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#2307807 - 07/27/14 02:19 PM Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d?
Svenno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 149
Loc: Estonia
Many of you think it's "childish to compare 2 difficult showpieces" and whatnot.

Nevertheless, i'd appreciate you guys' opinions. What do you think - which of these 2 pieces has the more ferocious technical difficulties? simply, which do you think is harder to perform successfully?

Sven
_________________________
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”

― Plato

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#2307823 - 07/27/14 02:55 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Svenno]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The Liszt is harder to perform successfully.

But not because of the technical difficulties.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#2307824 - 07/27/14 03:00 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Kreisler]
Svenno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 149
Loc: Estonia
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
The Liszt is harder to perform successfully.

But not because of the technical difficulties.


Let me guess... the musicality?
_________________________
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”

― Plato

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#2307860 - 07/27/14 04:36 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Svenno]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Yeah. The Prokofiev is pretty straightforward musically, and if you just play the score as written, it comes off pretty well in performance.

The Liszt actually has to be interpreted. You can't just follow the markings in the score and come up with something convincing. There has to be a pretty strong personality driving it.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2307861 - 07/27/14 04:44 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Svenno]
Art_Vandelay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Stillwater, OK
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?
_________________________
"If peeing your pants is cool, consider me Miles Davis."

"If life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life'll be all like whaaaaaat?" - Phil Dunphy

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#2307862 - 07/27/14 04:51 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Art_Vandelay]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5551
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?

That's easy - just compose your own cadenza: as flashy as you choose grin.

Marc-André Hamelin's is a good start. Arcadi Volodos's is almost as good.
_________________________
"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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#2307871 - 07/27/14 05:09 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Art_Vandelay]
FarmGirl Online   content

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?


Really! That's disappointing. I thought it was Chopin's G minor ballade and FI that are loved and performed by advanced amateurs. I did not think HR was performed by many advanced students. I thought, for once, I can play something others are not working on.
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum, Grillen and a few short pieces by various composers
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell and some duets


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#2307877 - 07/27/14 05:31 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: FarmGirl]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6248
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?


Really! That's disappointing. I thought it was Chopin's G minor ballade and FI that are loved and performed by advanced amateurs. I did not think HR was performed by many advanced students. I thought, for once, I can play something others are not working on.


Don't worry, you've started at a time when it is becoming unfashionable to enjoy Liszt. (I didn't think anyone loved FI)
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2307897 - 07/27/14 06:53 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Damon]
FarmGirl Online   content

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?


Really! That's disappointing. I thought it was Chopin's G minor ballade and FI that are loved and performed by advanced amateurs. I did not think HR was performed by many advanced students. I thought, for once, I can play something others are not working on.


Don't worry, you've started at a time when it is becoming unfashionable to enjoy Liszt. (I didn't think anyone loved FI)


Ha that's great.
Yeah people like FI. It's almost like they play it before attempting to play the g minor Ballade.
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum, Grillen and a few short pieces by various composers
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell and some duets


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#2307931 - 07/27/14 08:48 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Art_Vandelay]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8935
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?

Well I can! thumb

This is the place to start:



Listen to Friedman. You can literally hear the gypsies dancing, getting festively wasted, and making love. Anyone who doesn't think that HR2 is one of the most awesomely written pieces of music is just not properly online, or just a prude.

What a shame that its familiarity has bred contempt, and that Hollywood trashed it. This is a GREAT piece of music. As Elgar said when conducting the trio from his famous P&C: 'Gentlemen, play this as if you have never heard it before!'
_________________________
Jason

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#2307936 - 07/27/14 09:14 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Svenno]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1277
Loc: western MA, USA
The Hungarian Rhapsody can be a lot of things. The Toccata is just really really hard.

(Both are pieces I'd like to learn sometime in the next 10 years. The Hungarian Rhapsody is only delayed because I just haven't gotten to it yet. Toccata is delayed because I don't think I have the technique yet.)


Edited by hreichgott (07/27/14 09:16 PM)
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Working on: Schumann/Kinderszenen
Daily 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 2, Pischna
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2307972 - 07/28/14 12:33 AM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: FarmGirl]
Art_Vandelay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Stillwater, OK
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?


Really! That's disappointing. I thought it was Chopin's G minor ballade and FI that are loved and performed by advanced amateurs. I did not think HR was performed by many advanced students. I thought, for once, I can play something others are not working on.


It's a staple of concert pianist level repertoire, but not many amateurs are good enough to even attempt it. It's on my piano bucket list.

If you can play this already, you're a rare breed. My comment was more about it being difficult to do anything with this piece that hasn't been done before. Simply playing the piece with decent musicality is still a massive accomplishment.
_________________________
"If peeing your pants is cool, consider me Miles Davis."

