Ravels Gaspard De La Nuit
Maurice Ravel is famous for writing difficult music pieces. So much, so that amateur pianists find his name synonymous with impossibility.
Gaspart de la Nuit is a set of three pieces, of which Scarbo is the third piece. According to music historians, he deliberately made Scarbo more challenging to challenge Balakirevs Islamey.
Inspired by a book of poetry of the same name written by Aloysium Bertrand, Ravel tried to bring alive the darkness and the horror of the poetry into his music.
One requires years of experience, patience, and unwavering dedication to pull off this piece of music on a piano.
Listen to Pogorelich playing Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit
Gaspard De La Nuit By Maurice Ravel
Why its hard: Ravel wrote Gaspard de la Nuit to one-up Mily Balakirevs Islamey. In other words, this whirlwind of a piece was designed to be hard. And its lived up to its nametoday, the three-part suite makes a frequent appearance on lists of difficult piano pieces. The dense score is nearly incomprehensible, and pianist Steven Osborne even likened it to solving never-ending quadratic equations.
Ligetis Tude For Piano No 13
György Ligeti is a contemporary and an avant-garde pianist, unlike the rest of the list.
Ligetis Étude for Piano No. 13, also known as Devils staircase, makes you whirl around your existence. First, it brings you face to face with your existential maze. Then, it soothes you in your awareness and restlessness.
Our interviewees described this piece of music as the Mt. Everest for pianists. They know its hard but still want to climb the high register keys.
Heres a video to listen to Ligetis Étude for Piano No. 13.
Ever wondered who invented piano?If so, take a look at the Brief History of Piano.
Recommended Reading: Lady Gaga Jazz And Piano Las Vegas Tickets
Hardest Piano Songs In The World These Are The Most Difficult Pieces Ever
Trying to list the hardest songs ever written on any instrument is a difficult task. Everybody has a different perspective on what makes a song difficult.
On the piano, the technique, endurance, and rhythmic/harmonic complexity of these pieces are what earn them their top spots. However, some would argue that a somewhat simpler piece can be more difficult to play with musicality and feel.
Listing difficult pieces is also difficult when you take into account 20th Century composers. The first few on this list are 20th Century composers who use complex polyrhythms and atonal harmony.
20th Century works are not just technical challenges, they are conceptual challenges as well straying far and wide from the traditional ways of organizing classical compositions.
For that reason, Im not going to list multiple pieces by the same composer. Otherwise you would have a ton of Soranji and Liszt. Youll end up with a better understanding of the history this way.
But first, if it’s your aim to do music professionally, you’ll want to check out our free ebook while it’s still available:
Free eBook: Discover how real independent musicians like you are making $4,077 – $22,573+ monthly via Youtube, let me know where to send the details:
Sorabji is an 20th Century English composer, infamous for having written some of the most difficult piano pieces ever. His pieces are long and complex often making use of polyrhythms, and both tonal and atonal elements.
Chopin Etude Op 10 No 4 Chopin
Chopin was a Polish, Romantic-era composer who wrote primarily solo piano music. He was a virtuoso himself, and was a leading musician of his era.
This etude is characterized by the speed and lightness with which it has to be played. There is no room to breathe between narrow and wide hand positions and lightning fast lines in the both the left and right hands.
This performance by Valentina Lisitsa will show you everything you need to know. Her dexterity and accuracy are flawless and the piece shows itself as dramatic and lively despite its technical challenges.
You May Like: Easy Piano Songs With Letter Notes
Gaspard De La Nuit Ravel
Ravel was a French composer, often associated with impressionism and his relationship with Debussy. Ravel composed slowly and painstakingly, and as a result his catalogue is not as large as some composers.
Nonetheless, his pieces are famous and famously difficult. This piece, Gaspard de la Nuit has three movements, notable for fast repetition of the note chords, disjunct hand movement, double note scales in both hands, and a quick tempo.
Piano Concerto No 2 Bartok
Bela Bartok is one of the most important 20th Century composers. His Piano Concerto No. 2 is one of the most difficult pieces in his repertoire. In fact, all three of his Piano Concertos are exceptionally difficult.
The music is contrapuntal taking its harmony from a modern version of counterpoint. Even though the piece is rooted in classical theory, it is still extremely complicated. When the piece was supposed to be premiered, the New York Philharmonic could not master it in time!
This performance by Yuja Wang is pretty incredible. Just watching the first five minutes should give you some idea of what youre dealing with.
Recommended Reading: Best Piano Keyboard With Weighted Keys
Piano Man By Billy Joel
Has there ever been a more famous pop song pianist than Billy Joel? Of course, he had to make our list, and many of his pieces have been made into easy piano songs that even beginners can like. The chords used in this song are great for beginners, and theres plenty of easy piano sheet music for this piece to help you out.
The music featured in Piano Man almost makes you feel as if you are sitting in a piano bar actually listening to the great man himself. He has a way of pulling the listener in. Once the song was released Joel later revealed that he would work in piano bars away from New York in order to pay his bills. Instead of playing under his stage name, he used the name Bill Martin and this was the Piano Man the song refers to.
