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#2258487 - 04/08/14 03:18 AM The hardest piano piece ever written
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1487
Loc: California
Here's a sample from Ligeti etude 14-A, which is so hard it hasn't been played by a human. The tempo marking is very precise, half-note = 105.



Also, I think it would be unfaithful to the score to play it quietly, but that might just be my own personal interpretation. Try playing a bit of it.


Edited by phantomFive (04/08/14 11:51 AM)
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#2258496 - 04/08/14 03:34 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19796
Loc: New York
That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:


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#2258508 - 04/08/14 05:37 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7891
I know that you know "song" is incorrect usage, so using it deliberately looks a lot like you are trying to troll the forum. We'll see how that goes....with luck, the thread will die a quick and relatively painless death.

And anyway, topics about "the most" whatever are inane by definition, since there is no way to determine "hardest", "greatest", "saddest", "best", etc. Yeah, I know, some threads of that sort get a lot of responses (including mine), but that doesn't mean they aren't stupid - they are.

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#2258526 - 04/08/14 07:51 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7643
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:


Hideous. thumb

As for the OP, we know my thoughts on that.
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Polyphonist

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#2258528 - 04/08/14 07:52 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4820
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:


I'm almost spat out my cereal.

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#2258529 - 04/08/14 07:54 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7643
Loc: New York City
Check out 11:25 and on. ha
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Polyphonist

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#2258532 - 04/08/14 08:07 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4820
Loc: USA
Good lord. How does someone that bad even get gigs and photo shoots?

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#2258546 - 04/08/14 08:39 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: JoelW]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1776
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Good lord. How does someone that bad even get gigs and photo shoots?


Initially she bought them, having inherited a bundle.

Over time, people started attending her performances as campy events -- kind of like Tiny Tim two or three generations later.

My small backup auxiliary dog really sings better than that, though...


Edited by ClsscLib (04/08/14 10:11 AM)
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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2258548 - 04/08/14 08:43 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Polyphonist]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2757
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Check out 11:25 and on. ha
How on Earth could you listen long enough to know??

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#2258549 - 04/08/14 08:44 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: JoelW]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5258
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Good lord. How does someone that bad even get gigs and photo shoots?

There are three established ways:

1) Be so good & ultra-talented that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down.
2) Be so bad & ultra-hopeless (but not so hopeless that all semblance of music is missing) that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. It requires a total absence of self-awareness and self-criticism, or alternatively, an ability to delight in the irony of pocketing $$££€€ while being fully aware that the audience don't know you're playing for laughs (and money) grin .
3) Be totally unique that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. Like Vladimir de Pachmann, who chatted and gave a running commentary while playing, and applauded himself or shouted 'Bravo!' when he played a tricky passage particularly well (or rather, better than normal for him) wink .
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2258582 - 04/08/14 09:56 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1285
I think she just might have turned the Queen of the Night diurnal.

The hardest piece song in the world is that one, right there, that the pianist is having to play. Those are darn near unsafe working conditions.

Can we apply a few of those Ligeti "ffffff"s to the Jenkins' "performance"? He's got at least a few to spare, there.


Edited by TwoSnowflakes (04/08/14 10:02 AM)
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With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2258610 - 04/08/14 10:48 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: wr]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1487
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: wr
I know that you know "song" is incorrect usage, so using it deliberately looks a lot like you are trying to troll the forum. We'll see how that goes....with luck, the thread will die a quick and relatively painless death.

And anyway, topics about "the most" whatever are inane by definition, since there is no way to determine "hardest", "greatest", "saddest", "best", etc. Yeah, I know, some threads of that sort get a lot of responses (including mine), but that doesn't mean they aren't stupid - they are.


I don't think there is any piano piece ever written that is harder to play. The etudes are famous for their extreme difficulty, so it's not just me here
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2258624 - 04/08/14 11:16 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3599
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
The 14A etude does nothing for me, musically speaking. The only reason I think somebody would attempt it is because it's known to be Ligeti's "unplayable etude". I prefer to focus on what pieces have musical meaning to me, when judging whch pieces are the most difficult. Certainly the two most difficult pieces I ever hacked my way through were Ravel's Scarbo and the Carl Vine's first Sonata - and I did not do them justice, let me tell you!. Absolutely wretchedly difficult - but possibly not considered among the hardest. But there is also the difficulty of finding the best expression through such pieces. Difficulty isn't only about tempo and horrid finger combinations.

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#2258626 - 04/08/14 11:19 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 558
I could never get that section of the Ligeti Etude up to to all 8 fortes. The best I could do was 7 Fs so I had to give it up. laugh
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

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#2258636 - 04/08/14 11:36 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1776
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
An old adviser once said that a particular (potential) goal was like learning to micturate through a straw: "It's a very difficult thing to learn, and once you've mastered it, you really haven't accomplished very much."
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2258641 - 04/08/14 11:42 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Steve Chandler]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7643
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Check out 11:25 and on. ha
How on Earth could you listen long enough to know??

