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Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor (Read 3343 times)

Offline lagin

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Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
« on: July 18, 2007, 11:33:59 PM »
Okay, well I'm pretty annoyed that some the the dramatic dynamics I put into this come out as ALL MF!!! on the lovely old school recording device I have.  However, if you'ld like to have a listen regardless and have any suggestions other than hit the right notes (I have a few pretty obvious blunders), that would be great.  And I have some questions:

1.  Do you think it needs to go faster than this?  I know there are some wickedly fast recordings out there, but is this an appropriate tempo? 

2.  On a scale of 1 - 10, from what you can make out despite the lack of dynamic contrast due to the camera, (1 being, oh my...you probably shouldn't even be looking at this piece let alone playing it, and 10 being, you could totally pull that off in an exam setting), where do you think I am sitting at the moment? 
http://s131.photobucket.com/albums/p298/laginn/?action=view&current=5bb0a41a.flv

Out of all my repertoire this piece is putting up the most of a fight.  Also, it's only the first section and the middle section.  The last part is technically/musically where the first part is so I'm not going to bother making a separate recording and loading it up since my camera only takes 3 minute recordings. 

And just for the record, this IS a work in progress.  I have another month before it needs to be finished.

Christians aren't perfect; just forgiven.

piano sheet music of Prelude


Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #1 on: July 18, 2007, 11:37:37 PM »
P.S.  If you take the time to listen to it, please take the time to at least give me a number and a yes or no regarding tempo, even if you don't ellaborate further :)
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Offline thalberg

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #2 on: July 19, 2007, 12:36:07 AM »
1.  Tempo: I'd bump it up just a little.  Nothing too drastic.  Sounds good, though!   ;)

2.  On a scale of 1 to 10?  Hmmm....well, your rhythm is steady and elements of style are good.  Middle section is voiced right.  But it still does seem like a bit of a fight at the moment (I know you still have a month! ;))  So maybe a 6 or 7 for now?  Meaning good, but with things still to work out.

Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #3 on: July 19, 2007, 01:37:20 AM »
Thanks so much Thalberg!  At least I know I'm on the right track.  I guess I was just feeling a little bit annoyed/discouraged with the fight.  It's sort of the last piece standing and I just want it to fall in line with everything else!  ARgh!  Haha, I need to work on patience :P
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Offline allthumbs

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #4 on: July 19, 2007, 05:23:10 PM »
lagin


Good job so far. I love this piece.

I started this piece a couple of months ago but I'm not near where you are (still trying to get it memorized). I'm at the point where I can sight read through it, but it's not fluid throughout yet.

I think you are on the right track and I agree with thalberg that the tempo has to be a little faster. You've got a good 'bounce' to it.

My only other comment would be to bring out the other inner voices in the middle arpeggiated section more.

British pianist Peter Donohoe does an excellent job on this piece, if you want some ideas as to where to go with it.

Post the piece again later to let us know how you are doing.


Cheers

allthumbs

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Offline zheer

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #5 on: July 19, 2007, 07:04:04 PM »
   You play this really well. 8)

    We know where Rachmaninoff learnt music and who his teachers where and therefore a lot about his musical background. We also know a lot through letters he wrote and conversation that he had with other musicians that he was a very mature and accademically very superior, we also know that his piano playing was
ver un-disciplined ( he never practiced). In-fact he only desided to practice and really learn the piano at 40 so that he can pay his bills  ??? ???. Anyway the point is his piano music has its own sound world, most pianist consider his music as harsh, sharp ,loud or brutal. Though thats not the case, he liked grand sound and very soft dream like sound world. At the moment you play the music very well, but you play his music with the same sound world as Shubert ( your other recording)
          Here is Rach performing his composition he wrote when he was 18, its worth having listen to appreciate his sound world.

         
                 
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Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #6 on: July 19, 2007, 07:19:44 PM »
Thanks guys for the advise.  Sure, Allthumbs, I'll post a recording again later after I've worked on it some more. 

