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Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm (Read 11872 times)

Offline rachfan

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Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
« on: March 22, 2010, 05:41:49 AM »
One of the other members here asked me if I could post this recording of the 3rd "Moment Musical" of Rachmaninoff that I did back in 1984 (an "historic" recording!  ;D).  Where there is no other recording of it already on Piano Street, I'm glad to respond to the request.  Expect a bit of "wow and flutter" though with the old analog recording equipment.  Maybe some day I'll relearn and re-record it.  
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

piano sheet music of Moment Musical


Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 06:11:03 AM »
Wow! Flutter!  :D I'm right at home. ;D

You put some power into it. It is a different approach then the melancholy I usually hear. It has a strength and majesty to it. You are definitely a Rachfan.  :)

(BTW, I was 2-3 years old when you recorded this. And I was a happy child.)
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Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 02:01:44 PM »
Hi furtwaengler,

Ah, that you could have been old enough to appreciate the music even then. ;D  Here's more of the story.  My last preceding recording had been made in 1963 after my senior recital concluding 10 years of study.  After a 21 year absence from the piano except for some doodling here and there, I began studies with my second teacher for another 7 years.  This "Moment Musical" was the first piece I chose to study with him.  So as you can imagine, after 21 years of not practicing, I was a bit rusty! As to my style of playing it, I might have been influenced by Ruth Laredo's recording at the time.  Looking back on it now, I think it was a solid effort.  It's a very dark piece, but that's the source of its beauty.  Hopefully, my playing has improved somewhat since then.

My Baldwin Model L was brand new when I recorded this, so the hammers were not even grooved yet.  

Thanks for your kind comments on it!

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

Offline goldentone

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #3 on: March 23, 2010, 06:02:43 AM »
Hi Rachfan,

Solid effort indeed.  This is an at your leisure brooding piece.  You play it with a lot of weight, and I think conviction.  Your interpretation comes off well.  For being your first piece since your return to the piano, you did a terrific job!  Maybe you could revisit it sometime.  It would be interesting to see what your seasoned hands would do with it now.  Thanks for sharing this with us. :)  
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 02:52:28 PM »
Hi goldentone,

Thanks for those compliments!  Yes, maybe someday I can revisit the piece and make a more modern recording of it.  When I listened to it myself for recording quality, one thing was reaffirmed: Despite the drawbacks of analog technology like the wow and flutter effect of tape, and even though I do prefer my new solid state digital equipment, one fact about analog still lingers--it was a very warm sound as compared to the more sterile, cooler sound we hear on today's CDs.  

Thanks for listening!
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 12:47:14 AM »
It has a dramatic weight to it unlike most recordings but it doesn't sound like you are bashing or chopping the piano which is actually quite a difficult effect to pull off, really interesting! Geez 1984 I was also about 3 years old then playing amazing works such as Chopsticks lol.
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Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 01:02:24 AM »
Hi lost,

OK, you're forcing me to give up my secrets.  ;D  One of my first teacher's teachers was Albion Metcalf at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.  He was a student of Tobias Matthay, who developed the approach of using relaxed arm weight in producing a rich tone.  From the time I was very young, I definitely got a full training in that!  And I apply it to this day, even though over the years Matthay's stock has slipped a bit among current pedagogues.  (She also studied at the conservatory with Miklos Schwalb, a student of Ernst von Dohnanyi; and David Barnett, a student of Howard Brockway and Alfred Cortot.) My second teacher (later in life) studied with Anthony di Bonaventura, a pupil of Isabelle Vengerova. Yeah... with old names like that and you having been only 3 in 1984, I'm feeling a bit ancient here! ;D  But my playing you hear in this instance, given the style of the piece, comes down from Matthay for sure.  I also recall at that time being influenced by the recording made by Ruth Laredo. This "Moment Musical" was my first recording since my senior recital in 1963, without much piano playing in between.  Believe it or not, this recording was made on a small Sony cassette tape stereo "boom box" recorder!  
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline birba

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 10:51:29 AM »
And I think it goes to prove that it's not the quality of the recording equipment that counts.  Definitely helps, but it's only an aid.  When you play it like you did, the artistry comes out and not even a simple sony hand-held tape recorder can stop it!

Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 02:39:29 PM »
Hi birba,

Thanks so much for your comments!  I appreciate that.  Yes, I believe you're correct.  There are variables, of course, in any recording--the piano, the mics, the recorder, room acoustics, and even sometimes extraneous noises.  But in any recording, the pianist is the key ingredient for better or worse.  

This morning I was thinking: In this rendition of the "Moment", I didn't do the repeat because I never liked it.  The piece moves along at a leisurely pace, and those sigh motifs become well ingrained in the listener's brain after awhile.  I doubt they need to be reinforced.  So to me, the repeat is, well, too repetitive. ;D  Without the repeat, the piece is more compact and has more impact.   Rachmaninoff might disagree if he could be here, but I feel quite strongly about it.  So if I were to re-record it in the future, I'd probably stick to that approach.  One thing I would do differently, however, would be to make far more of the subtle dynamics.  The little Sony had limitations to it to be sure, but I  could have done a lot more with the dynamics.  Even though it was my first recording after a 21-year hiatus, as you can see, I remain my own worst critic, and despite that long hiatus, I don't cut myself much slack.  

Thanks for listening!
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline point of grace

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 06:08:26 PM »
really worth listening! strengthful and majestic jeje
Learning:

Chopin Polonaise Op. 53
Brahms Op. 79 No. 2
Rachmaninoff Op. 16 No. 4 and 5

Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 06:52:23 PM »
Thanks point of grace,

I'm happy you enjoyed this vintage recording! 
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline emill

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #11 on: March 25, 2010, 02:49:24 AM »
WOw !!!  beautifully played !! :)

(Please forgive me for being so youtubish in my description;
perhaps it is just that I am a "general public" who just loves
piano music and is a complete ignoramus as to the technicalities.
So like many, I respond as to how the piece and its playing "hits" me). ;D
member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #12 on: March 25, 2010, 06:05:04 AM »
Hi emill,

I'm delighted that you listened and enjoyed the vintage recording and took the trouble to comment too.  It means that I was able to put the piece across to you.  That gives me much satisfaction!  So no need to forgive you!  :)
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline slow_concert_pianist

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #13 on: March 25, 2010, 12:30:06 PM »
I don't play it anything like that, but I immensly enjoyed your interpretation. I was waffted away to a balmy Mexican piano bar when sophistacated jazz was broken by the joy of Rachmaninov. The wee prelude I just posted pales in comparison with the heartfelt suggestions you have given your audience.
Currently rehearsing:

Chopin Ballades (all)
Rachmaninov prelude in Bb Op 23 No 2
Mozart A minor sonata K310
Prokofiev 2nd sonata
Bach WTCII no 6
Busoni tr Bach toccata in D minor

Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff, Moment Musical, Op. 16, No. 3 in Bm
«Reply #14 on: March 25, 2010, 02:34:22 PM »
Hi s-c-p,

Thanks for your comments!  I think someday if I revisit this "Moment", I can do a far more artistic rendition of it.  But still, many people are enjoying it as is, which I appreciate.  I've made MANY Rachmaninoff recordings which are posted here on Piano Street and appear in the Index of Audition Room at the top of the postings list here.  The recordings are all grouped under each pianist's screen name.  At the moment it's not showing, probably being updated.  Thanks again.

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