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#597639 - 10/22/04 05:32 PM Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
starms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Leicester, UK
Hi,

I was just wondering...

Can anybody on these forums play Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No 2?

I've always thought that this is one of the most brilliant and complicated works of art ever invented and has been someting that I have been striving to learn for about 4 months (although not as much as I would like) and can only play parts of it.

I consider this to be one of the hardest pieces to play across the board, it this the general concensus? If not what do you consider to be the most difficult piece to play from the classical/romantic eara (that sounds rhythmically intact)?

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#597640 - 10/22/04 05:40 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
Originally posted by starms:
I consider this to be one of the hardest pieces to play across the board, it this the general concensus? If not what do you consider to be the most difficult piece to play from the classical/romantic eara (that sounds rhythmically intact)? [/b]
Most everything by Alkan makes this seem like Hanon.

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#597641 - 10/22/04 05:41 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
F. Chopin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/03
Posts: 386
Loc: England
The most difficult significant work from the Classical period would generally be acknowledged as Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" sonata, Opus 106. From the Romantic era I'm not so sure; Alkan's "Grande Sonate" is extremely difficult but comparitively unknown. There are many very difficult works from the Romantic era.

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#597642 - 10/22/04 05:50 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
starms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Leicester, UK
I'll definately have to take a look at Alkan's work...

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#597643 - 10/22/04 05:53 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
Knock yourself out.
http://piano.francais.free.fr/alkan/04_partitions_en.html

Op. 39 No. 12 is particularly frightening.

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#597644 - 10/22/04 05:58 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
Šanor Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1232
Loc: Santiago, Chile
hm... Alkan.... I can't find the "music" in his scores... just a personal opinion...
_________________________
ss ao lr ue dt on si .u dq ar no on ra qd u. is no td eu rl oa ss

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#597645 - 10/22/04 06:00 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
F. Chopin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/03
Posts: 386
Loc: England
Šanor: supposedly a lot of people would agree with you, hence why he is (was?) so unknown compared to other great pianist/composers of his time.

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#597646 - 10/22/04 06:05 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
starms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Leicester, UK
I'm listening to Op 33 'Quasi Faust' at the minute, I'm about 5 1/2 minuts through, some parts of the track seem to be very good, others seem to sound a little 'unstructured' to me. But I think its the sort of thing you need to listen to a few times to appreciate.

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#597647 - 10/22/04 06:10 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
Šanor Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1232
Loc: Santiago, Chile
 Quote:
Originally posted by F. Chopin:
Šanor: supposedly a lot of people would agree with you, hence why he is (was?) so unknown compared to other great pianist/composers of his time. [/b]
self answered
_________________________
ss ao lr ue dt on si .u dq ar no on ra qd u. is no td eu rl oa ss

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#597648 - 10/22/04 06:23 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Šanor:
 Quote:
Originally posted by F. Chopin:
Šanor: supposedly a lot of people would agree with you, hence why he is (was?) so unknown compared to other great pianist/composers of his time. [/b]
self answered [/b]
His comment was a statement, not a question.

As for Alkan, I think he's ok in short doses. His pieces start out great, but tend to ramble.

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#597649 - 10/22/04 06:27 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
starms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Leicester, UK
From the piece I heard earler, I agree. Although I need to listen to a couple more to form a more accurate oppinion.

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#597650 - 10/22/04 06:34 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
F. Chopin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/03
Posts: 386
Loc: England
Listen to the track here: (called "Alkan.ogg")

www.streamload.com/uploaded

It's the second movement of the Grande Sonate (11m 43s long) and I think it displays both his extreme virtuosity and his compositional skill.

I didn't want to upload the whole thing right now as it takes ages.

EDIT: doh, it may take a few mins to come up.

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#597651 - 10/22/04 06:34 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
rach3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 111
op.39 #12 is so insane sounding its hilarious

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#597652 - 10/22/04 06:37 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
Originally posted by starms:
From the piece I heard earler, I agree. Although I need to listen to a couple more to form a more accurate oppinion. [/b]
They're all veeeery similar.

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#597653 - 10/22/04 06:46 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
starms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Leicester, UK
Op. 39 starts off okay, but after about a minute... \:\/

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#597654 - 10/22/04 06:50 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
starms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Leicester, UK
Thought I should post a link to HR 2, considering its in the title. I love this piece...

http://www.classicalarchives.com/m/023/lis_hr2.mid

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#597655 - 10/22/04 10:08 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
Out of curiosity, have you seen the sheetmusic to HR 2?

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#597656 - 10/22/04 10:50 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
Deus ex Pianoforte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 346
Loc: California
I started this piece about two months ago and I'm almost done with it now. The main difficulty I had with this piece is the rapid jumps you need to make with the left hand. Some of the chords require awkward fingering to execute properly as well. The good thing about learning this piece is that most of the technical obstacles can be hurdled with just lots and lots of practice. Once your hands get used to the fingering and know exactly what to do, it isn't very difficult to play. What other advanced pieces have you learned so far?

