Top 10 Most Difficult Piano Pieces

We're talking about lots of arpeggios, obsessive key signature changing, big chords, funky time signatures and rhythm, and rare quarter notes - lots of beams. Usually quick songs. Confusing fingering.
The Top Ten
1 Lizst's 12 Transcendental Etudes

Yeah, don't bother attempting these before 20 years of experience. I broke my wrist while practicing Wilde Jagd.

Good luck learning these. It gets pretty technical.

Absolute insanity. Nothing can surpass this level of difficulty besides the Douze Grandes √Čtudes.

2 Beethoven's Sonatas

Ridiculous to say that Moonlight Movement III is the hardest. Sure, it is quick, fiery, and beautiful, but when you listen to a work as profound as the fugue from Op. 106 in B-flat 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, as is 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 take years to finalize. The hardest piece to play is Op. 106, followed by Op. 111 and Op. 7. Although much different, it is absurdly difficult.

Please explore Beethoven's Sonatas beyond Moonlight (which was a name given by a poet, not Beethoven. It is the C-sharp minor 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 something few musicians can claim to have achieved.

3 Chopin's Etudes
4 Hungarian Rhapsodies - Liszt
5 Lizst's Paginini Etudes

I played the Paganini-Liszt étude 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 you months, even years. It depends on your skill at the piano.

6 Death Waltz - John Stump

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

Oh my god, you guys have not seen this work before, have you? It is literally impossible! You should go YouTube it.

7 Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3
8 Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Franz Liszt
9 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.

10 Gaspard de La Nuit - Maurice Ravel

Definitely one of the most difficult pieces ever composed. Even the second part, Le Gibet, though slow, has some really complex chords to play. Ravel was beyond genius and unlike any other composer!

Try deciphering pi to the millionth decimal point. Mastering this piece, you'll have to cube it at the very least.

The most difficult of all time.

The Contenders
11 Flight of the Bumblebee
12 Liszt - La Campanella

La Campanella requires the 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.

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

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

These are challenging pieces with lots of melody.

15 Necrofantasia

So confusing! You should at least take a look at the sheet music or the arrangements people on YouTube have created.

16 Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu Op.66
17 Bad Apple - Touhou
18 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 notes 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. This is way more complex than any of the others.

There are many 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!

19 Mozart's Sonatas
20 The March of the Black Queen - Queen
21 Schumman's Symphonic Etudes
22 Islamey - Balakirev
23 Rondo Fantastique: El Contrabandista - Franz Liszt

Irrefutably the hardest piano piece ever written. There has never been a flawless recording, and Liszt 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 piece.

24 Brahm's Etudes
25 Scriabin Etudes
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