice. :)

  • Is it legal to kick the shit out of "that coughing guy" in Australia? And how does he seem to show up at every stinking concert on the planet?

  • That Ravel piece is like the popular kid walking through the woods.....with a knife....looking for someone to slice up....... Anyone

  • With Motzart, you have to play like David Gilmour or Gary Moore. You play the spaces between the notes.

  • And here I thought the moonlight sonata 3rd Movement, Etude op10 no4 and La Campanella are the hardest pieces

  • 5:00 Eddy: “Shocked Face” Brett: “Not even a drop of expression face”

  • I'm not a dentist so close your mouth I don't want to see

  • If you smeared snot and saliva on a famous painting, you would be charged with vandalism. Yet people can cough like it’s the god damn plague at the beginning of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with total impunity. It’s not fair.

    • To be fair, it is a conscious act to smeared snot and saliva. But sometimes, or a lot of times, coughs can't be controlled 😵

  • Alkan's concerto for solo piano is very difficult too, especially the first movement.

  • Apparently (for her) any Chopin's work is easier than any of the pieces she mentioned (LOL!).

  • Lang Lang's performance is great.

  • Sophie needs to iron her shirt

  • Some of those straight up look like they were spead up

  • Sophie is so sweet, talented and beautiful 💐❤️ Where's she from??

  • Wonderful exposition. Thank you.

  • My struggle was my teacher forcing me to read the composer's biography and the history of the song I have to play. Having to play in similar manners of the song's but yet make it sound like "me". When u take classes just because ur mom made u but the teacher said we serious here.

  • About Rach 3: I think Alexander Malofeev has made magic with it.

  • A very difficult albeit less classical piano peice is Karn Evil 9 2nd Impression

  • I feel like just like how non-violinists find it hard too appreciate the difficulty of certain pieces, Brett and Eddy can't really comprehend the sheer difficulty of the repertoire here

  • No matter how far you get, there's always a 12 years old chinese student better than you, oui, oui, approved! 😁

  • Was waiting for Concord Sonata - Charles Ives

  • Man, I love piano. And her not picking Gould for the Goldberg variations was... purist, I guess.

  • Firstly, I should thank one of the commentators for mentioning Sorabji! Secondly, however, it's a shame Sophie didn't mention any music composed post 1910 (Gaspard and Rach 3 were both written around 1908/1909 time). One of the most difficult piano concerti I have ever encountered is Elliott Carter's Piano Concerto composed between 1961 and 1965. A hugely emotional piece (in a tense and often violent way), it remains one of my real favourites. I also think Prokofiev deserves a mention with all 5 of his piano concerti being very, very difficult pieces to play. Or what about Xenakis's Synaphaï for piano and orchestra (1969) some of that piece is written on 10 staves - and that's just the piano part! There's a wealth of great music out there composed since 1910....but I do love the watching Sophie and the guys! Keep it going! Mark

  • Heart palpitations when Sophie was introducing Islamey thinking the selection might not be Pogorelich. She didn't disappoint. Excellent, thoughtful list.

  • 8:08 Speaking of Rachmaninoff chords. Op. 32 No. 13 has the biggest chords on one hand I've ever seen. I have pretty big hands and I can scarcely reach the top and bottom note of the chord, let alone the other 3 notes in between. The end of that piece had multiple 10th chords with 5 notes total per hand literally Db-F-Ab-Db-F on one hand.

    • To be fair there are 14th chords in Hamelin Etudes

  • Rachmaninov 3: I can tell you that I've listened live to a huge rendition of this concerto, even more than Bronfmann did. That was Yuja in 2019 at the Enescu festival. Too bad the recording on the net has poor sound quality, but what I've witnessed in the concert hall was epic. And I've seen Bronfmann, Trifonov, Luganski and Matsuev live with this concerto; none of them could do it like that. So much dynamics, so much sensibility, such a voicing. Look for it, you won't be deceived even with that poor sound quality (I think I can't post a link to her concerts archive here).

  • Anyone else hear the Goldberg Variations and instantly think of Hannibal Lector?


  • I have played Ondine, Rach Sonata 2, Scriabin Sonatas, its quite the journey but after 23 years of piano its worth it.

