We think this might be the hardest piece of piano music ever written

20 June 2016, 15:34

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji’s Opus clavicembalistic

Pianists everywhere, prepare yourself for possibly the most demanding piece of piano music ever written. *gulps*

This is a section of the score from Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji’s Opus clavicembalisticum. It’s hard to pronounce, but even harder to play.

For a start, it lasts for over four hours in total, spread across 12 movements. That would be bad enough if it was dead easy to play, but of course, it’s much worse. It’s  a fiend.

Don’t let the first bar fool you - here’s the opening movement:

And here’s the final one, about which the composer himself wrote: “The closing 4 pages are so cataclysmic and catastrophic as anything I've ever done—the harmony bites like nitric acid—the counterpoint grinds like the mills of God.”

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

mozart oboe concerto on helium

An *oboist* inhaled helium and played a virtuosic Mozart concerto

bolero trombone fail

This trombone fail will make you laugh and then immediately feel awful for laughing

donald trump orchestra

A detailed music theory analysis of Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ song