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#481010 - 03/04/06 07:09 PM Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Puckettmeister86 Offline
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Registered: 06/22/05
Posts: 215
Loc: Rocklin, CA
As far as technical difficulty is concerned, I'm curious as to how you would rank these pianists. Most challenging works to least challenging (Not to belittle any one of them, this is stricktly curiosity).

I would rank them:

1. Rachmaninoff
2. Liszt
3. Chopin

How about you.
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"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music." Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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#481011 - 03/04/06 07:19 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Jeff135 Offline
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Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 912
Loc: Oregon
I'd say about the same.
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#481012 - 03/04/06 07:27 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
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Loc: Oakland
In what really mattered to him, Rachmaninoff was by far the best auto mechanic.
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#481013 - 03/04/06 08:07 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
-Frycek Offline
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Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I'd agree. Curiously, it lines up in order of hand size, largest (Rachmaninoff) to smallest (Chopin).
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#481014 - 03/04/06 09:06 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5066
Loc: Philadelphia
I think it's more difficult to play Liszt well...but at that point, I think we're arguing semantics. ;\)
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#481015 - 03/04/06 09:18 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
yeah id say
1.liszt
2 rachmaninov
3 chopin

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#481016 - 03/04/06 09:45 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: Florida
Liszt
Chopin
Rachmaninov

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#481017 - 03/04/06 11:13 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Rach.3Freak105 Offline
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Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 446
Loc: Moorestown, NJ
Speaking of hand sizes, is it true that Rachmaninoff could reach a 14th? I've heared this a few times and am not positive if it's true.
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Once during a concert at Carnegie Hall, the violinist Rachmaninoff was playing with lost his place in the music and whispered to Rachmaninoff, "Where are we?" Rachmaninoff replied, in all seriousness, "Carnegie Hall".

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#481018 - 03/04/06 11:53 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Baldwinfan.718 Offline
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Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Moorestown, NJ
Rachmaninoff
Liszt
Chopin

I've also have heard that Rachmaninoff could reach a 14th but I'm also nut sure if it is true.

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#481019 - 03/04/06 11:55 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5066
Loc: Philadelphia
My Dad's got absolutely HUGE hands (that he didn't quite pass on to me), and he can comfortably span an eleventh. A twelfth is his stretch limit. And I've seen him put his hand in a gorilla's hand print, and they were about the same size (except the gorilla's fingers were thicker). Then I've seen him put his hand in Andre the Giant's hand print, and it was dwarfed. So, there are some extraordinarily huge hands out there.

The most I've ever heard for Rachmaninoff, however, was a 13th (C to A).
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#481020 - 03/05/06 02:12 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
kreso Offline
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Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 83
Loc: Velika Gorica
1.Liszt
2.Rachmaninov
3.Chopin
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kreso

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#481021 - 03/05/06 02:45 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Puckettmeister86 Offline
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Registered: 06/22/05
Posts: 215
Loc: Rocklin, CA
He could do a 12th fairly comfortably and stretch a 13th.
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#481022 - 03/05/06 02:47 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Puckettmeister86 Offline
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Registered: 06/22/05
Posts: 215
Loc: Rocklin, CA
I'd say liszt is a hell-of-a-lot more showy for sure, but as far as physical difficulty I have to hand it to Rachmaninoff.
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"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music." Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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#481023 - 03/05/06 02:56 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Appassionata Sonata Offline
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Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 118
You guys should start giving some examples of some of their difficult works.

Chopin may not have the hardest music to play out of these three, but he has the BEST music, followed by Liszt and then Rachmaninov.
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#481024 - 03/05/06 03:00 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5066
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Appassionata Sonata:
You guys should start giving some examples of some of their difficult works.

Chopin may not have the hardest music out of these three, but he has the BEST music. Followed by Liszt and then Rachmaninov. [/b]
Unfortunately, while "difficulty" is relatively objective with some subjective qualities (personal technical preferences), "quality" ("best/worst") is entirely a subjective matter. ;\)
_________________________
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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#481025 - 03/05/06 03:02 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Appassionata Sonata Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 118
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derulux:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Appassionata Sonata:
[qb] You guys should start giving some examples of some of their difficult works.

Chopin may not have the hardest music out of these three, but he has the BEST music. Followed by Liszt and then Rachmaninov. [/b]
Unfortunately, while "difficulty" is relatively objective with some subjective qualities (personal technical preferences), "quality" ("best/worst") is entirely a subjective matter.

