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The 5 most difficult piano concertos


| 20 Comments | Tags: , ,
liszt performing caricature

liszt_performing_caricatureTwo years ago, I published a post entitled The 5 most difficult piano pieces trying to determine the top 5 most difficult solo works for piano. I got lots of comments mentioning piano concertos, and today I wanted to take a look at these pieces for piano and orchestra. Remember this ranking does not thus escape my subjectivity – these are the most difficult piano concertos according to me.

In first place, Prokofiev’ second concerto. Long and technically extremely difficult, this concerto is also difficult for the pianist to remember and for both parties (orchestra and pianist) putting together is a hard task.

In second place, I would put the d minor concerto by Sergei Rachmaninov. No need to spell it out, it is an extremely difficult whole but very rewarding when played in public.

Some will be surprised by the third place: Bartok’s second concerto. Nobody talks about it, very few pianists play it, but without a doubt, one of the most difficult piano concertos ever written!

4th place attributed to : Brahms’ second concerto. Maybe the longest concerto in piano history. Very tricky also.

And the last one in this very subjective ranking: Richard Strauss’ Burleske. Wonderful work (I like very much Rudolph Serkin’s interpretation) but really not easy to play…

Let’s sum up this “top 5″:
1 – Prokofiev: Second concerto in g minor.
2 – Rachmaninoff : Third concerto in d minor.
3 – Bartok : Second concerto
4 – Brahms : Second concerto in B flat major
5 – R. Strauss : Burleske

I can only repeat what I already wrote in 2009 : “Of course, this is just my point of view on the subject and you will certainly hear about other suggestions elsewhere.”

And you, what would you add to this list?