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    • Thread Starter

    I've recently passed my Grade 8 piano exam and am looking to play something exciting, that I can hopefully learn before the end of the academic year. Obviously I won't base my decision on what's easiest, but it would be good to get some opinions:

    Fantasie Impromptu (Chopin)
    Revolutionary Etude (Chopin)
    Winter Wind (Chopin)
    Flight of the Bumblebee (Rimsky-Korsakov)

    I get that it's partly down to opinion and skill level, but any opinions would be appreciated Thanks
    • Thread Starter


    Well, I haven't played any of those pieces, but I am familiar with them. I'd say definitely the easiest there is the Fantasie Impromptu. If you're looking for the easiest start there. I think after just finishing Grade 8 the other three will be a stretch for you, as I personally wouldn't be comfortable tackling the left hand of the Revolutionary without proper preparatory exercises and I'm studying for my LTCL. (However, this is probably due to a condition that I have that makes my LH weak, I probably could tackle it with heavy practice.) The Winter Wind is just as difficult if not harder, but the techniques are similar throughout - the same goes for all the Chopin you've suggested really, as long as you can handle the rapid arpeggios and suchlike you should be OK. I presume you're referring to Rachmaninov's transcription of the Rimsky-Korsakov - if you're comfortable with the rapid chromatic scales and the leaps you should be fine, although I wouldn't recommend doing this as it is considered a virtuosic showpiece and after just learning Grade 8, I seriously doubt your technique is developed enough yet to handle this. If you're wanting some Rachmaninov, try some of the op.3 or the op.23 as they're a bit easier and you should be able to manage some if not all of them with practice.
    It suggests that you're after some heavy romantic repertoire, so what I did isn't going to suit you as after my Grade 8 I learnt the Mozart K322.(I feel this was more beneficial to me musically than any Rachmaninov or Liszt or Chopin I've ever learnt, by the way.) If I were you I'd maybe look at some of the Debussy preludes for something a bit different, (although not just the easier ones) or some of the Brahms rhapsodies - you will benefit much much more by playing something that you're capable of but stretches you, instead of something very hard that will probably cause you much frustration.

    I've tried to be as informative as possible, but if there's anything else I've missed out let me know.

    Winter Wind is the hardest by far, don't go anywhere near it for a good while.

    Fantasie Impromptu is probably the most suitable after grade 8, though it'll be harder than your grade 8 pieces.

    Revolutionary is easier than it sounds (incidentally I think they all are, except for winter wind), just fast left hand semiquavers and octaves/chords in the right hand. Albeit you need to learn it with proper technique which might be too much of a step right now. Flight of the bumblebee is similar.

    Make sure you learn them all properly with a good teacher

    In general, I'd say the order should be from easiest to hardest:

    1. Fantasie Impromptu - Pretty balanced piece overall, not too virtuosic, main benefit is musicality and balance between hands
    2. Flight of the Bumblebee - Hard if right hand is not nimble, but quite doable, main benefit is right hand dexterity
    3. Revolutionary - Hard if left hand is not strong/enduring, main benefits are for left hand
    4. Winter Wind - Hard at initial glance, but main problem is endurance. If you take time to carefully learn it, it'll have many more benefits than the others. Spotting the patterns in the semiquavers is the key to learning this one. Once you get the hang of the first two pages, the rest of it becomes automatically more doable with good practice (as for everything...:L). I'd say learn another (fast) étude before this one though, perhaps Op.10 No.4, as that will prepare both your hands.

    I hope this helps...XD I'm currently learning the Winter Wind, once the patterns are recognised, it becomes much easier! Speeding it up is a pain though...:3
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