Transcendental Étude No. 10 (Liszt)

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The first two bars of the Transcendental Étude No. 10

Transcendental Étude No. 10 in F minor, "Appassionata", is the tenth Transcendental Étude of a set of twelve by Franz Liszt. It is possibly the most played of the études and has a prominent melody.

Passage work for the left hand is rather difficult, while the right hand plays the melody mostly in octaves. There are several portions where the left and right hands alternate to play descending chords reminiscent of the third concert etude, 'Un Sospiro'. Other difficulties include cramped spacing (the hands are often close together), left-hand arpeggiated passage work, and the right hand ascending the keyboard in swiftness using only the thumb, the third, and fourth finger.

Musically, it is a study in pushing melodic lines to the razor's edge with passion and dramaticism while maintaining the melody. The climax occurs right after the softest part of the piece and is an octave D-flat played 23 times in a row with rhythmic changes and rapid left-hand arpeggios that constantly change theme.

This is one of the more popular études of the set. It is in sonata form, with a second group in E-flat minor, and an explosive coda. The 1838 version bears a coda which is modelled after the coda in the finale of Beethoven's "Appassionata" Sonata.


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