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#1984680 - 11/09/12 02:48 PM Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies
im@me Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/12
Posts: 68
People are always posting things on the internet asking people to rate ALL of liszt's work in order of difficulty. But is it possible to classify an easiest Rhapsody? (and possibly a hardest? please? smile ) I am not just talking technically, but musically as well. Thanks

Current projects: Beethoven: sonata op.14 no.1, Rondo op.51 no.1
Debussy: Danses le Duelph, Dr. Gradus ed Parnassum Chopin: Scherzo no.2, nocturne op.55 no.1, waltz no.1
Bach: prelude and fugue in C minor WTC book 1

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#1984681 - 11/09/12 02:50 PM Re: Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies [Re: im@me]
Vid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1148
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Sounds like these 'people' have way too much time on their hands.
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

#1984684 - 11/09/12 02:53 PM Re: Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies [Re: im@me]
Ian_G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/10
Posts: 168
Loc: Germany
18 was the first one I played. Then I played 3. Then 5. (Be careful of 5, treat her right, she's a masterpiece).

7 (underrated) 8 or 11 might be the next logical step after that.

13 is the hardest musically, in my opinion.

9, 10, 12, 14 and 1 are brutal.

#1984700 - 11/09/12 03:45 PM Re: Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies [Re: im@me]
jesseoffy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/10
Posts: 240
2 was fun... but a pain in the ass (and fingers) to learn. smile
Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, Rachmaninov

#1984844 - 11/10/12 12:35 AM Re: Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies [Re: Ian_G]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9138
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Ian_G
Be careful of 5, treat her right, she's a masterpiece.

All things considered, the best of the lot. Astounding in impact, it has always moved me to tears. I cannot listen to it very often.

7 (underrated)

It begins brilliantly, but ends up sounding like a rip-off from Wagner's Tannhäuser, which pre-dated Liszt by around nine years, depending on how it's dated.

9, 10, 12, 14 and 1 are brutal.

Brutal indeed, though 14 has never been a favourite. It's incarnation as the Hungarian Fantasy has never convinced me, more of an opportunity squandered, Liszt on auto-pilot. Just bad.

Far more of interest, IMO, is the 4th Rhapsody. I've never heard it in concert, none of my mates at uni ever studied it, but it is a helluva lot more difficult than the 6th which I did study and perform. (Rather well, I thought.)

The opening 'Quasi Adagio, altieramente (lofty)' is one of the great moments in Liszt, and if Edward Elgar had written it, he would have used his favourite musical direction nobilmente.

#1984904 - 11/10/12 05:02 AM Re: Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies [Re: im@me]
Jolteon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 526
Loc: Perth, Australia
I'm thinking the 3rd might be the easiest technically and musically, but of course, most of them are really quite formidable to say the least, so 'easiest' might not be the best word; perhaps it's the 'least difficult'.

And whoever is asking for a ranking of all of Liszt's work in difficulty apparently has no idea of the magnitude and the scope of Liszt's pianistic compositional output... Leslie Howard's collection includes 94 full-length CDs. (by comparison, HJ Lim's recent survey of the complete Beethoven sonatas was merely 8 CDs.)

Algernon: I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.

#1984917 - 11/10/12 05:45 AM Re: Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies [Re: im@me]
Ian_G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/10
Posts: 168
Loc: Germany
You bet, Jason - the 5th takes the prize. 4, I agree, is a beautiful thing - and tricky. I remember reading that Mendelssohn tried to read it at sight and threw up his hands. I'll tell you my dark horse in the bunch - 16. It's really wonderfully demented, like another Mephisto Waltz that got put in the wrong pile. I also think 18 is quite strong, with an inspired ending. As opposed to the ending of 7. And its middle section, if the gloves are off. However, I think the beginning is so good it pays for the rest.


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