Chopin: Étude in C Major (Waterfall), Op. 10, No. 1

Chopin's Étude in C major, Op. 10, No. 1 was composed in 1829 and first published in 1833. Vladimir Horowitz, who refused to perform this étude in public, said, "For me, the most difficult one of all (the études) is the C Major, the first one, Op. 10, No. 1."

The main technical difficulty of this piece is playing the uninterrupted right hand arpeggios, including the swift position changes, in legato powerfully and accurately at the suggested tempo (quarter note equals 176) without straining the hand. The momentum of the motion has to be transferred by the outer hand and the fifth finger to the accentuated top notes. Alfred Cortot states that the first difficulty to overcome is "stretch and firmness in shifting the hand over nearly the whole length of the keyboard." Australian pianist Alan Kogosowski warns against straining the right hand by constant overstretching. To avoid strain, the first note of the position "must be released like a hot potato," and the hand "should move quickly and laterally, without stretching, from the first note to the next note and the next position."