Yeah, but Chopin is the most popular out of these three.
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If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed - Einstein

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#481026 - 03/05/06 03:10 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Heretic Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
Best music I'd judge Chopin, Rachmaninoff, then Liszt.

As for who is more popular Liszt or Rachmaninoff I wonder, would be a good question. Maybe equal. But Chopin is definitely more popular than both of them I should think.

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#481027 - 03/05/06 03:47 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Max W Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
I'd actually be tempted to put Liszt ahead of Rachmaninoff, purely for the 1837 Transcendental Etudes, and the 1838 Paganini Etudes. Rachmaninoff wrote a lot of incredibly difficult material, but a lot of it is performed regularly.

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#481028 - 03/05/06 04:28 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5066
Loc: Philadelphia
I think Liszt is ahead of Rachmaninoff in terms of mass popularity purely for his Hungarian No 2 than for anything else. (aka- "Tom and Jerry") ;\)

But I'd put the Rhapsodies and Paganini Etudes up for the running right alongside Rachmaninoff's 2nd/3rd concerti and preludes.

In the "classical world" only, it's probably between the Hungarian No 2 and the C#m prelude for "most popular piece by either composer". But Rachmaninoff has the concerti category easily won...and by a long shot (because he's got the top two slots)...over the rest of the composing world (except maybe for Tchaikovsky's 1st and Beethoven's 5th "Emperor").

So, even then, there's a good deal of ambiguity. We'd need some sales information to decide definitively, and even then, if you take into account popularity separate from sales (as in, "customers happy with their merchandise"), that's a whole 'nother category. ;\)
_________________________
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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#481029 - 03/05/06 06:50 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
lol_nl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 918
Loc: Ede, Netherlands
1.Chopin
2.Liszt
3.Rachmaninov

of course.....
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Yiteng

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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#481030 - 03/05/06 09:30 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
While Rachmaninoff simply liked to write difficult stuff, and, at least to my ears, could have used far less notes for essentially the same musical effects (his works often contain fast passages, but the passages sound slow, for example (maybe because they don't seem to go anywhere)), Liszt and Chopin almost always wrote just the notes which they had to write to get the musical effects they wanted (i.e. the revision of the Transcendental Etudes, after the pianos had gotten more massive sound-wise and otherwise).

This is also why I think Chopin and Liszt are more difficult to play well than Rachmaninoff (and Liszt certainly leads the three in the amount of bad "interpretations" his works have gathered (Derulux, in turn, somehow leading *that* group \:D ;\) )).

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#481031 - 03/05/06 09:53 AM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Max W Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
"While Rachmaninoff simply liked to write difficult stuff, and, at least to my ears, could have used far less notes for essentially the same musical effects "

I half agree and half disagree. I see where you are coming from, but I think the 'extra notes' in Rachmaninoffs music are there for a reason: his music is very sonorous, and he was definitely a master of producing chords. If you simplify the music, it doesn't sound as good. This goes for playing it, I think if you don't bring out all the details, it sounds bad, and at the same time if you don't understand it and see it as a wash of notes, it sounds bad too.

Also, I think they are all equally difficult to interpret well - but I think that Liszt wrote harder music, if you go by the extremes (despite the majority of his music being written very pianistically). The difficulty with Liszt, for me at least, is finding a balance between a thoughtful interpretation, while expressing those moments of spontaneousness properly.

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#481032 - 03/05/06 12:25 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
In terms of popularity I would have to say Rachmaninoff beats Liszt hands down, like derlux mentioned the concerti themselves are more popular than anything Liszt has ever written and many other works of Rachmaninoff like symphonies are often performed. However the biggest factor I think is that Rachmaninoff has had the largest nation in the world behind him (Russia) and the vast number of pianists that poured out of there during the 20th century (and continue pouring out now) that play and support his music is probably vastly superior to the number of supporters that Liszt has. The reason is that most Russians as I've read from interviews and such view it as a sort of nationalistic duty to be ardent supporters of his music.

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#481033 - 03/05/06 02:47 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Liszt gets 3227 hits with the Amazon search-machine, while Rachmaninov gets 2161. Chopin wins with 4068 hits.

Rachmaninoff seems to be more popular than the other two only because he made two piano concertos which have become stupendously and ill-proportionedly popular through the virtue of a few particularly catchy melodies.

