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Topic: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1  (Read 10397 times)

Offline pianistically

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Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
on: December 28, 2008, 07:56:08 AM
Does anybody have any tips on playing this? I'm just starting it and it doesn't seem to be technically too difficult, but I'm more curious about bringing out the melody in the quiet sections. I really like Martha Argerich's version of this which is what inspired me to start learning it:

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Any tips are appreciated  :)
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Offline pianoperformer

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008, 01:07:11 PM
Oh yay I did this piece last year.

The hardest thing about it are the huge jumps all throughout.

Also, in the middle section, my piano teacher always focused on connecting the notes, making it musical, phrasing it more.

Good luck with it.

Offline imbetter

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #2 on: December 28, 2008, 01:40:01 PM
I just finished learning this piece. It's a great piece, hugely underrated. It technically isn't too difficult but there are still various things you have to watch out for. It's much easier to play if you have large hands. Have fun playing it.
"My advice to young musicians: Quit music! There is no choice. It has to be a calling, and even if it is and you think there's a choice, there is no choice"-Vladimir Feltsman

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #3 on: January 04, 2009, 03:17:06 PM
I played this in recital in college many years ago--Love it!  I have small hands, thus the hard parts for me were the stretches, especially in those transitional areas. 

I think one main challenge is to keep it melodic throughout, being careful not to over-bang out the big chords in the main theme, and remember the phrasing.  The softer parts were easier for me--most important is phrasing and bringing out the melody, being sure not to forget the little sub-melodies that Brahms was so wonderful at weaving in! 

At the crescendo-ing progression just before the coda, give it ALL you've got--to me, it's like the last turbulent battle, then the coda--resignation, sadness, and finally peace.   

Enjoy!  :)
Teresa

Offline gerryjay

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 04:09:22 PM
hi there!
i'm a member of "i-played-that-last-year" club also... :P

well, brahms is a quintessential composer, and this is quintessential brahms. what else could i say?

about the piece, some spots:
- to me, the trickiest part are the scales. although i must admit that my scale technique is not that good, it was the most difficult part to me, until achieving a smooth, flowing and fast passage;
- there are some killer leaps. it worth studying them in some depth, specially if you plan to play it live. studying several times just one, eyes closed, are the best way to ingrain it correctly to me.
- finally, this piece (like much of brahms) needs very much of your phrasing skills.

by the way, what are you curious about the quiet section's melody? in my experience, there was no problem in controlling that.

best!

Offline pianistically

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 08:04:31 AM
Thanks for all the tips everyone! I'm glad there's a bunch of you that's played it  :)

I suppose I was more concerned about phrasing than the quiet section melody... it just seemed that area required more attention in terms of phrasing. I'm not totally sure what the large jumps you guys are talking about though... admittedly I've only about 3 pages in but from like generally looking at the score I didn't see any. But I guess once I get through it all I'll know exactly what you're talking about  :P

Offline gerryjay

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 05:58:12 PM
dear pianistically:
the jumps are everywhere in the left hand (octave-octave, chord-octave). the question is that they only annoy when you start to play it really fast, such as argerich performance. but don't think that you have a killer problem: it just may present some inconsistency to your playing if you don't solve it properly.
best!

Offline rasteen

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 09:05:44 PM
You might also listen to Radu Lupu playing this; I love Martha playing this, but Radu has a bit more solid sense of pulse, and a larger view of the archetechture of the work, at least in my opinion;

Hence, I think it might be helpful for you in keeping these incredibly long lines going and making the work hold together; although I do like the way she handles the inner voices in the C section and her control of the left hand;

One of the keys to this work is keeping the long lines moving forward; and not getting bogged down with all the intricated inner workings; I guess that is what i like about Lupu;

And when done here, you might as well learn number 2 of this opus; they make a great set for a recital.

All the best
Ron Steen
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Offline gerryjay

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 02:07:07 AM
You might also listen to Radu Lupu playing this
lupu is an interesting pianist. i remember listening to his recording of this a long time ago, but to be honest i can't remember details... :P

they make a great set for a recital.
very, very true. btw, it's amazing how the combination b minor and g minor could fit this way.

best!

Offline thierry13

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 04:34:51 AM
btw, it's amazing how the combination b minor and g minor could fit this way.

Well, b minor's third stays g minor's dominant so ...

Offline gerryjay

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 05:15:44 AM
Well, b minor's third stays g minor's dominant so ...
which is not a remarkable connection... ;D

i mean: play a complete b minor cadence, and play a g minor chord after that. you feel the air of another planet.

btw, he makes an incredible and huge delay of a cadence in g minor in the second rhapsody... well, brahms' genius to its most!

best!


Offline ramseytheii

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Re: Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 1
Reply #11 on: February 04, 2009, 04:57:48 AM
Orchestration, orchestration, orchestration!

(Hint: in the opening bars, the lower note of the LH octaves = timpani)

Walter Ramsey


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