Hey Zheer, could you ellaborate some more about your comment regarding my playing it with the same sound as the Schubert?  I'd really like to fix that because they are not even from the same era so they really should have two distinct sounds.  I should probably update those files, too, because it's been months since I posted the Schubert and Bartok and I've been still working on them since that time.  I wonder, do you think my Rachmaninoff needs to be more aggressive/dream like or does my Schubert need a different sound instead?
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Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #7 on: July 19, 2007, 07:24:37 PM »
P.S.  I just listened to that Schubert recording again and it was pretty "jerky" and unnatural so I deleted it and put up the more recent version. 
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Offline zheer

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #8 on: July 19, 2007, 08:07:04 PM »
Thanks guys for the advise.  Sure, Allthumbs, I'll post a recording again later after I've worked on it some more. 

  I'd really like to fix that because they are not even from the same era so they really should have two distinct sounds.  I wonder, do you think my Rachmaninoff needs to be more aggressive/dream like or does my Schubert need a different sound instead?

   Am trying to think of a single solo piano piece by Rachmaninoff that is aggressive in nature, non comes to mind, other 20th century composers possibly but not Rachmaninoff. You have moments where you manipulate the music through your finger tips, for instance where the music modulates into D major, at that point as a listner we notice that this is a late romantic composer. Generally speaking with Russian composers especially with Rachmaninoff one can open-up the sound more, from extreme open and grand sound back down to extreme ghost like pppp. Rach was very well known for telling story , so with his music we have to try to draw the listner into his world through music a-little like telling a story. Schubert on the other hand cant be more different than Rach.
      Few pianists have the ability to creat  different sound worlds, t listining to many recordings is a good starting point, especially the ones by Rach himself, the one where he plays Elegi in E flat minor is a good starting point, notice all the details, whats on page and what he actually creats. 8)   
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #9 on: July 19, 2007, 08:12:22 PM »
Oops, I posted before you so you'll need to check above!  I'll definately try to work out more of a contrast in dynamics.  I didn't know Rach was known for story telling with his music, thanks for telling me!  I actually have a recording of Rachmaninoff playing this prelude, but I can't bear to listen to it b/c it's so out of time it drives me nuts!  Like we're not talking subtle rubato here, we're talking LEARN HOW TO COUNT!  Where it modulates into D +, are you saying that I'm playing that alright, or you think it should be interpreted differently? 
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Offline zheer

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #10 on: July 19, 2007, 08:28:41 PM »
.  So maybe, Zheer, if you wouldn't mind, you could have a quick listen and see if it was maybe the Schubert that needed to change in sound?  I noticed that I play it more "robust" and romantic in nature now,

    You play Schubert very well, good strong touch and with a lot of heart. So where-as schuber needs a lot of serious detailed study of the written notes, to the point where some pianist reach for the history books (not kidding) a real classical approach.Rachmaninoff needs far more imaginative input, we need to be more creative,since you have that ability, why not explore  that side of piano playing, you have what it takes ;).
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline zheer

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #11 on: July 19, 2007, 08:37:12 PM »
Quote from: lagin link=topic=25997. :'(Oops, I posted before you so you'll need to check  I didn't know Rach was known for story telling with his music, thanks for telling me! [quote

   Some of his close friends mentioned how he wolud tell story in his very deep bass voice very good stroy infact.

   The point of modulation into d major and various other sections of the music you play very well, its just that there is more to just loud and soft, fast and slow, its not easy to explain but with russian composers, we have something different.
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Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #12 on: July 19, 2007, 08:42:43 PM »
Thanks so much for all your info, Zheer.  I do think I know what you're getting at with the Rachmaninoff, and it is hard to put into words exactly.  It's given me alot of good ideas.  I think I knew what to do in my head, but it wasn't coming out right because my heart wasn't really into it - I wasn't into it.  I've been working on imagining what might have been in Rachmaninoff's head while he was composing the piece and trying to put a "story" into the music for the last hour or so, and I think it's working - except where I completely miss the jump and smash into the wrong chord completely destroying what I was trying to do :P  Haha, I better go practice!
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Offline zheer

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #13 on: July 19, 2007, 09:04:55 PM »
   No problem, BTW the Bartok roumaninan dance sounds great.
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Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #14 on: July 19, 2007, 09:18:47 PM »
Hi lagin,

I agree with the others that you should increase the tempo just a bit.  Don't forget though that on page 6 you'll need to contend with the more complex RH chord figurations, so will need some reserve strength and stamina for that.  This is an athletic piece. 

A few thoughts:

From your playing, I think you've discovered that this piece is all about contrasts--distinguishing nonlegato from staccato, foreground from background, wrist octaves from forearm octaves, etc.  You're doing a good job with those contrasts.

