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WQXR Features

What's the Most Virtuosic Piano Piece Ever Written?

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As we mark the bicentenary of Franz Liszt in 2011, many pianists are daring to tackle his immensely difficult and diabolical compositions. But they're not the only "extreme" pieces in the repertoire.

Rachmaninoff could give Liszt a run for his money in his epic concertos; Balakirev's Islamey was a favorite of Horowitz and even caused Scriabin to damage his right hand while fanatically practicing the piece; Ravel wanted the Scarbo movement from his Gaspard de la Nuit to be more difficult than Islamey. What do you think? Take our poll:


A postscript: We'll be highlighting the results of this poll next week on WQXR. Stay tuned for more details!