"If life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life'll be all like whaaaaaat?" - Phil Dunphy

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#2307973 - 07/28/14 12:35 AM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: bennevis]
Art_Vandelay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Stillwater, OK
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?

That's easy - just compose your own cadenza: as flashy as you choose grin.

Marc-André Hamelin's is a good start. Arcadi Volodos's is almost as good.


My favorite is Rachmaninov's. Have you heard it?
_________________________
"If peeing your pants is cool, consider me Miles Davis."

"If life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life'll be all like whaaaaaat?" - Phil Dunphy

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#2307994 - 07/28/14 02:16 AM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Art_Vandelay]
FarmGirl Online   content

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?


Really! That's disappointing. I thought it was Chopin's G minor ballade and FI that are loved and performed by advanced amateurs. I did not think HR was performed by many advanced students. I thought, for once, I can play something others are not working on.


It's a staple of concert pianist level repertoire, but not many amateurs are good enough to even attempt it. It's on my piano bucket list.

If you can play this already, you're a rare breed. My comment was more about it being difficult to do anything with this piece that hasn't been done before. Simply playing the piece with decent musicality is still a massive accomplishment.


No I cannot play it yet. It's a special piece for me. It's just my husband's family is from Hungary and we just went over there this year. We saw a few sequence of Hungarian dance pieces and I was fascinated with it. The pieces incorporated variety of dances from different regions (some are like Russian dances and some are like central Asians) and the music strongly reminded me of Liszt's rhapsody and Liszt himself. In the dances male dancers were like showy peacock with fast & mesmerizing movements. Female dancers seemed to be there to provide tenderness, love and longing with limited movements. I can go on and on, anyway, I told my teacher I felt like I understand his rhapsody for the first time. Or shall I say, I saw the glimpse of it. Then she said that I really have to try the piece. That's how I got assigned to do this piece.
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum, Grillen and a few short pieces by various composers
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell and some duets


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#2308005 - 07/28/14 02:57 AM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Svenno]
Art_Vandelay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Stillwater, OK
How long have you been working on it? Does it seem attainable with practice, or is it one of those "let's see how close I can get" pieces?
_________________________
"If peeing your pants is cool, consider me Miles Davis."

"If life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life'll be all like whaaaaaat?" - Phil Dunphy

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#2308028 - 07/28/14 06:46 AM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Art_Vandelay]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8027
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?


I instantly started thinking of living pianists who would seem unlikely to have performed it - Schiff, Aimard, Uchida, Perahia (although he DID perform and record a different one, and rather better than I expected - I think it was a momentary Horowitz influence), Biss, Serkin, Oppens, Moravec, Lupu, Goode...and who else?

Of course, I don't know every single thing these people have ever played, but was just going on what they seem to be known for. It would be fun to know I was was wrong about some of them.

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#2308030 - 07/28/14 07:05 AM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Kreisler]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8027
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Yeah. The Prokofiev is pretty straightforward musically, and if you just play the score as written, it comes off pretty well in performance.



That's true, but....

If a pianist really wants to do their homework and find out what was going on in the arts and culture at the time Prokofiev composed it, and sort of soak in that information for a bit, they might come up with something less obvious.

Out of hearing it a gazillion times, I can remember maybe two that actually seemed to "get" the period and project a real "machine age" esthetic in their performance. Most pianists seem to see it as sort of updated Schumann, but I think instead it gains a great deal if taken as fairly radically anti-Romantic in sound and spirit, as if portraying a noisy, early 20th century factory of some sort. For many people, even imagining that might require some research into very old movies, but that's part of the fun.

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#2308071 - 07/28/14 09:10 AM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Art_Vandelay]
FarmGirl Online   content

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
How long have you been working on it? Does it seem attainable with practice, or is it one of those "let's see how close I can get" pieces?


I have not started yet. Right now I am busy preparing Schubert sonata second movement for a master class. I cannot undertake anything major until it's over. I am intending to get it up to performance level hopefully within next year after. I take lessons from a wonderful teacher. Since I normally work (not right now) the big pieces like this takes 12 to 18 months for first performance and I enjoy revisiting the piece from time to time.

Thank you for you concern but no need to worry about it. I closely work with a college teacher. My teacher allowed me to work on the piece. She probably assigned it as my next stretch piece but she is fully aware of my strength and limitation. She declined to give me some pieces in the past. So I will see how it goes.
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum, Grillen and a few short pieces by various composers
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell and some duets


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#2308358 - 07/29/14 01:45 AM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: wr]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1277
Loc: western MA, USA
Originally Posted By: wr

Out of hearing it a gazillion times, I can remember maybe two that actually seemed to "get" the period and project a real "machine age" esthetic in their performance. Most pianists seem to see it as sort of updated Schumann, but I think instead it gains a great deal if taken as fairly radically anti-Romantic in sound and spirit, as if portraying a noisy, early 20th century factory of some sort.

