Hungarian Rhapsody no. 12
Urtext Edition, paperbound
Pages: 28 (VI, 22), Size 23,5 x 31,0 cm
Order no. HN 806 · ISMN 979-0-2018-0806-2
Level of difficulty (Piano): difficult (Level 8/9)
This work, in which Liszt draws on five different folk themes, is surely one of his most ingenious Hungarian Rhapsodies. It offers a unique mix of melancholy, glittering keyboard acrobatics and stormy, rousing dance. The rhapsody was dedicated to Joseph Joachim; it was so popular that the original version for piano was soon arranged for violin and piano, for piano four hands and also for orchestra. We now present the original in proven Urtext quality. As with all the other rhapsodies published to date, a preface by the Hungarian Liszt scholar Mária Eckhardt precedes the musical text.
Although the music of Liszt has been edited by some of the great pianist-composers of the twentieth century, including Ferruccio Busoni and Ignacy Jan Paderewski, any pianist interested in both the technical and musicological complexities of Liszt’s music will benefit greatly from Henle’s new edition of the Hungarian Rhapsody no. 12.
[MLA Notes, 2009]
La edición crítica que publica Henle, en sus siempre cuidadísimas ediciones, restituye la exactitud editorial proporcionando mayor realce al excepcional brillo de la obra.
[Dia a dia, 2008]
Having recently welcomed Henle’s remarkable editions of Liszt’s second and sixth Hungarian Rhapsodies, it is a pleasure to strongly recommend its new version of no. 12. … The music is beautifully presented with excellent notes in the preface by Mária Eckhardt and sensible fingering from Andreas Groethuysen.
[International Piano, 2008]
The levels of difficulty of the
piano music published by G. Henle Publishers
The levels of difficulty of the piano music published by G. Henle Publishers
|1||easy||Bach, Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, nos. 4 and 5|
|2||Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier I, no. 1 Prelude C major|
|3||Beethoven, Piano Sonatas op. 49,1 and 2|
|4||medium||Grieg, Lyric Pieces op. 12, no. 4|
|5||Schumann, Fantasy Pieces op. 12, no. 1|
|6||Chopin, Nocturnes op. 27, nos. 1 and 2|
|7||difficult||Beethoven, Piano Sonata op. 10, no. 3|
|8||Beethoven, Piano Sonata op. 81a|
|9||Schumann, Toccata op. 7|
Guide to the levels of difficulty
"I don't know what 'difficult' means. Either you can play or you can't" – this was the rather terse comment by the great violinist Nathan Milstein, on being asked about the unbelievable difficulty of Niccolo Paganini's Caprice no. 1.
The relativity of the evaluation of difficulty in music immediately becomes clear. Yet I gladly take up this great challenge, presented to me by G. Henle Publishers. For I am aware of how useful a guide like this can be, both from my own experience as well as that of many colleagues. In particular so as to be able to identify "appropriate" works. For example for music teachers, who teach at very different levels, from beginners to those preparing for music conservatories, but also for all those interested amateurs for whom this guide is intended.
After careful deliberation I have settled on nine levels of difficulty, which I have divided into three groups: 1–3 (easy), 4–6 (medium), 7–9 (difficult). A number of parameters have been considered when assessing the level of difficulty. I have not just looked at the number of fast or slow notes to be played, or the chord sequences; of central importance are also the complexity of the piece's composition, its rhythmic complexities, the difficulty of reading the text for the first time, and last but not least, how easy or difficult it is to understand its musical structure. I have defined "piece" as being the musical unit of a sonata, or a single piece in a cycle, which is why Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier" Part I comprises a total of 48 levels of difficulty (each prelude and fugue is considered separately), Schumann's Sonata in f sharp minor op.11 only has a single number. My assessment is measured by the ability to prepare a piece for performance.
While assessing the pieces, it became clear that the medium level of difficulty (4–6) is the trickiest. Now and again this means that a piece is judged as a "3/4", even if it only deserved a "3" as far as piano technique is concerned. An example of such a "borderline" case (easy/medium) is Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood" op. 15 Von fremden Ländern und Menschen or at the other end "6/7" part of Bach's "English Suites". And of course within a main category there are also "from-to" evaluations (e.g. 7/8).
Any evaluation of art or music will always be subjective, even if the aim was to be objective. Despite the fact that I have endeavoured to be as careful as possible, I am all too aware that the results of my work can be called into question, and am therefore grateful for any suggestions you might have.
Prof. Rolf Koenen © 2010