Which Bach toccata is more technically challenging? The Toccata in c minor (BWV 911) or the Toccata in f# minor (BWV 910)? I've heard that the c minor toccata is a monster but I can't find anything on the f# minor one. Both are beautiful though =)


  • I'm not sure this is answerable. Technical challenge depends on the on the person playing. – user28 Jun 4 '12 at 16:04
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    There could well be a reasoned explanation why one work is more difficult to perform than another. It's true that the answer could be "it depends," but then, there should be reasons that each is difficult. A performer more skilled at handling one source of difficulty over another could then determine just from the description which work would be more difficult for him or her. – Andrew Jun 4 '12 at 21:38

The best way to gauge technical difficulty is to sight read the music.

As described in the comments, both pieces are easily available at IMSLP. Download them and play through them completely. By the end you will know which is the one you want to play. Specifically, look for:

  1. Sections you can't play. This includes sections you don't know how to finger, articulate, or interpret (musically). There should be a few but not too many. If there are too many, the piece is probably out of reach for your current skill level, and you would be better off with something easier for now until a few more skills are learned or improved. If there was nothing difficult or new, you might be better served with something that will push your skill.
  2. Boredom and interest. While this isn't technical, it is still important. Do you like the piece? When playing it, did you get excited about listening to yourself play something you've heard in the recording? Did you learn something new about the music? Did you like it just a little more than the last time you heard it? If your answers are yes, this is good. Otherwise, the piece will become annoying and boring, making practice unlikely and a successful performance impossible.
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  • This is good advice. – user28 Jun 6 '12 at 18:22
  • I'm so bad at sight reading voices though and I'm already 16!!! – user2521 Jun 23 '12 at 2:13

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