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Topic: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto  (Read 2298 times)

Offline liszmaninopin

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Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
on: January 11, 2004, 08:40:04 PM
I am practicing this piece, and having a small problem with the beginning.  In the opening of the first movement, after the series of chords, the piano plays a part that in all recordings seems to have a very definite rythm, with the bottom note standing out from the orchestra.  Although when I practice I hit all the notes, I just can't seem to quite get that rythm and pace that is desireable.  Does anybody have any suggestions?

Offline ayahav

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #1 on: January 12, 2004, 01:01:25 PM
I seem to have the same problem every time I try to toy around with this concerto. Granted, it is nothing to be toyed about with, but I think that the rhythmic effect comes from the orchestra, and not from the piano... And therefore, you will not here that effect unless you play with and orchestra... This is the only explanation that I have ever been able to come up with.... Any other explanation is welcome.

Offline Goldberg

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #2 on: January 13, 2004, 12:16:39 AM
I think the main key to this part of the concerto is hitting the low notes (the ones that begin the arpeggio chains) heavily, as you should in this sort of cut-time set up. If you can hit those particular notes straight on the beat and give it that heavy backing that it needs, then the rest should flow into place. So, concentrate on the first bass note of each set and then don't necessarily worry about the rhythm in the rest of the arpeggio, as long as each line flows evenly.

Offline krenske

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #3 on: January 13, 2004, 06:16:04 AM
I think the secret might be to cheat and play an octave in the bass, on all the first beats. Then you can really give it a whack and create some rythmic drive... Rachmaninov does this in his recording, as well as alot of other great performances. A concert-hall [and the orchestra] will "cover up" this crude effect, and it will come out sounding very strong!
"Horowitz died so Krenske could live."

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #4 on: January 27, 2004, 01:18:39 AM
I ask this question to anybody who's played this piece in concert.  There is a passage near the beginning, after the arpeggiated sections, where the notes are in triads in the right hand, with the left hand playing with it.  It is at a rather climatic point in the introduction of the theme.  Do you try to play this part over the orchestra?  In most recordings I have heard, there are pairs of notes that stand out, with the rest being covered by the orchestra.  Also, how long did it take you to learn the full concerto?  I have been working on it now for about 2 weeks, and have about the first 11 pages memorized.  I guess that's not too bad, but I've always been a slow memorizer.

Offline e60m5

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #5 on: January 27, 2004, 03:17:02 AM
I've played this piece in concert, and so will try to answer your question.

If it's the point that I think it is, though, is it not fifths in the right hand, and not triads?

I believe where the orchestra is having that lush swell-kinda bit (F, e flat d, e flat f G etc) is where you are talking about? If so, the piano where most of its swirl of notes are will never really be heard over a full symphony orchestra, not in that register. However, the top notes of the top two fifths that are struck can be brought out, and many people do so. It's all your choice, really. That whole first theme really belongs to the orchestra, as the piano never gets it - but you can do what you want.

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #6 on: January 27, 2004, 03:28:03 AM
Yes, that's what I meant, and that's the area I was talking about.  Thanks for the imput.  Generally, the way I imagine that I will play the piece with orchestra is by hitting the bottom notes loudly, in a rythmic way, and bringing out the top notes in that passage and a couple other swirling passages before then.  Really, though, the piano's more solo role comes in later.  

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #7 on: January 27, 2004, 03:32:25 AM
This is a truly beautiful concerto, I think it's my favorite; I'm really looking forward to performing it.  How much trouble did the third movement give you?  I've at least played through most of the first movement, and it doesn't seem all that bad, but the third movement looks more difficult.

Offline e60m5

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #8 on: January 27, 2004, 04:31:24 AM
The third movement is trickier than the first, involving more intricate fingerwork at higher speeds. Musically, to me, the third movement seems simpler, though; though technically more challenging. I can't remember how long it took me, I learnt it a couple of years back - but not too long.

And you're right, it is an absolutely gorgeous concerto. Good luck with it!

Offline dgk88

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #9 on: January 29, 2004, 02:01:29 PM
yes the third movement LOOKS more difficult but in actuallity it really isn't that difficult.  Having performed this piece on multiple occaisions I'd have to say that the first movement is actually the hardest out of the three.  the main thing when working on this concerto is that people tend to overthink it, which in the long run can cause many many many problems (that was my problem when I first started it) anyways it's not very difficult just don't do the first, second, and fourth at the same time like I did. (man that was tiring but worth big bux) Best of luck to you

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Rachmaninoff Second Concerto
Reply #10 on: January 30, 2004, 01:11:28 AM
Overthink it?  Do you mean overestimate its difficulty?
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