Messiaens Vingt Regards Sur Lenfant
Olivier Messiaens ground-breaking composition Vingt Regards sur lenfant Jésus is one of the toughest songs to play on a piano.
The titles literal meaning is twenty gazes on the infant Jesus, which speaks about the composers catholic devotion.
Often compared with Bachs Well-Tempered Clavier and Beethovens 32 Piano Sonatas in terms of their scale, it challenges a pianist to their core.
It takes as long as two hours to play, and therefore, its rarely performed in full. Our interviewees expressed that It takes extreme physical and emotional stamina to play this piece.
Heres Messiaens Vingt Regards sur lEnfant-Jésus performed by Yvonne Loriod.
Read Also: Easy Pop Songs For Piano
Take The A Train As Performed By Oscar Peterson
Why its hard: Sam names highly variable harmonies and a high-precision,nearly impossible to recreate right hand as reasons for why this piece is so challenging. But what I love most about Oscar Petersons performance is that despite the speed and climax near the end, Peterson never relinquishes control he keeps it cool. Theres a reason why Louis Armstrong called him the man with four hands.
Children By Robert Miles
Over the past few years, a lot of artists have been turning to the piano as the go-to instrument for electronic and dance music. Children by Robert Miles is probably the best example of these types of pop songs. Miles said his inspiration came from the desire to have a song that would end a DJ set, calming ravers down before they drove home to hopefully reducing the number of car accident deaths.
Read Also: Running Up That Hill Piano Sheet Music
Sonata No 5 Op 53 Scriabin
If you are looking for a unique challenge, then you may want to listen to this Sonata.
Sonata number 5 by Scriabin is known for its numerous polyrhythms that will leave you scratching your head.
Even though it is challenging enough to learn the notes, it is even harder to draw out the different rhythms and play them in harmony.
The piece leaves some people wondering what the composer was thinking about.
Piano Sonata No 2 In B Flat Minor Chopin
Even though Chopin did not write a lot of piano sonatas, all of them are incredibly difficult.
One of the most difficult is Chopin Sonata number 2.
It contains his famous Funeral March, but also an unbelievably challenging first movement.
The famous funeral march was even played at Chopins own funeral.
Take a listen to this piece, and see if it is something you want to play down the road.
Don’t Miss: Can You Learn Piano As An Adult
Three Movements From Petrushka Stravinsky
Tackle this piece only if you dare.
All of the movements contain a lot of glissandos, there are numerous jumps that span two octaves, and it takes forever to learn.
It is a long piece that evokes a wide variety of emotions, but if you can play it well, you will hold the attention of everyone in the room from start to finish.
There are many people who describe Bachs works as being very mathematical.
Indeed, that was the style of the Baroque era.
On the other hand, plenty of his pieces are still incredibly challenging.
One of his most difficult works is the Goldberg Variations.
While not all of them are incredibly difficult, some of the variations are among the hardest pieces ever written for classical piano.
The variations challenge even some of the most accomplished professional pianists.
The Most Difficult Piano Songs To Play
Despite the fact that there are many difficult pop and rock songs to play on the piano, La Campanella by Franz Liszt stands out as one of the most difficult pieces to play on the piano. This piece has a fast-paced right hand note that can be quite challenging for anyone. Good Golly Miss Molly, Aladdin Sane, and Rhapsody in Blue are some of the most difficult piano songs to play. Despite the fact that there are many outstanding pianists out there, Hans von B*low is regarded as one of the most difficult. It has been claimed that Balakirevs composition is the most difficult piano work of all time.
You May Like: Steinway Upright Piano For Sale
The Man With The Child In His Eyes By Kate Bush
Kate Bush has never been known for easy piano songs to sing along to or to learn to play. Kate actually took the musical influences from her family which then inspired her to go on and teach herself how to play piano when she was 11. This is a perfect example of how famous piano players get their start in life.
The Man with the Child in His Eyes was written by the artist when she was only 13 years old, and its a great song for such young talent. The music then went on to be recorded when Kate turned 16. As you listen to the music you will hear of a relationship between an older man and a young girl. Back in 2010 Bush revealed that the song was about her then-boyfriend Steve Blacknell.
Mission Impossible Theme Song Piano Notes
The Mission: Impossible theme song is one of the most popular and recognizable pieces of music in pop culture. The theme was composed by Lalo Schifrin and has been featured in all six Mission: Impossible films. The theme is an up-tempo, jazz-fusion track that features a distinctive electric guitar riff. The theme has been covered by a variety of artists, including Herbie Hancock, U2, and Chuck Mangione.
Don’t Miss: Mary Did You Know Piano
Liszts Reminiscence De Don Juan
Liszt was highly impressed by Mozarts Don Giovanni. He composed Reminiscence de Don Juan while under the formers heavy influence.