I clicked a random place in the video and happened to click there.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2258650 - 04/08/14 11:59 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: DanS]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1487
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: DanS
I could never get that section of the Ligeti Etude up to to all 8 fortes. The best I could do was 7 Fs so I had to give it up. laugh

If the piano isn't broken by the end, you didn't do it right?
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2258669 - 04/08/14 01:06 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5258
Playing ffffffff is easy. (Just hit it with a hammer).

It's playing pppppppp that's hard (Étude No.9)........ wink
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2258678 - 04/08/14 01:31 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Mark_C]
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 848
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:



Ouch!!! I know someone who is the pianist equivalent of this woman.
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2258716 - 04/08/14 02:58 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: bennevis]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4804
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Good lord. How does someone that bad even get gigs and photo shoots?

There are three established ways:

1) Be so good & ultra-talented that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down.
2) Be so bad & ultra-hopeless (but not so hopeless that all semblance of music is missing) that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. It requires a total absence of self-awareness and self-criticism, or alternatively, an ability to delight in the irony of pocketing $$££€€ while being fully aware that the audience don't know you're playing for laughs (and money) grin .
3) Be totally unique that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. Like Vladimir de Pachmann, who chatted and gave a running commentary while playing, and applauded himself or shouted 'Bravo!' when he played a tricky passage particularly well (or rather, better than normal for him) wink .
I figured she was either very, very rich or was someone's beloved grandmother. In the latter case, I forgive her.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2258723 - 04/08/14 03:20 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: gooddog]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3599
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: gooddog
I figured she was either very, very rich or was someone's beloved grandmother. In the latter case, I forgive her.


I can forgive her because she's been dead for a reeeeeeaally long time and she's probably rolled over enough times over it by now. wink

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#2258727 - 04/08/14 03:37 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 848
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Forgiveness comes easy since I can choose to never listen to her again. grin
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2258730 - 04/08/14 03:40 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7643
Loc: New York City
The hardest piano song ever is the last part of the Moonlight Sonata.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2258747 - 04/08/14 04:10 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Vid]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Vid
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
That's hard, but judging from the result, I think this "song" must be even harder:



Ouch!!! I know someone who is the pianist equivalent of this woman.

Where did you hear me play? grin
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2258856 - 04/08/14 09:18 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: phantomFive]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6109
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I think in order to sing fffffff you will need a throat lozenge (or more)!
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2258883 - 04/08/14 10:19 PM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Mark_C]
riley80 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/08
Posts: 385
Loc: Florida
Good heavens - WTMI out of Miami used to play her recordings in the morning show.
(N0) Thanks for the memories.

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#2258884 - 04/08/14 10:22 PM Re: The hardest piano piece ever written [Re: phantomFive]
riley80 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/08
Posts: 385
Loc: Florida
At least this is written in C, so to speak.

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#2258905 - 04/09/14 12:16 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: bennevis]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19796
Loc: New York
A couple of things:

Originally Posted By: wr
I know that [the OP] knows "song" is incorrect usage, so using it deliberately looks a lot like....trying to troll the forum.....

I doubt it. I agree that our guy probably does know that "song" is frowned upon by many here but I think he probably just doesn't consider it as a big deal.

Originally Posted By: bennevis
3) Be totally unique that nobody, but nobody, can turn you down. Like Vladimir de Pachmann, who chatted and gave a running commentary while playing, and applauded himself or shouted 'Bravo!' when he played a tricky passage particularly well (or rather, better than normal for him) wink .

Many people regarded (and still regard) Pachmann as being considerably more than that. I mean, what you said is true. His unique absurdity undoubtedly added to his reputation (as well as subtracted). But he also had very great gifts to his playing, and as I've said before, I consider his recordings as the closest hints we have about what Chopin's playing might have been like. To be sure it's at best a caricatured version -- but I think it's at least a version, with a delicacy and types of rubatos and a range of pianissimos that I consider in line with descriptions of Chopin's playing.

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#2258915 - 04/09/14 12:35 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Polyphonist]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1487
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The hardest piano song ever is the last part of the Moonlight Sonata.

That's only true if you didn't play the rest of the song very well. That is, the ending follows naturally
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2258916 - 04/09/14 12:36 AM Re: The hardest song ever written [Re: Mark_C]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1487
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

I doubt it. I agree that our guy probably does know that "song" is frowned upon by many here but I think he probably just doesn't consider it as a big deal.

That is true, it's not something I care about. I am kind of curious though, because calling it a 'song' seems so natural to me, is that a regional variation, or do most people make that mistake?
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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