Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt?

Posted by: Puckettmeister86

Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 07:09 PM

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.
Posted by: Jeff135

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 07:19 PM

I'd say about the same.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 07:27 PM

In what really mattered to him, Rachmaninoff was by far the best auto mechanic.
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 08:07 PM

I'd agree. Curiously, it lines up in order of hand size, largest (Rachmaninoff) to smallest (Chopin).
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 09:06 PM

I think it's more difficult to play Liszt well...but at that point, I think we're arguing semantics. ;\)
Posted by: TheMadMan86

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 09:18 PM

yeah id say
1.liszt
2 rachmaninov
3 chopin
Posted by: LisztAddict

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 09:45 PM

Liszt
Chopin
Rachmaninov
Posted by: Rach.3Freak105

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 11:13 PM

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.
Posted by: Baldwinfan.718

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 11:53 PM

Rachmaninoff
Liszt
Chopin

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

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/04/06 11:55 PM

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).
Posted by: kreso

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 02:12 AM

1.Liszt
2.Rachmaninov
3.Chopin
Posted by: Puckettmeister86

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 02:45 AM

He could do a 12th fairly comfortably and stretch a 13th.
Posted by: Puckettmeister86

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 02:47 AM

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.
Posted by: Appassionata Sonata

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 02:56 AM

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.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 03:00 AM

 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. ;\)
Posted by: Appassionata Sonata

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 03:02 AM

 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.
Posted by: Heretic

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 03:10 AM

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.
Posted by: Max W

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 03:47 AM

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.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 04:28 AM

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. ;\)
Posted by: lol_nl

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 06:50 AM

1.Chopin
2.Liszt
3.Rachmaninov

of course.....
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 09:30 AM

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 ;\) )).
Posted by: Max W

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 09:53 AM

"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.
Posted by: Heretic

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 12:25 PM

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.
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 02:47 PM

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
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 03:03 PM

(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....
Posted by: Heretic

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 03:17 PM

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
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 03:22 PM

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 ;\)
Posted by: Agent99

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 03:31 PM

 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)?
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 03:39 PM

Blue Danube Waltz
Ride of the Valkyrie
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 04:53 PM

 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)...
Posted by: Max W

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 05:11 PM

I thought the 2nd and 3rd Mephisto Waltes were orchestral! *is confused*
Posted by: IpsoPhatso

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 06:00 PM

When it comes to popularity, what are you speaking of? Do you mean popular as in how the general public would recongnize the theme? Or taking it a step further, and can the general public name the piece and composer as well.

If we are talking about JUST recongnizing the theme, I'd say Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody #2 is right there at the top. If we are talking about actually naming the piece/composer, as well as recongnizing the theme, then I'd say Fur Elise is at the top. Everybody knows that's Beethoven.

Anyway, as for the original topic, I'd say Liszt, then Rach, then Chopin.
Posted by: Heretic

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 07:07 PM

I agree ipso, I doubt anyone can name the Hungarian Rhapsody #2 or who composed it but most have heard the actual theme as opposed to fur elise which most people can also name.
But then again many of the other popular pieces most people wouldn't be able to name either such as Mozart's 40th, k. 545, 1812, William Tell, Queen of the Night Aria, Bach Toccata, etc, etc, almost none of those pieces would be actually identifiable by people by name AND composer.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 08:57 PM

 Quote:
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)...
*laughs* So would I! :p ;\)

I'm working with Rachmaninoff right now (several preludes), and I think Chopin is next, but I'll see if I can't get Liszt into the rotation. (It'll take some convincing to get my teacher "on board"...but we'll see. ;\) )

(And which Liszt were you referring to? <---Now I'm curious. ;\) )
Posted by: C.V. Alkan

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 09:22 PM

I think Rachmaninoffs Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini 18th variation is probably better known by audiences then either the 2nd or 3rd concerti.

Difficulty of the composer's works:

1. Liszt - Rachmaninoff never wrote anything as difficult as the Beethoven Symphony Transcriptions, a few of the Transcendental Etudes, Some of the opera transcriptions (Norma, Don Juan, etc.), the Hexameron, etc.

2. Rachmaninoff

3. Chopin

The difficulty of their works, however, is utterly unimportant. When it comes to who's music I prefer, I'm kinda at a loss. I think Liszt is probably my favorite composer though. Ask me this time next week and I may say Rachmaninoff or Chopin.

