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Rachmaninoff: Sonata 1 Op. 28 in D Minor

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Sergey Rachmaninoff :
Sonata 1, Op. 28
Sonata 1 Op. 28  in D Minor by Rachmaninoff piano sheet music
Key: D Minor Year: 1907
Level: 8+ Period: Late Romantic
piano sheet music Piano score: Scanned score (14655 kB)

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xx Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 1
April 19, 2011, 07:25:51 PM by davidjosepha

I am thinking of learning Rachmaninoff's 1st piano sonata. I have listened to it many times before and absolutely love it. However, I think it might be out of my range. I have a recording of Boris Berezovsky playing the piece, and it sounds exceedingly difficult. Obviously, it is impossible for anyone here to accurately judge my skill level as none of you have heard me play, but for an idea, I am currently learning both of Brahms' Rhapsodies, opus 79 (though I already know his first one quite well). I know I won't be able to learn the sonata in a short period of time; it will take quite a while, but I would really like to learn it. Assuming I am willing to put in enough time to learn it, is there any reason I should just avoid it altogether? For example, is it so far out of my range that I would not benefit from trying to learn it? The two things that daunt me the most are the speed and the length.

To give some background, I've been playing piano for just under 10 years, I'm 17, and for a good part of that time, I didn't practice anywhere near as much as I should have, due to a number of things, including being bored with the pieces I was playing, but instead of learning them quickly to move onto something better, I barely practiced 2 hours a week. Over the past year and a half to two years, I've made enormous progress, I feel, and my teacher has noticed the huge difference in my playing. I am not afraid of a challenge, and am prepared to put in hours upon hours learning the sonata if I think that it's not going to be completely unproductive. I just printed off a copy of the first two pages I found online, and spent a half hour or so working on them, and can play them at maybe a quarter of the tempo Berezovsky plays it at (the 16th note passages are the part that's limiting the speed, obviously). My hands are large enough that I think I won't have trouble reaching any of the chords. I love the piece and would love to be able to play it, but I don't know if I'd just be wasting my time.

Thanks for any feedback given,


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