This piece is undoubtedly Liszts most challenging music piece. Its long and technically scary to many pianists.
There are long jumps across the keyboard using both hands. Its possible to play this piece only after the rigorous practice for years.
Heres a video of Lang Lang playing Liszts Reminiscences de Don Juan.
Piano Sonata No 29 Beethoven
In many ways, Beethovens Piano Sonata No. 29 more famously known as the Hammerklavier is the granddaddy of all difficult pieces for the piano.
This is the piece that most other piano pieces are compared to.
Its Beethovens hardest sonata and is widely recognized as one of the most challenging piano pieces of all time.
It takes approximately 45 minutes to finish, and it is incredibly challenging all the way through.
Read Also: Beauty And The Beast Piano Chords
Best Songs To Learn On Piano In 2022
- ChordPresso Staff
Pianists might not be the most rock and roll of all musicians but songs that have been written on the piano make some of the sweetest and most memorable tunes out there. Some of the best songs to learn on piano have made it into the pop and rock halls of fame. Here we are looking at the very best piano songs you should learn on the piano. Grab your sheet music and lets learn to play!
Piano Concerto No 2 Prokofiev
Prokofiev is a Russian composer, famous for several 20th Century masterpieces such as The Love for Three Oranges, the Romeo and Juliet ballet, and Peter and the Wolf.
The Piano Concerto No. 2 is one of the most difficult piano concertos in standard repertoire. Even Prokofiev himself had difficulty playing it.
To add to the technical challenge, this is some of Prokofievs most dramatic work. It must be performed with emotional maturity and technical proficiency.
Recommended Reading: How To Play Wet Hands On Piano
A Thousand Miles By Vanessa Carlton
When you are looking for a great piano song to play then probably the most searched for pieces of sheet music will be A Thousand Miles. This piano-centric song was the debut song from the artist and is easily still her most recognized piece to this day. The songs intention was to talk about losing love and finding love that is so all-consuming that the lines of fantasy and reality become blurred. Vanessa first learned to play piano from her mother who was a professional pianist and also taught music at a school.
What Is The Hardest Piano Piece Ever Written
Scarbo, a piano virtuoso work by Maurice Ravel, is regarded as one of the most fearsome works in the piano repertoire. The composer is said to have written the piece in 1908 in a conscious effort to challenge Balakirevs Islamey a piece that was considered the hardest piece ever written for the keyboard.
Beethovens Piano Sonata No. 29 is regarded as one of the most difficult piano pieces ever composed. The La Campanella, written by Hungarian composer Liszt, has broken octaves and large jumps, which it is intended to be played extremely quickly. The Etude from the Swan Lake by Francois Bourland. You get the feeling of being trapped under a snowstorm when you listen to 25 No. 11 . There are a lot of etudes to choose from, and each one is difficult to read.
Only one of these pieces necessitates a great deal of prior experience. Beethoven wrote 32 sonatas, which have varying difficulty levels. When you listen to Scriabins Sonata, you will be surprised by its polyrhythms. The second piano piece in the concert hall. This concerto for 16 by Prokofiev is no exception, and it is unmistakably dark. Youll be doing a lot of jumping at the end of it because theres a lot of jumping that stretches your hands. Petrushka Stravinsky Three Movements Only if you dare to tackle this piece will you succeed.
Read Also: What To Do With Old Pianos
Etude Op 25 No 11 Chopin
The works of Chopin are among some of the most challenging ever written for piano.
One of his pieces that gets a significant amount of attention is his Etude Op. 25 No. 11 otherwise known as the Winter Wind Etude.
Given the name, the piece may leave you feeling like you are in the middle of a snowstorm.
Even some of the top pianist, such as Horowitz, have had a significant amount of difficulty playing this piece.
There are dozens of etudes, and all of them are challenging, but this one is undoubtedly at the top of the list.
Piano Concerto No 3 Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer and virtuosic pianist in the late 19th and early 20th Century. His style was melodic, expressive, and full of rich orchestration and harmony.
His Piano Concerto No. 3 is one of the most difficult piano concertos in the classical repertoire. The music is incredibly expressive and technical, requiring large jumps from the pianists and a huge dynamic range.
This performance by Anna Fedorova is stunning. She does an exceptional job of the piece and you can feel every ounce of passion poured into the piece.
Read Also: Free Hymn Arrangements For Piano
Mad World By Gary Jules
Back in 1982 Mad World was originally recorded by Tears for Fears and featured on The Hurting album. In 2001 the song was re-recorded to become a cover version and soundtrack for the film Donnie Darko. Michael Andrews was the original composer and the vocals were provided by Gary Jules.
Mad World is an incredibly easy song to play on piano and is probably one of those pop songs that would be recommended for beginners. The sheet music is available for free online. It can be difficult to keep up with the different melodies and chords in the left hand and right hand but once you get the song down, its an easy piano song that will impress anyone who listens.
The song itself is such a beautiful example of how the world around us is mad, and how some people struggle with this throughout their life.