In not using pedal in measures 15-16 you're doing exactly the right thing.

In measures 18-20 in the fourth beats, you use the 5th finger for the top notes there.  If you instead use 4, 5, 4, 5, it will be more legato and less tiring and tension prone.  Those groups are under slur marks.

In Part B, I would relax the tempo there to luxuriate in the lyricism.  Rachmaninoff  has marked it "un poco meno mosso", or less animated.  You're doing well striving in the LH for a "quiet lake effect" acompaniment, i.e., no ripples on the surface of the lake.  Easing the tempo a little will further facilitate that effort too. 

In 41 you're scrambling for the notes on the leap to the downbeat there.  Here's a solution:  Finger the LH in the fourth beat of  the preceding measure (40) with 5, 2, 1, 4, 1.  Then allow the RH to take the last note of that group with 2.  The RH has already finished the G octave up in the treble staff and is available to assist.  Playing the A with 2 as mentioned positions the RH to take the F# chord on the downbeat of 41 easily. More importantly, it  then gives the LH very precious time to start the leap earlier to the low D, thereby better assuring accuracy.  This is one of those spots where redistributing the music between the hands has solid justification.

I agree with the comment made earlier about bringing out the inner lines of Part B--but never at the expense of the primary melody, of course.  For example, in 46 in the third and fourth beats, there is in the RH that inner scalar line of D, E flat, and F leading to the G in the RH on the next downbeat.  A way to give it ultimate clarity is to reduce the texture there (yes, eliminate some notes as an option).  Thus, you would play the D, then the  E flat and lower C as double notes, next the F and harmonic B flat and finally the G with the lower E flat.  Then when you play the following D octave, the effect is soaring and awesome!  Or, if you insist, at least play it as I've suggested to fix the sound in your ears, then add back the full texture, but striving to etch that line. 

Your video cut off prematurely, but you played the poco a poco accelerando well.  Just be sure on page 5 that you resume speed by the Tempo I marking, no later.  There can be a temptation to make the accelerando too gradual and drag it out too long. 

In your grading scheme, I would say you've got this prelude at a Level 7 at the moment.  Perhaps once you've got the piece further along, you could re-post it--but the whole thing, please.  Keep up the good work!


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

Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #15 on: July 19, 2007, 09:23:34 PM »
Oh my goodness, guys, this is great stuff from all of you!  Thanks so much!  And yes, I will repost in a while and I'll do the whole thing, but it will be in two separate parts as I can only take 3 minute videos and don't have a video editing program to stick them together :(
Christians aren't perfect; just forgiven.

Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #16 on: July 19, 2007, 10:17:43 PM »
   No problem, BTW the Bartok roumaninan dance sounds great.

Thanks, my teacher picked that one out for me cause she said 1. everyone needs to play Bartok, and 2. it would really suit me.  At first I was like, ookkaayy, but now I really like it! :)
Christians aren't perfect; just forgiven.

Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #17 on: July 19, 2007, 10:25:25 PM »
Rachfan, just to clarify, in bar 46 I would in essence make the inner melody the top most melody by eliminating the top C, Bb, and the octave Cs on the downbeat of 47?  So really the main melody and the inner melody would switch places by dropping the extra octave notes.  Then I would add them back on later as the main melody (since this is for an exam and I'd get docked marks if I tampered with what was written). 
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Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #18 on: July 19, 2007, 11:46:31 PM »
Hi lagin,

Yes, exactly.  The benefit of doing that recognizes that it's easy to voice the upper and bottom lines of melodic chords (viewed horizontally rather than vertically), but the middle lines are absolutely the most difficult for any pianist.  So by isolating it as I've suggested and hearing it that way, you can strive for that sound in weighting the chords as written  to see if you can attain the same effect.  After your exam, you can decide whether you want to keep it isolated in playing the piece for yourself.  I've heard this spot done well in a couple of recordings, but suspect that the sound engineers might have edited the volume on those tracks to artificially bring out the inner line.  Noooo--would recording engineers actually do that?!?  Yup!  That and more. 
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #19 on: July 21, 2007, 12:38:15 AM »
lagin - i've not played much rachmaninov - but i have a few comments that you can take or leave.  i LOVE your control with the treble and the sounds and precision with the octaves and all - but the bass seems 'fuzzy' - like you could come closer to the keys and still produce the sound without 'buzz.' 

