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Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2 (Read 3431 times)

Offline amelialw

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Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
« on: October 10, 2007, 05:18:53 PM »
For those of you who have learnt Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2, How hard is it actually compared to the rest of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concertos? Do you think that it's more do'able for someone with small hands? How much harder is it then Beethoven's Concertos, Schumann's Concertos?


Any opinions or advice welcome. Thanks!
J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu

piano sheet music of Piano Concerto 2


Offline steve jones

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #1 on: October 10, 2007, 05:34:51 PM »
For those of you who have learnt Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2, How hard is it actually compared to the rest of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concertos? Do you think that it's more do'able for someone with small hands? How much harder is it then Beethoven's Concertos, Schumann's Concertos?


Any opinions or advice welcome. Thanks!

I think its all very relative. I find Beethoven very difficult. Others might find him easy. And indeed, I am no authority.

But I think the 2nd is the easiest of the bunch. Indeed, the 3rd is extremely difficult, and the 1st sounds far from easy.

That said, I believe the third movement of the 2nd is pretty tough. I guess you just have to give then a go and see how you get on. The scores of all four are availabe for free download on the net.

SJ

Offline zheer

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #2 on: October 10, 2007, 06:10:46 PM »

Any opinions or advice welcome. Thanks!

  Well i remember when i aproached my first piano teacher with the Grieg concerto in A minor, i remember her saying that the Grieg is a warmup compared to the Rach concerto. Well thats so not true in-fact the Grieg concero is more of a challenge,the 3rd MVT of Rach 2 has a few tough spots, other than that the 1st and 2nd MVT are great to sight read through.
Rach 2 and the Pagenini happen to be amongst Rachs best piano music in my opinion and both are over-rated interms of difficulty.
    G-luck
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Offline amelialw

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #3 on: October 10, 2007, 06:44:47 PM »
but what about the level of maturity required to play the piece? I think the emotional content goes deeper then grieg's concerto.
J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu

Offline rallestar

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #4 on: October 10, 2007, 07:33:55 PM »
You were working on Schumanns concerto right? If you've finished that, I would think you could give it a go.

Offline mike_lang

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #5 on: October 10, 2007, 08:42:25 PM »
but what about the level of maturity required to play the piece? I think the emotional content goes deeper then grieg's concerto.

Undoubtedly it is deeper, but I don't think that there is anything particularly enigmatic about it - we speak of a Russian with his heart on his sleeve, not a deaf German transcribing the sublime.  I think that one simply has to have the fingers and an ounce of romantic taste in order to play the Rachmaninov.

Best,
ML

Offline ilikepie

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #6 on: October 10, 2007, 08:48:13 PM »
For those of you who have learnt Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2, How hard is it actually compared to the rest of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concertos? Do you think that it's more do'able for someone with small hands? How much harder is it then Beethoven's Concertos, Schumann's Concertos?


Any opinions or advice welcome. Thanks!
How small is small?
Quote from: ultraviolet
That's the price you pay for being moderate in everything.  See, if I were you, my name would be Ilovepie.  But that's just me.

Offline amelialw

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #7 on: October 10, 2007, 09:20:55 PM »
an octave but i can play bigger chords now because I have been stretching my hands alot

no, i'm not done with schumann's concerto yet, i'm prepping it for a concerto concert next year in March. I intend to learn Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.2 after that if my teacher consents to it.

J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu

Offline ilikepie

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 09:34:29 PM »
Eh... an octave? The first movement will be a huge challenge, the second is possible but the third would be impossible... how fast can you play octave scales?
Quote from: ultraviolet
That's the price you pay for being moderate in everything.  See, if I were you, my name would be Ilovepie.  But that's just me.

Offline amelialw

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #9 on: October 10, 2007, 11:12:14 PM »
not sure...anyway I won't start learning it at least till April next year so that gives me more time to work on my octave scales, leaps etc
J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu

Offline mike_lang

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #10 on: October 11, 2007, 12:50:32 AM »
not sure...anyway I won't start learning it at least till April next year so that gives me more time to work on my octave scales, leaps etc

Or to practice said octave passages...

Best,
ML

Offline cmg

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #11 on: October 11, 2007, 01:11:48 AM »
Or to practice said octave passages...

Best,
ML

 ;D  Excellent advice!

If you have a strong desire to work on the Rach2, then just do it.  Don't wait for teacher's consent.  Take it very slowly to avoid tension and just work on it.  You'll find out very shortly where the pitfalls are.  It's very tiring for small hands, but manageable with much work. 

Works of this magnitude should be learned in your teenage years anyway -- providing you have the fingers.  Get these big guys into your hands early and let them gestate as you mature.  Bronfman, among others, has made this suggestion.  I agree.  When I was younger than you, I already had worked through all the big bears of the repertoire.  It was a great education.  It humbled me and made me work harder. 

Rach 2 has many playable (even sight-readable) passages but these passages, as in any concerto, aren't the problem.  It's the nasty passages that pop up.  There's that famous one in the first movement (bar 63), rivalled by the obvious one in the second movement and totally surpassed by the fiendish opening theme in the last movement -- no less a pianist than Emmanuel Ax termed this "the most difficult passage in the Romantic concerto repertoire."  At tempo, this concerto is a real challenge.

