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Topic: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9  (Read 10409 times)

Offline sjskb

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Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
on: September 20, 2010, 10:18:08 PM
A joint video of two wonderful and contrasting rachmaninoff etudes. Recorded live in Hamburg, Germany in July 2010. ;D

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Offline pianowolfi

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 06:03:14 AM
Bravo!  :)

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #2 on: September 27, 2010, 12:02:11 AM
Bravo!  :)

seconded.

This is a fine performance. You have excellent facility.
Without looking at my score, there isn't a whole lot I can say in terms of constructive criticism. 
Your playing has a wonderful rhythmic energy, but I think you could be more daring at times. Forget about accuracy-you are a very accurate player. Take more risk with the sound. It sounds a bit safe right now. You could go further with character here. You could have a bit more fun.

Your control of both texture and phrasing are superb. These are our most powerful tools as pianists. You have them in spades. You could use them to greater effect. The world is your oyster! Go out there and put some spice into it!


Thank you and again, bravo.

You have good musical instincts. You can trust them a bit more.
 :)

Offline sjskb

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #3 on: September 27, 2010, 09:02:05 PM
thank you awesome_o!  ;)

that was indeed very encouraging from you.

just a question: in terms of being more daring, were you referring to the D minor or the D major etude, or both! i personally think that the D minor has to be done slightly more carefully, so as to retain the mysterious energy and textures. some parts have really awkward fingerwork, whereas the D major can afford to have more risks, especially the closing section.

thank you once again for your kind comments, though i welcome criticism as well.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #4 on: September 28, 2010, 01:09:22 AM
You are most welcome. I truly enjoyed your performance.

My words were sort of a general impression based on both the Rach and your Ravel. I must confess I do not know either of the three pieces as well as I should.

With your musicianship and ability, you can pretty much make your own decisions on character within the parameters of the score.  What matters is that YOU are covinced 110%. This is needed in order to convince US 100%.

Keep up the great work.

Wow the standard of pianism on this board is much higher than on PW.

Offline ramseytheii

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 11:23:10 AM
This is such a small comment but something that I think is important.  We tell a lot with our body language about the music that might not be evident to the listener immediately, who does not know where the music is going and cannot always discern the character from the notes alone.

In the beginning of the first etude, we have a static figure, that slowly becomes the main theme.  It goes from stasis to motion.  I think this should be reflected in body language, personally.  When you move around during the static portion, the music and the eye do not match up, and it harms comprehension.

I am not prescribing a specific way of moving, because then I would be saying you should throw yourself around during the more moving passages.  But consider minimizing body language as an aid to performance.  You don't need any of those movements for your technique.

Also, this seems like a dry room, hard to play.  I think a more liberal use of pedal would help contrast as well.  I felt that way for both the first and second etudes.

Good job!

Walter Ramsey


Offline birba

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 04:38:23 PM
Weren't you the one who also played the Valse of Ravel?
Really fine playing, indeed!  I understand what the others are trying to tell you.  There's sort of a cautiousness to your playing.  But it was much more evident in the Valse (if that was you!) Here, you were very controlled but the playing was also very musical.
It might have been the room and the recording.  Maybe it was the piano.  But the bass was sorely missing!  And this is a great loss in Rachmaninov, as you know.
Really enjoyed it, though.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #7 on: October 22, 2010, 08:38:23 PM
Hi sjskb,

These are wonderful performances of these two Etudes-Tableaux.  Congratulations on a very fine performance!  

I know your playing well and have always enjoyed your renditions.  The obstacle to performance here was clearly the venue.  The floor is totally carpeted, the walls are sheetrock construction, and although it's out of sight, I would bet that the ceiling is acoustic tile there.  The combination absorbs sound unmercifully making the acoustics seem very dry to the listener--the opposite of the other nemesis of pianists, too live a sound bouncing off very hard surfaces creating excessive and unpleasant reverberations.  For the dry acoustics, I would have opted for a fully opened lid on the piano and considerably pedal in the circumstances.  

The acoustics notwithstanding, I very much enjoyed your playing of both etudes.  :)
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline sjskb

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #8 on: October 23, 2010, 10:00:09 PM
thank you all for taking time to comment!  ;D

ramseytheii: thank you for your observations and suggestions... i did take another look at the video, and i do agree that the opening of the first etude was slightly more active (in terms of body movement). I think it's due to nerves really... the opening is so quiet and rhythmically challenging. the sudden handphone chime did not help!

birba: wow, you can actually recognize me from the back. haha. yes, i was the one with the La Valse recording as well. The piano is a Schimmel, not a really good sound in my opinion. I am no expert in acoustics, but i do agree that the room does not help in projecting sound. This is really strange, as the venue is actually a "concert-room" in a piano shop! This room is actually quite small, and that explains why the piano lid is only opened halfway.

rachfan: hi, i am glad to see you here on pianostreet forums again after a long absence! I am performing the entire op.33 set of etudes in a month's time, on a much better bechstein piano.. will surely post if the results are satisfying!

warm regards,
sjskb

Offline rachfan

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #9 on: October 23, 2010, 11:19:00 PM
Hi sjskb,

Looking forward to those upcoming recordings!

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

Offline ponken

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #10 on: November 11, 2010, 09:30:14 AM
I enjoyed both Etudes. I am learning Op.33 no.4 myself right now and I found your performance, this thread and the comments and criticism here very helpful. Thank you for posting! Great job!

Offline sjskb

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Re: Rachmaninoff Etude op 33 no4 and op39 no9
Reply #11 on: November 23, 2010, 01:01:34 PM
Hi sjskb,

Looking forward to those upcoming recordings!



the new recordings of the complete set of op.33 etudes are up on youtube. I will post these on audition room a bit later today.
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