Although it is a touchy and subjective subject, the question of who was the most influential or "greatest" composer is also important. I would say Liszt is the most influential because:

1. He created the idea of a "concert pianist". Before him, solo piano recitals (As you all know, he also coined the term "recital") where the pianist plays for a large crowd were almost non-existent.

2. He arguably played the most instrumental role in bringing Beethoven's music back to popularity.

3. He taught many of the great composers of the 19th century and is partly responsible for many of their greatest compositions (ex: Tchaikowsky's 1st concerto). He was also one of Rachmaninoffs biggest influences.

4. He was a far more prolific composer than either Rachmaninoff or Chopin.
Posted by: C.V. Alkan

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 09:24 PM

*delete
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 10:07 PM

All you gotta do is say, "Liszt is the guy who turned the piano sideways," and I'll vote for him. :p ;\)
Posted by: Appassionata Sonata

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/05/06 10:58 PM

Liszt was also influential in other ways that Zack didn't mention. - He was the inventor of Impressionism and atonal music.
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/06/06 03:05 AM

Re 3rd Mephisto Waltz... First of all, Andsnes' Liszt album contains the 2nd and the 4th, so those I've heard played with the piano (haven't heard them in their possible/conceivable orchestral form)...

I know the 3rd exists as a piano version... Whether it is an original piano composition, or a transcription by Liszt himself (which it would otherwise be), I don't know, but talking about Liszt, I don't think it really matters (his orchestral writing was rather pianistic, like Beethoven's (and quite unlike Wagner's), and his different versions of his own works tended to differ remarkably from each other anyhow, which signify that the 3rd is probably not just a good piece for piano, but also could be thought of as an independent composition for piano (even if it is a transcription, that is)).
Posted by: jpw101

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/06/06 09:10 AM

The third and fourth Mephisto Waltzes exist as solo piano pieces only, the first and second have orchestral and piano-duet counterparts too.

The third is a brilliant piece, well worth learning. Shame it's not recorded and performed more often. John Ogdon wrote:

"The Third 'Mephisto' Waltz (1883) is a finely wrought, ardent tone-poem whose unusual chord structures foreshadow Scriabin. Liszt's harmonic, scalic and melodic experiments are magnificently integrated in this work, while the piano writing has a sulphuric fitfulness which deservedly ranks the piece with its more famous predecessor."
Posted by: BDB

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/06/06 11:13 AM

 Quote:
All you gotta do is say, "Liszt is the guy who turned the piano sideways," and I'll vote for him.
That was Dussek.
Posted by: Stormcrow

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/06/06 03:25 PM

I read that one of Liszt's students stated that he could only stretch about a tenth.
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/06/06 04:06 PM

Speaking of composers, which Liszt influenced as a composer... Liszt was a crucial influence on Wagner (btw, Wagner wrote a long praise about Liszt's Dante Symphony), a major influence on Richard Strauss, and a significant influence on Bartok (Totentanz should be mentioned here . . . inventive and influential instrumentation, and a wonderful piece), and Busoni (and whom else? Shönberg? Scriabin?)...
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/06/06 08:16 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
 Quote:
All you gotta do is say, "Liszt is the guy who turned the piano sideways," and I'll vote for him.
That was Dussek. [/b]
Then I suppose I can't vote for him....
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/07/06 05:49 AM

According to Louis Spohr (according to Wikipedia)... But wasn't Liszt the guy who made it popular (and had he even heard about Dussek?)?
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/07/06 06:00 AM

I thought so, too...
Posted by: jpw101

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/07/06 07:49 AM

In Alan Walker's biography, there is this footnote:
 Quote:

Tomasek, in his autobiography, claimed that Dussek had already positioned his piano in this way, the better to show off his beautiful profile. Dussek did not do this consistently, however, and in any case his career had no lasting impact on the history of piano playing. Liszt appears to have been unaware of Dussek's tentative reforms when he came to the conclusion that one must not only play the piano but "play the building," and to that end he experimented with the placement of the instrument until he got it right.[/b]
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: Rachmaninoff vs. Chopin vs. Liszt? - 03/07/06 09:07 AM

Ah, thanks jpw, I had forgotten that...