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Wilhelm Backhaus – Technical Problems Discussed

The legendary German pianist Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969) shares his thoughts on piano technique in an interview with Hariette Browner, published in her book Piano Mastery (1915) Read more >>

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Author Topic: Rachmaninov Prelude Op. 23 No. 5  (Read 2556 times)
escort
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« on: February 10, 2007, 09:52:17 PM »

Hello

I know you've all heard this piece a million times and probably won't be interested in hearing it again, but I'm playing it for a small competition in early March and I wanted some opinions on it. 
 
There are some missed notes, so I apologize for that.  Also, my piano is a bit out of tune.  I hope you enjoy

Brett

* rach prelude in gm.mp3 (7691.43 KB - downloaded 91 times.)
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piano sheet music of Prelude
pianistimo
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2007, 09:59:53 PM »

that is an unfunctional piano.  the pedals don't work. 

try it on another piano, ok.
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penguinlover
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 10:46:14 PM »

I agree with that, the pedals destroyed the sound totally. I had trouble hearing the clarity of the notes.  It would sound better on a working piano.  Sounds like you are doing a good job on the arpeggios in the mid section, and in bringing out the counter melody there.
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escort
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2007, 10:55:19 PM »

Thank you for your replies.

I agree, the pedalling sounds quite horrible in the recording.  I'm not sure if it's my inability or a problem with the piano, as my instructor has never mentioned it while playing on his piano (and sitting in front of the piano, I'd never noticed it, until I made the recording today).  Also, in my old house I had made a couple recordings of other pieces, and had never had a problem, but in that case the microphone was at least in the same room as the piano.

On the other hand, I've gotten the opportunity to watch several people butcher the pedalling on this song, so it could very well be my inability. 

I will look into it closely.
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lau
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2007, 12:55:24 AM »

the lack in clarity of notes makes it sound more furious...I like it.   Cool

but what i don't like is when people play the theme slowly after the slow section and then gradually speed up, it makes me insane, and you did a lot of that.

Just start fast instead of starting slow at that part
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i'm not asian
escort
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2007, 01:51:53 AM »

the lack in clarity of notes makes it sound more furious...I like it.   Cool

but what i don't like is when people play the theme slowly after the slow section and then gradually speed up, it makes me insane, and you did a lot of that.

lol, Thanks for the comments.

The speeding up is actually marked that way in the version I have; I guess I've never thought to try it differently.  Thanks for the idea.
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henrah
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2007, 02:54:01 AM »

lol, Thanks for the comments.

The speeding up is actually marked that way in the version I have; I guess I've never thought to try it differently. Thanks for the idea.

Same here. I first heard it played fast all the way through so when I discovered an interpretation with the gradual accelleration I liked it much more.
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Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /
rachfan
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2007, 04:30:28 AM »

I have both the Schirmer Edition and the Boosey & Hawkes here.  The piece is A-B-A form.  As the lyrical middle section (Part B) draws to a close, it is clearly marked "dim. e rit" as it transitions into the reprise of Part A.   Both editions are consistent in marking the reprise as "poco a poco accelerando e cresc. al Tempo I".  Tempo I recurs nine measures later following Part B.  Does anyone have an early Russian edition that contradicts this?  If so, please let us know.  Otherwise, it would seem that the two editions I mention are accurate.  So why would one want to play this piece differently from what Rachmaninoff explicitly indicated in the score?  I always played No. 5 with that same slow accelerando as Brett does in his recording here to comport with the composer's wishes.
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Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.
hakki
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2007, 10:27:48 AM »

http://www.savefile.com/files/482900

Just to shed light on the accelerando part, here is an excerpt from a recording of Rachmaninoff himself playing this prelude (reproduced on a modern grand from rolls)
Hope this helps.

Regards,
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rachfan
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2007, 01:51:28 AM »

Hi hakki,

Thanks for posting that piano roll!  Unfortunately, it is not the full performance, but the portion under debate that we needed to hear is fully included.  There is no mistaking that Rachmaninoff in fact starts the reprise after Part B slowly and works his way through the accelerando, as indicated in the score markings.  So there we all have it!

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Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.
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