  • Scarbo is the definition of anxiety to me, i love that from the bottom of my heart

  • She's absolutely spot on about simple, soft pieces can sometimes be harder than faster, flashier pieces. The sensitivity required can be super difficult and unforgiving. Just playing the third of a chord slightly too loud can be a glaring mistake, and any small mistake you make in such passages gets shouted from the rooftops.

  • Everyone's gangsta until Martha starts doing basically vibrato on piano

  • I know its a meme pick, but I feel like Rush E deserves a mention. Its literally impossible to play which is the joke of it, but even playing it at a level where its recognizable is a challenge.

  • Wow, that's insane playing! :D

  • Why does Brett look like an ai character?

  • Wait- Why are Brett and Eddy not together?! I thought they were roommates! I guess Covid can split even people who were together making videos for years, too... And also, Brett's camera is so clear it's unreal.

  • Woooo the camera quality

  • There are these Donald Martino pieces that are bananas difficult, especially if you're not used to that kind of writing. I think that some of the Vingt Regards are just unequalled consumers of time in terms of learning. No. 10 for example, I tried to learn, I just gave up at one point. There are some pages that are just so detached from the normal ways of assimilating music in terms of physical mechanics. Was it Richter who thought that, like, Mozart 310 or the Scriabin 5th were the most difficult pieces? With him, it's "difficulty" evaluated from a different planet of course. Someone used to say the Dvorak piano concerto was the most difficult. Who was that? And someone else said the Strauss Burlesque was impossible. I'm useless in terms of remembering where these opinions were from.

  • Far, far too much chat. The small images of them watching are silly. You missed Contrabandista.

  • Rush E: You dare challenge me you mere mortals?

  • And for my next piece I will play Chopsticks followed by the classic Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

  • Great video( shame about apple advert?)

  • We all know rush E is the hardest piece without having a seizure

  • Her choices are well made. Only a lot of people would think that Prokofiev 2 is technically most difficult concerto (or Bartok), but Rachmaninov did say his 3rd concerto was for elephants of the keyboard.

  • Beautiful interview. This will help with my technique. Thank you.

  • Thank you so much... Beethoven rules!!!!

  • For me, 1 of the most challenging (i wouldn't say is the most difficult) piece is Scherzo no.2, op 31 by Chopin. I am not really good at describing it in words, but I would say having the right emotions or feelings to play each passages without overdoing it is 1 of the key to get Scherzo right. It is difficult because (for me) it falls under the "40hours-can't-save-you" category, in fact, I find lots of pieces falls under this category because sometimes (especially when you 1st gotten the music sheet) when you are not sure how the music sounds like, and you are not quite sure which one should be the melody, and what kind of emotions the piece should be in, and for someone who has small hands like me: Should I roll the chord, or should I start thinking which note to take out.

  • The one dude in this looks like Jimmy Fallon. Insane resemblance.

  • i have a yamaha baby grand and so just for fun i tried to play some sections of Alborada del gracioso and my hand almost died because the push was so hard

  • ***Alkan's Concerto for Solo Piano enters the chat***

  • Aww guys! I like how you talk with each other! This is how the communication should be here on intertubes! Subject was also interesting ;)

  • No mention of Feux Follets by Liszt, I see. It is reckoned the technically most difficult piece of piano music ever written. It comes from the Grand Etudes of 1837 (No. 5).

  • Some sounds reminds me of Tom and Jerry.

  • The hard part of the Hammerklavier (besides all of it) is the fugue

  • These are some really great choices! There is a huge dearth of twentieth century pieces here, so I might suggest a few: - Stravinsky's arrangements of Firebird/Petroushka could be paired with Liszt's (along with Busoni's Bach expansions) - basically any of Messiaen's gargantuan piano works - like, literally everything by Alkan - Xenakis' Herma (I saw this live once and I still have no idea how she played it) - Berg's Piano Sonata Op. 1, which pairs twentieth-century chromaticism with complex multilayered counterpoint, and also requires intense musical shaping and interpretation There are probably a number of other avant-garde pieces as well. I feel like the worlds of violin, cello, and piano are rather old-fashioned and we focus most of our attention on the 19th century and before, and that's doing many composers and pieces a great disservice.

    • Where’s Sorabji pieces, every Xenakis pieces and every Finnissy pieces?

  • Liszt has to be on the list

  • Me with small hands be like: Thanks for the laugh Eddy and Brett