On Air Now
Smooth Classics with Margherita Taylor 10pm - 1am
20 June 2016, 15:34
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.”