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#597657 - 10/23/04 03:46 AM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
starms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Leicester, UK
 Quote:
Originally posted by valarking:
Out of curiosity, have you seen the sheetmusic to HR 2? [/b]
I have a copy in PDF format, its so complicated that parts of it are hand-written because there are too many notes to fit on the stave LOL

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#597658 - 10/23/04 04:13 AM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
starms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Leicester, UK
Deus,

HR2 is by far the most difficult piece I have learnt, and I still can't play all the way through (I also had to reinvent some of it because I dont have space for a Paino and only have 6 octaves to play arouond with).

Next down the scale are Mozarts K. 331c (Turkish Rhondo) And Griegs March of the Trolls. I think these are way easier to play than HR2 (Although the third part of 331c is a little difficult).

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#597659 - 10/23/04 04:38 AM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
Max W Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
#2 is pretty tame, I think...compared to the rest of Liszt's works at least, in fact it's one of the more accessible pieces I think.

And...don't diss Alkan! People who say that he lacks structure are pretty vain, as he was in fact a master of counterpoint.

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#597660 - 10/23/04 09:59 AM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Max W:
And...don't diss Alkan! People who say that he lacks structure are pretty vain, as he was in fact a master of counterpoint. [/b]
Overall I like Alkan. His structure, on a micro level like counterpoint is very good. But if you look at the larger picture, that's where he suffers. I'm tired of hearing a piece start really well and then digress into several unrelated, often boring melodies before going back to the A section for the coda. It seems like ALL of his stuff is like that.

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#597661 - 10/23/04 10:06 AM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
snap_apple Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/03
Posts: 710
When you first are getting into the piano literature the rhapsody does seem to be the great and brilliant piece of art. However as you start getting aquatinted with more composers and their styles and as you become acquainted with more music you start to really realize what the greatest pieces of music are and why they are great. The rhapsody is a fun piece written to dazzle and excite while incorporating fun and popular gypsy tunes. And where as it's true that it is brilliant in terms of pianistic writing and rock and roll like quality it would hardly be considered the greatest nor the hardest work of all time.

If I were you I would start listening to more liszt, chopin, Shumann and Rachmaninoff. They are all great examples of the romantic era and they are all pretty easy to grasp musically (save maybe Shumann). Mainly because they all write nice lyrical melodies, beautiful harmonies and full of virtuosic piano playing. I don't consider these guys the best but they seem to be the easiest composers to enjoy when first getting into the classical repertoire. From their you'll come to realize why Bach, Beethoven and Mozart truly kick a**

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#597662 - 10/23/04 10:45 AM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
Max W Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
 Quote:
Originally posted by valarking:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Max W:
And...don't diss Alkan! People who say that he lacks structure are pretty vain, as he was in fact a master of counterpoint. [/b]
Overall I like Alkan. His structure, on a micro level like counterpoint is very good. But if you look at the larger picture, that's where he suffers. I'm tired of hearing a piece start really well and then digress into several unrelated, often boring melodies before going back to the A section for the coda. It seems like ALL of his stuff is like that. [/b]
I suppose it depends on what your definition of boring is. ;\)

For example "Le Preux" does that, but I think it's a great piece.

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#597663 - 10/23/04 01:41 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
The 89th Key Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 2400
Loc: Northern Virginia
The symphonic version of HR2 is one of my favorites...I started learning HR2 on piano but got sidetracked with Beethoven's Pathetique sonata, I'd like to eventually go back to it though. HR2 is quite challenging, but not impossible.
_________________________
-The 89th Key

www.thecollegecritic.com
--- Integrity | Loyalty | Simplicity ---[/b]

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#597664 - 10/23/04 05:32 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
NAK Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 2561
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by valarking:
Op. 39 No. 12 is particularly frightening. [/b]
No kidding, eh? I just listened to it. The first bit of the main theme sounds like variations on "The Itsy Bitsy Spider". \:D

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#597665 - 10/23/04 06:06 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
starms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Leicester, UK
I really did laugh at that one..

i thought of the same myself yesterday...

One thing similar that illudes myself, but I'm sure is common knowledge (and on the same subject) is K. 300e...

Did Mozart invent 'twinkle twinkle', or was 300e based around it?

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#597666 - 10/23/04 07:41 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
valarking Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 2331
Loc: Dallas
He just wrote variations on it.

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#597667 - 10/25/04 09:27 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
paulie567 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 160
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Check out this recording of Rachmaninoff playing Liszt's HR2 -- if you can mentally tune out all the hiss and scratching it quickly becomes clear what an amazing pianist Rachmaninoff was.

http://classic.manual.ru/Rachmaninov-performer/Liszt_VengRhap_2.html

I've never heard such an incredible performance, in Bugs Bunny cartoons or anywhere else... :-)

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#597668 - 10/25/04 10:00 PM Re: Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2
Vladtepes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 2
Loc: New York City
I think that "les études transcendantes de Liszt" are much harder than the HR2 and the Prélude 16th of Chopin is also pretty hard.
But you should try to play Un Sospiro it's much nicer than the HR2

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