YES
I don't know where the Schumann connection is coming from but the Prokofiev Toccata has always sounded like machines to me. In a good way.
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Working on: Schumann/Kinderszenen
Daily 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 2, Pischna
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2309915 - 08/01/14 06:07 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: Svenno]
TimV Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/11
Posts: 71
Loc: New York, NY
No one's really approached this question the way I did when I first saw it a few days ago. I think you'd have to ask yourself why you want to learn either of these two pieces. I think learning them is fine. It's not a matter of being immature (or whatever).

The Liszt is fairly long. The Prokofiev is not. I think they're both really good showpieces, and their familiarity may be a strength rather than a hindrance depending on when/where/for-whom you think you'd play them. The Toccata is a great encore piece due to the dazzle factor and it's only 4 minutes long. HR2 is, what... 12-15 minutes? The trouble with HR2 is as a recital piece is may not be considered "serious" enough due to how many millions of times it's been played. For the same reason, you may not want to consider it for competition repertoire, for exactly the same reason.

My vote: Do the toccata. You'll probably find more ways to get it out onto the stage.
_________________________
--------------------------
Bach WTC 1 #7
Brahms Op 76 #1, Op 118 #5
Debussy Suite Bergamasque

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#2309935 - 08/01/14 06:52 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: wr]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Yeah. The Prokofiev is pretty straightforward musically, and if you just play the score as written, it comes off pretty well in performance.



That's true, but....

If a pianist really wants to do their homework and find out what was going on in the arts and culture at the time Prokofiev composed it, and sort of soak in that information for a bit, they might come up with something less obvious.

Out of hearing it a gazillion times, I can remember maybe two that actually seemed to "get" the period and project a real "machine age" esthetic in their performance. Most pianists seem to see it as sort of updated Schumann, but I think instead it gains a great deal if taken as fairly radically anti-Romantic in sound and spirit, as if portraying a noisy, early 20th century factory of some sort. For many people, even imagining that might require some research into very old movies, but that's part of the fun.



That's kind of hilarious, because hearing it actually makes me see old movie footage of whirring machines and gears and hammering pistons and the like in my head. If you tell me this was actually scored in a movie in a scene with old whirring machines and gears and pistons I'm going to...blow a gasket.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

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#2310034 - 08/01/14 11:48 PM Re: Liszt hungarian rhapsody no. 2 vs Prokoffiev toccata in d? [Re: FarmGirl]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2393
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Originally Posted By: Art_Vandelay
Not to mention that HR2 is the Für Elise of the advanced repertoire. Can you provide a fresh interpretation when literally every concert pianist in the world has already performed it?


Really! That's disappointing. I thought it was Chopin's G minor ballade and FI that are loved and performed by advanced amateurs. I did not think HR was performed by many advanced students. I thought, for once, I can play something others are not working on.


It's a staple of concert pianist level repertoire, but not many amateurs are good enough to even attempt it. It's on my piano bucket list.

If you can play this already, you're a rare breed. My comment was more about it being difficult to do anything with this piece that hasn't been done before. Simply playing the piece with decent musicality is still a massive accomplishment.


No I cannot play it yet. It's a special piece for me. It's just my husband's family is from Hungary and we just went over there this year. We saw a few sequence of Hungarian dance pieces and I was fascinated with it. The pieces incorporated variety of dances from different regions (some are like Russian dances and some are like central Asians) and the music strongly reminded me of Liszt's rhapsody and Liszt himself. In the dances male dancers were like showy peacock with fast & mesmerizing movements. Female dancers seemed to be there to provide tenderness, love and longing with limited movements. I can go on and on, anyway, I told my teacher I felt like I understand his rhapsody for the first time. Or shall I say, I saw the glimpse of it. Then she said that I really have to try the piece. That's how I got assigned to do this piece.


That sounds like a good reason to give at least some HR a try. If you have a personal connection, then you should be able to portray an interesting viewpoint. Personally, I spent a lot of time on them when I was a teenager and still love all 19 of his Rhapsodies. For the stage of the game you're at, I would play a different HR than #2, which poses some extreme physical problems. On the other hand, #12 is a magnificent piece of music, also challenging but it fits in the hand much better. Like #2 it has also been favored by virtuosos throughout the past couple centuries, but it isn't hackneyed or overdone.

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