hardest piano piece

5 Hardest Piano Pieces That Are Difficult to Play

For those who don’t play the piano, every piece of music can seem like it is the hardest one that has ever been written.

The piano is one of the most complex instruments to play. You will find that many of the most beautiful pieces of music that can be played are very complicated to play. Between complex keystrokes, wide octave shifts, and intense pedal work, these pieces are complex enough that some professional musicians will not even attempt to play them.

If you have learned to play the piano, you know how many variables there are that you need to learn about to play well. The hardest piano pieces that have ever been written require skills with every part of the piano as well as well-developed skills for reading music.

The most complex piano pieces that have ever been written require a wide range of music skills to play correctly.

If you are curious about what the hardest piano piece is, you need to read on to learn more!

Why is a Piano Piece Considered Hard to Play?

There are many factors that might lead to a piano piece being considered hard to play. The timing of the piece might be very fast or the keystrokes very complex.

Some piano pieces also require a lot of skill at working across the entire keyboard with reach and timing. For pieces that are dramatic and high-speed, you might also need to learn how to operate the foot pedals very rapidly.

Most difficult piano pieces are going to involve really intricate finger strokes that need to be memorized. If you need to play through many keys within the same piece, you will need to learn keystrokes for various parts of the song as well.

This can make a piano piece very tough to play and some of these pieces are actually considered to be mentally and physically taxing to play correctly.

Our Shortlist: Hardest Piano Piece

The hardest pieces of music to play are often classical pieces. The symphonic nature of these pieces is part of what makes them so tough to play. Piano pieces that are complex are intended to play all the parts of a piece of music that would normally require many instruments to play.

The Hardest Fast Piano Piece

The hardest fast piano piece is Liszt- La Campanella. This piece is so hard to play because it needs to be played really fast. There are also lots of changes in the keystrokes to create the unique tempo of the piece.

This is a part of a larger work but is meant to be a showcase piece for the piano alone. This is a big part of why the piece is so complex and so hard to play overall.


The Hardest Keystrokes in a Piano Piece

The piano piece that has the toughest keystrokes is Ravel from Gaspard de la Nuit. This piece has some of the hardest combinations of keystrokes of any piece of music ever written.

Many of the best pianists will not take on this challenge to perform in front of others using this piece of music due to the complexity of the timing and the keystrokes that are needed to play it.

This is a piece that is intensely mathematical in nature as well, which can make it hard to manage mentally as you play.


The Hardest Piano Piece for Stamina

If you are wondering which hard piano piece requires the most stamina to play, this would have to be the Concerto for Solo Piano written by Charles Valentin Alkan. This piece lasts for 50 minutes in total and it is complicated from the first moment of playing to the last.

There are many musicians that say that this is the most taxing piece of music ever played and that one has to have the technical skill as well as true physical grit to get through it. Imagine playing any instrument for an hour straight and you will see why this might be a really exhausting piece of music to play.


The Hardest Piano Piece Played Over Octaves

If you are trying to figure out which piano piece is hardest because it is played across many octaves, this would have to be Stravinsky’s Trois Mouvements de Petrouchka. This piece is incredibly complex and covers every octave many times during the piece’s duration.

This is a very hard piece for handwork and reach and some people will find that the finger space necessary for some keystrokes as well as the reach up and down the keyboard are almost impossible for them to master.


The Hardest Dramatic Piano Piece

If you are wondering which piece of music is hard to play because it contains a lot of drama and hand movements at the same time, this piece is definitely the Piano Concerto No. 2 written by Prokofiev.

This piece covers all kinds of highs and lows complete with transitions up and down octaves that require intense work with both hands. This is a really complex piece that is memorable for a whole variety of reasons.


Complex Piano Pieces Are Beautiful Even if They Are Hard to Play

The hardest piano pieces are often the most beautiful ones in the world. Mastering these pieces is difficult and can take years of practice, but they are some of the most relevant and gorgeous pieces of music that have ever been written.

For many pianists, these pieces are among the music that they hope someday to be able to play after years of practice.

All of these pieces of music are hard to play for unique reasons and every single one is memorable and important to the history of music. For those who are learning to play the piano and need some inspiration to help them to get better at their technique, these pieces might be the goal that you could reach for.

Being able to play any of these pieces will require skills that not many musicians can claim, and they are well worth the effort and achievement.

About the Author Linda Ritter

Linda Ritter is a passionate pianist and a songwriter for more than 7 years. With a Masters in Music, she has explored the world of music and has collaborated with several musicians and brands like Roland, Tune Core, and plenty of blogs.