Added the opus number. Would someone rename the whole page? --Aewanko 19:31, 5 August 2008 (EDT)
I was just wondering if the first version of this piece was ever published? Would it be available to post here, if someone had it?
This piece was reputed to one of the most difficult ever written, at least in its time: Balakirev himself, a virtuoso pianist, apparently admitted there were passages in it he couldn't play; and it is one of a couple of pieces whose over-practising was apparently the cause of Scriabin seriously injuring his right hand for a year or two. Ravel is supposed to have said that one of his aims in writing "Gaspard de la Nuit" was to write a piano piece more difficult than Balakirev's "Islamey" (and I would definitely agree that he succeeded in this - by far). So this reputation certainly appears to have been quite widespread.
While I can't play the piece myself, looking at the score I have to say it doesn't look extraordinarily difficult to me. I don't mean it's easy - yes, it's difficult - but (so it appears to me) no more than hundreds of other pieces I could name; and I can think of a good many I would regard as far harder than this, which I would be more hesitant to tackle than this.
I was just wondering why it got this reputation. Does it have hidden difficulties which are just not obvious looking at the score, which you only find out when you actually try to play it? M.J.E. 02:13, 2 January 2012 (UTC)