to produce what zheer is talking about - i think you can afford to do what people are suggesting and not make everything 'even' - but rather pair, triple, or quadruple groups of notes to be played together.  the russian way is a sort of odd assortment of sounds from various instruments and the voice.  if you think of a story - then it would be words that form into groups and sentences.  so - you can speak through the music with inflections and intentions instead of each chord being unique and separate.  maybe seeing them as groups? 

i hear a russian basso singing the first part - and each phrase ending can be less that a staccatoey staccato.  more of an ending as a bass would sing an ending.  short.  booming - but nothing more than resounding. 

i hear chimes in the treble.  forget what instrument they use in russia for this type of sound - but anyways - a sort of 'chiming.'  definately groups of three on this one.  have you heard bell ringers?  they sort of use the same effect.  ring it quickly - let the sound dissipate - but before it is totally finished - start again.

Offline lau

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #20 on: July 21, 2007, 02:49:25 AM »
wierd, you seem similar to the person you said was your friend with the different hairstyles in the picture thread. very similar.

rach needs speed, that is all.


for now
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Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #21 on: July 21, 2007, 02:51:14 AM »
I think part of what pianissimo is writing about is what the Russian pianists call
"intonatsia", which is not quite the same as what we term intonation, that is to say, the articulation to produce the proper tone.  Their concept of intonatsia is far more subtle and more far reaching.  It's been quite awhile since I've read about it, but the technique is taught to all Russian pianists starting very early, such that it becomes almost instinctive or second nature in their playing.  It has to do with the art of inflection in executing a phrase.  Certain notes are given more emphasis in terms of volume and duration depending on their values, place and function in the phrase as I recall.  The timing of playing notes in a line is part of it too.  I'd have to do some research to find the intonatsia principles again to elborate more, but maybe if there is a Russian pianist in this forum, he or she could share more about this important approach as part of musicianship.       
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline drjames

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #22 on: July 21, 2007, 05:20:36 PM »
I liked it.  I really have only worked on the middle section with any intensity but whenever I hear someone else play a piece I want to go work on it some more. So many pieces, so little time.  As an aside I couldn't take my eyes off the bare feet.  It made everything seem so relaxed and casual.  I do play in sock feet alot as I don't wear shoes in the house.  I look forward to hearing more. James.

Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #23 on: July 22, 2007, 02:50:26 AM »
 Haha!  So are you saying that the bare feet detracted or added to the performance?  Don't worry, I will wear shoes at my exam!  With regards to articulation and singling out certain notes and whatnot, my teacher does teach alot of that.  It may not be coming through, though, and I'll have to work on being more obvious about it, but I can assure you almost every note in that piece has some sort of instruction tagged to it curtosy of her! Haha.  Thanks for the observations guys!  It's all been quite helpful :)
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Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #24 on: July 22, 2007, 02:59:00 AM »
wierd, you seem similar to the person you said was your friend with the different hairstyles in the picture thread. very similar.

Busted :D  Haha, yeah it was me.  I don't think those pics are there anymore because I deleted them out of my photobucked account which would have destroyed the links.  That's pretty good figuring out since my videos are just a side profile of me and I no longer have bangs/fringe.  I don't know if I would have put 2 and 2 together there.  Yeah, I was a bit shy about posting my picture up, but I usually try and not lie.  Did I say it was my friend, or did I word it in such a way as to make everyone assume that it was my friend?  I can't find it anymore...too many pages to look through!
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Offline lau

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #25 on: July 22, 2007, 04:19:25 PM »
pretty sure you straight up lied and said it was your friend.
i'm not asian

Offline lagin

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #26 on: July 22, 2007, 05:17:40 PM »
Ahhhh, now I have to go look............................................................................................... ......................................................................K, that was a ridiculous amount of searching.  No, I never said anything about her being my friend.  I didn't think I would cause that would be a lie.  All's I said was 'the girl in these pictures might not like them being up here (which was true, hense avoiding mentioning it was me), but I'll put them up for now...'  I never said it was or was not me ;)
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Offline lau

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Prelude op. 23 no. 5, yes, in g minor
«Reply #27 on: July 22, 2007, 09:09:08 PM »
k
i'm not asian