And, then, there's the endurance issue.  The development section of the first mvt of Rach 2 looks like nothing on the printed page, but, let me tell you, it's exhausting and nerve-wracking.  Tricky, fingery passages followed by huge crashing chords for days on end.  It's not for wimps or dilettantes.  Trust me. 

Start on it today if you want to play it in the next couple of years or so.
Current repertoire:  "Come to Jesus" (in whole-notes)

Offline amelialw

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #12 on: October 11, 2007, 02:37:04 AM »
thanks so much for the advice.

yes , I would have loved to start learning works like that in my teenage years, unfortunately my previous teacher never taught be anything but Handel,Mozart,Clementi,Kulah,Purcell,Beethoven and a few other composers that were insignificant. My present teacher has helped me through a lot though and I find myself playing what i never thought I would.
J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu

Offline prongated

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #13 on: October 11, 2007, 05:12:28 AM »
How hard is it actually compared to the rest of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concertos? Do you think that it's more do'able for someone with small hands?

To learn the notes of, I find this the easiest out of the 4. For small hands, the Paganini is the most manageable alongside number 1.

Offline amelialw

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #14 on: October 11, 2007, 04:20:00 PM »
I would like to start on it but I really don't have the time. I haven't finished learning my Schumann Concerto yet and I have no idea which movement my teacher wants me to play for the concert next year, when I asked her she said we'll  talk about it when my competition rep is ready. Besides that I have at least 8 other pieces to work on...so yeah, I will start working on it, eventually, just not now.
J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu

Offline zheer

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #15 on: October 11, 2007, 07:23:08 PM »
, I will start working on it, eventually, just not now.

  Ok, you might like to work on Brahms concerto in D minor one day, Rach 2 is seriously over played.
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline rallestar

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #16 on: October 11, 2007, 08:50:01 PM »
Or do Ravels concerto in G major, it's supposedly relative "easy", not that long, has the most beautiful 2nd movement in the world and is just generally awesome. Or his left-hand concerto, not that long either. I'd give my right arm to learn it if I ever had the chance to perform with an orchestra

Offline mattgreenecomposer

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #17 on: October 11, 2007, 09:13:40 PM »
Its hard. Everything is hard with Rach.  someone mentioned emotional content.  Thats the hardest part too.  Amen to whoever brought that up ....
Download free sheet music at mattgreenecomposer.com

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #18 on: October 12, 2007, 12:55:22 AM »
My experience with Rach is that it needs a lot of time. I mean *really* a lot. So I would recommend to begin as soon as possible.

Offline houseofblackleaves

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #19 on: October 12, 2007, 01:20:29 AM »
The Rach 2 is an amazing piece of music.  It's also one of the most difficult I'm aware of

Not technically per say, interpretation-wise.  Even if you were to look at the Rach 3, as masterfully as it is written, practically plays itself (most of the time.)  But when it comes to the second concerto, the first movement in particular, interpretation can be very, very tricky to pull off effectively.

First of all, this concerto is played probably more than any other piano concerto.  This piece would for sure fall under the category "overplayed."  It's very difficult to play this piece interesting for audiences whom have most likely heard the concerto many many times before.  Second, there are two different ways that this concerto can be played: Romantically, like how Rachmaninov himself played it, or a more modern interpretation, like Ashkenazy.

This being said, it seems to me that when learning the piece, or any piece really, the pianist can make these decisions on their own.  The funny thing I find with the first movement is that many pianists that play it DO have fairly small hands.  But seeing how there's the flexibility of interpretation is there, you can work with these difficulties while still keeping a solid performance.

Offline pianistimo

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #20 on: October 12, 2007, 01:27:07 PM »
to win with this concerto, imo, means playing it without bashing.  making the orchestra come to you - rather than the other way around.  how this is accomplished, ihave no idea.  i heard helene grimaud play it and she doesn't have extremely large hands does she?  personally, i'd rather hear a man play it - but this is just a personal preference and perhaps biased and idiotic.  my reason is that men are naturally 'stronger' - and have to pull back.  women - on the other hand sometimes sound a bit weaker in the parts that are extremely powerful.  as a woman, i prefer to find things that i can 'own.'  you know - feel in complete control and command of.  i wouldn't pick the rach - but i would pick something more continuously flowing.  schumann or mendelssohn.  but, that is personal preference. 

whatever you pick - you have to have the energy to complete in the same fashion as you start.  it just sounds lame to start all flashy and then flop off the piano bench at the end. 

Offline mike_lang

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #21 on: October 12, 2007, 02:53:15 PM »
personally, i'd rather hear a man play it - but this is just a personal preference and perhaps biased and idiotic. 

Or Argerich...

Offline amelialw

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto in c minor No.2
«Reply #22 on: October 12, 2007, 03:35:49 PM »
thanks pianistimo. i'm already learning the schumann concerto and I love it. i was thinking of perhaps learning a mozart concerto 1st next, play something more relaxing etc.
J.S Bach Italian Concerto,Beethoven Sonata op.2 no.2,Mozart Sonatas K.330&333,Chopin Scherzo no.2,Etude op.10 no.12&Fantasie Impromptu