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Up in the Air – Atkinson performs Beethoven

This is a lovely performance on an invisible piano by comedy genius Rowan Atkinson (also known as Mr. Bean). The air piano act include two Beethoven sonatas: the first movement from the Pathétique Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op.13 and the third movement of the Moonlight Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Rachmaninoff C# minor Prelude (Op. 3, No. 2)  (Read 2262 times)
Legato
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« on: March 21, 2004, 11:44:05 PM »

I’m curious how others play the lento section of this piece?  Originally, I maintained a relatively consistent finger position and just moved my hands to make the chords, primarily with 1-3-5 fingering.  Recently, when I revisited the piece, I tried playing this section as legato as I could and completely changed my original fingering.  I connected the chords as much as possible.  For example, my new fingering for the first three chords of measure 3, both hands:

RH: 1-2-4, 1-3-5, 1-2-4 [release thumb, connect 2-4 and 3-5]

LF: 1-3-5 (holding the E, transition thumb to 2), 1-3-5 (hold the B with 3), 1-4-5

I don’t have access to a teacher anymore and I was wondering what opinions people may have of this technique?  I feel like the resulting sound is good but before I practice this way too much, I need a professional opinion.  It is certainly much harder to play it this way.

Thanks in advance,
Rob
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piano sheet music of Prelude
Daevren
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2004, 03:11:29 AM »

With my right hand I play 1-2-5, with the left I switch between 5-2-1- and 5-4-1, crossing tumbs of course.


I must add that I am completely self taught but I think I follow Rachs fingering instructions. I must agree that it is impossible to play legato this way.
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Legato
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2004, 05:44:32 AM »

Daevren,

I definitely agree on the x-thumbs issue.  I can't imagine playing the piece without crossing thumbs.  That's just how the music is written.  It seems like all the chords would be awkward if the fingering were arranged such that the thumbs did not cross.

I'm still curious what others think.  Play it as legato as possible or just rely on the pedal to connect the chords?  The score looks ambiguous to me.  I think the tenuto, in this case, is stressing more a long sustain than a detachment (staccato-like).  Anyone else have an opinion?

Rob
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Legato
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2004, 04:38:51 PM »

no relies...  Sad
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MikeLauwrie
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2004, 01:03:13 AM »

Yes, cross your thumbs, and use loads of pedal.
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ayahav
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2004, 01:05:56 AM »

I still would try to play as legato as possible, and use the pedal only as a backup. The pedal's role isn't only to make your legato for you - that's your job Smiley
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MikeLauwrie
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2004, 02:01:29 AM »

Yes I know what the pedal's role is, but you still need a lot of it.
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ayahav
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2004, 08:46:17 AM »

That's true, but don't become reliant on it to make the legato line for you...
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MikeLauwrie
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2004, 04:30:06 PM »

No, not really.

You've circled loads of tenuto marks, meaning to make the notes sing. This is to show which notes are the melody, they have nothing to do with legato, or pedal, or anything else. In fact if anything they would imply more pedal.
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ayahav
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2004, 08:30:00 PM »

You've circled tenuti. They mean that the note should be held. 'Tenuto' literally translates as 'held', like 'tenue' in French. The French infinitive is 'tenir', and the Italian is 'tenire' (? If I remember correctly)... It's the equivalent of the stem 'tain' in English.

Entretenir  - to entertain
soutenir - to sustain
obtenir - to obtain
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tha_raven
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2004, 09:27:27 PM »

pedal pedal pedal
the object is to make it sound like ringing bells not legato

hold the pedal and dont let it go until to play the chord in the lower notes
then hold it some more

it really sound better this way as welll
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