Hardest Works for Piano

We're talking about lots of arpeggios, obsessive key signature changing, big chords, funky time signatures and rythm, and rare quarter notes lots of beams. Usually quick songs. Confusing fingering.

The Top Ten

1 Lizst's 12 Transcendental Etudes

Look these up on YouTube and you will see why this is first enough said

Amazing to listen to but horrible to play, lol.

Good luck learning these. It gets pretty technical. - michaelwilliams

I love Mazeppa

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2 Beethoven's Sonatas

Ridiculous to say that "moonlight mvt III" is the hardest. Sure it is quick and fiery and beautiful, but when you listen to a work as profound as the fugue from Op 106 in Bb major (the hammerklavier) it becomes easy in comparison. The late works were often half an hour to 45 minutes and they were utterly ridiculous. The fugue at the end of op. 106 is unbelievably difficult to play, same with the fugue at the end of op 110. The difficulty in these pieces which truly are among the most difficult to play ever is that they are extremely long, profound, and the interpretation can and does take years to finalize. The hardest song to play is Op106, followed by op 111, op 7. Although much different is absurdly difficult.

Please explore Beethoven's Sonatas beyond "Moonlight" (Which was a name given by a poet, not Beethoven. It is the C#m sonata) They are truly magnificent pieces of music, sure you can teach a 20 year old to play many of them, but to play them musically and powerfully is ...more

Very unique and probably the most played sonatas, especially moonlite. - michaelwilliams

Which retards keep spamming MOONLIGHT 3? The hardest is undoubtedly Hammerklavier 4th, Moonlight 3 wouldn't even make the top 20 of the hardest Beethoven sonata movements

Unbelievably hard

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3 Chopin's Etudes

Extremely tough

That Winter Wind is really hard...just saying

brilliant melodies. Very musical. All of over the place though and clef changes. - michaelwilliams

Learning Chopin's Revolutionary Étude. Pretty tough!

4 Hungarian Rhapsodies - Liszt


Technically difficult AND musically difficult.

Love these but they are brutally hard to play


5 Death Waltz - John Stump

Good luck

It isn't even a real song. All it is, is just a massive clump of notes that can't even be played.

Oh mi gawd you guys have not seen this work before have you...? It is LITERALLY impossible! You should go YouTube it...

6 Lizst's Paginini Etudes


La Campanella!

I played the Paganini-Liszt etude no. 6, definitely a challenging piece, but I would say that Tarantella is a much more challenging piece.

Again, good luck learning these. It'll take take you months even years, it depends at your skill at the piano. - michaelwilliams

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7 Chopin's Waltzes

I agree. I attempted playing "Minute Waltz" and people kept pointing out that my fingers don't stretch out far enough for the bass part.

8 Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3

Lovely and God inspired!

9 Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Franz Liszt

Crazy. Period

10 Gaspard de La Nuit - Maurice Ravel

The most difficult of all time...

Most difficult piece worth learning - Charlesman01

The Contenders

11 Flight of the Bumblebee

Difficult to play.


Pretty cool

Even though the song is very fast, the keys are not that far apart while playing the fast bits! =^~^=

12 The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku - Marasy8
13 The Well-Tempered Clavichord

Miss a note and the whole structure crumbles. wonderful polyphony to bring out.

These are challenging pieces with lots of melody. - michaelwilliams

14 Liszt - La Campanella


Hard like my dick

An outstanding piece, learning this is one of the most rewarding things out there...

La Campanella requires dexterity of the gods. Honestly, Liszt is an absolute master and La Campanella is one of his most beautiful but certainly one of his most challenging creations.

15 Necrofantasia

SO. CONFUSING! You should at least take a look at the sheet music, or the arrangements people on YouTube have created.

16 Bad Apple - Touhou

Bad Apple Rare ASDF mode

Its legit sooo hard

17 The Nuker 3

This song will NUKE your piano. In fact, it is nearly impossible for computers to play this. The sustains are mild, but there are overlaps, and the spam is insane. No actual piano can play this past the 7 million note per second crash of part 3. But, it goes up to part 11, where the notes per second go to possibly over 1 billion, for a split second. LEL This is way more complex than any of the others. But, there are namy versions of this, some are much harder than others. Not to mention, this is a 128 key black midi. So, no piano can even TRY!

Search it up and watch.

This is a ridiculous song consisting 530 million notes and at a lenght of 14 minutes it is humanly impossible.

18 The March of the Black Queen - Queen

In My top 5 favorite songs Queen is the best band in the world underrated song

19 Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu Op.66
20 Schumman's Symphonic Etudes

tougher reproiture, especially since the etudes are all variations of one etude in the beginning. - michaelwilliams

21 Mozart's Sonatas

quick and lighthearted, altough dynamics and fingering are a issue into perfecting these. - michaelwilliams

22 Islamey - Balakirev
23 Brahm's Etudes

what's interesting about these is that he's burrowing melodies from other composers and spicing it up a bit with technique. - michaelwilliams

24 Rondo Fantastique: El Contrabandista - Franz Liszt

A forest of notes

Irrefutably the hardest piano piece ever written. There has never been a flawless recording, and Lizst himself was known to completely botch some of the runs. There are runs where you truly are gambling to hit the right notes. There has never been and will never be a good recording of this song.

Hard to get harder than imposaible

25 Scriabin Etudes

This list is ridiculous. These etudes are the hardest pieces I have so far seen on the list - but where is Gaspard de La Nuit? Etc etc. Crap crap crap list! What is this site?

lots of octaves and strong chords. - michaelwilliams

26 Flight of the Bumblebee - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

I think its really hard
so I added it

27 Circus Galop - Marc Andre Hamelin
28 Death Piano - Xi
29 Liszt's El Contrabandista

It's absolutely crazy, the octave jumps are extremely difficult. Look that up on YouTube, you'll know what I mean lol.

30 The Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater
31 Bat Out Of Hell - Meat Loaf
32 Réminiscences de Don Juan - Franz Liszt
33 The Fountain
34 Rachmaninoff Etude Tableau Op 39 No. 6 "Little Red Riding Hood"
35 Gyorgy Ligeti's Etudes

I think these are as difficult as Liszts 12. and playing the "wrong" notes all the time as these are atonal Works...

36 Liszt - Sonata in B Minor

Incredibly difficult, huge demand of interpretation and strength in technique.

37 Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor

Hauntingly beautiful. Very hard to pull off in regards to musicality because it requires the deepness of the "Russian Church Bells" at the beginning, and the haunting sadness of the middle section. Overall technically challenging piece

38 Heroic Polonaise - Chopin
39 Prokofiev War Sonatas
40 "Ah Vous Dirai-je Maman" Variations - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Not all, but most of them are really hard! Especially the 11th variation!

The tenth variation is the hardest!

41 El Contrabandista
42 Awaken - Yes

I think this songs intro really shows rick wakeman's piano skills

43 Liszt - El Contrabandista "Rondo Fantastique" Op. 5 no. 2/S. 252
44 Rhapsody in Blue - George Gershwin
45 Iannis Xenakis - Evryali

A disgusting real composed impossible piece.

46 Evryali - Xenakis
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