Liszt has gained relative popularity (regardless of his subtly unique musical idiom, which has been difficult to appreciate for many people, and the huge shadow which Wagner (perhaps mostly through his first major biographer) had cast upon him) in the last several decades, thanks to the support of such formidable musicians like Busoni, Rachmaninoff, Bartok, Horowitz, Arrau, Brendel, Richter, Gilels, etc., etc.... Rachmaninoff revered Liszt's symphonic music, as well as his piano music (too bad he couldn't be influenced by Liszt's harmonic subtleties and daring invention); and to Busoni, Liszt was the god; while Arrau thought that Liszt's Sonata in B minor was perhaps the greatest piano composition ever made...

Not that any of that should necessarily matter to anybody... But if you want to judge the brilliance of an artist's invention by refering to other people's likings, at least try to do so by refering to people who have the capacity to appreciate such invention (i.e. use artists from the same field, instead of some general popularity which signifies nothing much).

Gee, now we're getting to the subject (of Rach vs. Chopin vs. Liszt) \:D

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#481034 - 03/05/06 03:03 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5066
Loc: Philadelphia
(Derulux, in turn, somehow leading *that* group )).[/b]
What Liszt have you heard me play that's actually been prepared?

In terms of popularity I would have to say Rachmaninoff beats Liszt hands down, like derlux mentioned the concerti themselves are more popular than anything Liszt has ever written[/b]
Actually, that's not what I said... I said the most popular thing ever written between the two composers was probably Liszt's Hungarian No 2 (which is among the top four or five most popular works ever).

If you give random samplings to the mass public, they will probably recognize these four or five selections first (in no particular order):

1. Beethoven's fifth
2. Hungarian No 2
3. "Moonlight" Mvt 1
4. William Tell
5. 1812 Overture (but only the end)

Can anyone think of something the GENERAL PUBLIC would know better than the themes from those five works? I'm having a hard time coming up with anything....
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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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#481035 - 03/05/06 03:17 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Heretic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 150
Fur elise, pachelbel, ode to joy, possibly mozarts 40th 1st mov, bach toccata and fugue, maybe bach air on g string, jesu joy of man desiring, other than last two, all the ones I named easily beat out liszt rhapsody and possibly 1812 and william tell though william tell is hard to say it's pretty popular.

Also to a lesser degree, mozart c major 'facile' sonata, rondo ala turka, brahms lullabye, chopins funeral marche, wagner and mendelssohns wedding themes, and the graduation theme from college...who the heck did that again is that elgar's pomp and circumstance

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#481036 - 03/05/06 03:22 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5066
Loc: Philadelphia
I wouldn't agree with the following (namely because, for many, I can't even recall the melody...and yet you expect the general public to know):

possibly mozarts 40th 1st mov, bach toccata and fugue, maybe bach air on g string, jesu joy of man desiring, mozart c major 'facile' sonata, rondo ala turka.

I did think of "Fur Elise", but I don't think it caps the others. Pachelbel's Canon, Ode to Joy, Brahms' Lullabye, Chopin's Funeral March, Wagner/Mendelssohn "Weddings", and Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" definitely deserve mention, though.

Stupid weddings, graduations, and funerals. If it wasn't for them, nobody would know most of those pieces. :p ;\)
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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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#481037 - 03/05/06 03:31 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Agent99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 28
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derulux:

If you give random samplings to the mass public, they will probably recognize these four or five selections first (in no particular order):

1. Beethoven's fifth
2. Hungarian No 2
3. "Moonlight" Mvt 1
4. William Tell
5. 1812 Overture (but only the end)

Can anyone think of something the GENERAL PUBLIC would know better than the themes from those five works? I'm having a hard time coming up with anything.... [/b]
How about Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue or Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D? Maybe throw in Debussy's Clair de Lune (clear de room)?

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#481038 - 03/05/06 03:39 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Blue Danube Waltz
Ride of the Valkyrie
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#481039 - 03/05/06 04:53 PM Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derulux:
(Derulux, in turn, somehow leading *that* group )).[/b]
What Liszt have you heard me play that's actually been prepared?[/b]
Who? Me? Relax, I was just kidding (hence the " \:D ;\) ")... (I think I understand and respect your motivations for, and the choice of posting that particular recording to which I was refering (the evil suspicions))

BTW, I would be interested in hearing some well-prepared Liszt by you, particularly some less played work(s), like the third Mephisto Waltz (which I still haven't heard)...

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