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Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video) (Read 4890 times)

Offline ponken

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Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
« on: November 07, 2010, 01:46:13 AM »
I am aware that this is not perfect but I would appreciate others' opinions on it and tips if necessary. The audio quality is not the best so whether I play forte or piano it all sounds the same when recorded.


piano sheet music of Prelude


Offline daniloperusina

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #1 on: November 07, 2010, 03:46:01 AM »
That's very impressive!
I don't have the score in front of me, but the middle section is marked "meno mosso", or something, which you do, but it doesn't really sound slower. So, first opinion would be, regardless of the recording quality, to relax the musical flow. First and last sections forward, as you do, but middle more leaning back.
I'm not sure, without the score, but do you reach the "Tempo I" a little bit too soon?
It's very good as it is, but I think it can be even better, especially in catching the musical momentum in an even more inspired way.
Nice!

Offline birba

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 11:47:36 AM »
Wow, you get a lot out of that tiny piano.  You reminded me of Schroeder playing the hammerklavier on his toy piano!  Maybe it is the recording, but  are you playing the chords  (the "ya-da-da") after the octaves a notch down in sonority?  because they have to be more leggero then the theme itself.  Also the middle section could be a bit more relaxed like the previous post suggested, with a little rubato in the melodic line concentrating on the legato and cantibile, rendering a big contrast with the march theme.
But it's very impressive playing!

Offline fleetfingers

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #3 on: November 09, 2010, 05:20:42 AM »
Is it me, or was your piano shaking?...I was a little worried the candlesticks were going to fall off.   ;D
I've never played this, so I can't comment on anything specific, just that I enjoyed listening.

Offline ponken

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #4 on: November 11, 2010, 09:12:13 AM »
Thank you everyone. I will try what you suggested next time I play it.

Offline ponken

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #5 on: November 11, 2010, 09:14:20 AM »
Is it me, or was your piano shaking?...I was a little worried the candlesticks were going to fall off.   ;D
I've never played this, so I can't comment on anything specific, just that I enjoyed listening.

Yes, they do. I really don't want anything to be on the top of the piano but my grandma always insists on putting things there. Haha

Offline rachfan

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 03:59:56 AM »
Hi ponken,

I've played this prelude myself, so know the music quite well.  You have the notes "in your fingers" and your articulation is crisp.  You also, for the most part, differentiate touch, be it legato, nonlegato or staccato.  You also distinguish foreground from background, attending to the melody throughout the piece.  What I don't hear, however, and some of it might be attributable to the piano, are the dynamics as indicated.  For example, the opening is marked p but sounds more like f to me.  The dynamic is supposed to reach f in the second line, but then diminishes all the way down to pp at the end of the third line, where it all restarts in line four, but again marked p... but it mostly sounds like f to me.

The last two 16ths at the end of page two can be more meno mosso, as they lead into Part B of the ternary form over on page 2, which is marked meno mosso as birba mentioned above. So it must be less animated than previously.  This section needs to sound hyper-romantic, no, ultra-romantic.  I'm hearing you rush through it, again at high dynamic levels.  Notice that it starts at pp and never once is to exceed mf according to the notation.  The dynamics are intended to contribute very significantly to the ultra-romantic character of the music here. The way it's actually accomplished is by matching the dynamics to the melodic contours of the right hand.  If the melody goes upward, then the dynamic does likewise.  If the figure travels downward and tappers off, so does the dynamic.  The left hand generally has to be a subdued accompaniment--that is, kept in the background.  Think of it as a quiet lake effect. Down in the second half of page 3 there are some exceptions to that rule, where (and you do it well) the left hand follows voice leading in order to contribute to some hidden inner lines. The overall effect I hear in your rendition of Part B is not a lush, ravishing, poetic and seductive lyricism, but more a far less sensitive, rushing articulation at an unyielding dynamic of f.  It really robs it of its sensuality in my opinion.  In music like this we need to bear in mind that Rachmaninoff was a Late Romantic.  

Over of page 4 comes the reprise to Part A.  You could create more drama there coming off the ritardando from the previous measures by starting the reprise much slower than is now the case. The accelerando is actually quite extended, controlled and gradual.  As it now stands, you're rushing off to a fire, it seems, very prematurely.  You should really "spend" that long accelerando right up to the Tempo I notation on Page 5, then rush off to the fire if you wish.  

On Page 6 you have the challenge of rapidly playing the 5 consecutive chords at the end of measures 2, 5 and 6.  Right now those figures lack full clarity.  You might be playing too fast to to execute them well.  If so, it would be a reason to ease off the tempo throughout the piece just a bit to better accommodate them.  

The coda is marked leggiero (lightly) and is supposed to be mere whisper at pp (best to play the entire code without damper pedal, but soft pedal there is fine).  As it now stands, too loud!  And no reason to rush the coda.

I hope this helps.

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

Offline ponken

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #7 on: November 17, 2010, 12:01:17 PM »
Hi ponken,

I've played this prelude myself, so know the music quite well.  You have the notes "in your fingers" and your articulation is crisp.  You also, for the most part, differentiate touch, be it legato, nonlegato or staccato.  You also distinguish foreground from background, attending to the melody throughout the piece.  What I don't hear, however, and some of it might be attributable to the piano, are the dynamics as indicated.  For example, the opening is marked p but sounds more like f to me.  The dynamic is supposed to reach f in the second line, but then diminishes all the way down to pp at the end of the third line, where it all restarts in line four, but again marked p... but it mostly sounds like f to me.

The last two 16ths at the end of page two can be more meno mosso, as they lead into Part B of the ternary form over on page 2, which is marked meno mosso as birba mentioned above. So it must be less animated than previously.  This section needs to sound hyper-romantic, no, ultra-romantic.  I'm hearing you rush through it, again at high dynamic levels.  Notice that it starts at pp and never once is to exceed mf according to the notation.  The dynamics are intended to contribute very significantly to the ultra-romantic character of the music here. The way it's actually accomplished is by matching the dynamics to the melodic contours of the right hand.  If the goes upward, then the dynamic does likewise.  If the figure travels downward and tappers off, so does the dynamic.  The left hand generally has to be a subdued accompaniment--that is, kept in the background.  Think of it as a quiet lake effect. Down in the second half of page 3 there are some exceptions to that rule, where (and you do it well) the left hand follows voice leading in order to contribute to some hidden inner lines. The overall effect I hear in your rendition of Part B is not a lush, ravishing, poetic and seductive lyricism, but more a far less sensitive, rushing articulation at an unyielding dynamic of f.  It really robs it of its sensuality in my opinion.  In music like this we need to bear in mind that Rachmaninoff was a Late Romantic.  

Over of page 4 comes the reprise to Part A.  You could create more drama there coming off the ritardando from the previous measures by starting the reprise much slower than is now the case. The accelerando is actually quite extended, controlled and gradual.  As it now stands, you're rushing off to a fire, it seems, very prematurely.  You should really "spend" that long accelerando right up to the Tempo I notation on Page 5, then rush off to the fire if you wish.  

On Page 6 you have the challenge of rapidly playing the 5 consecutive chords at the end of measures 2, 5 and 6.  Right now those figures lack full clarity.  You might be playing too fast to to execute them well.  If so, it would be a reason to ease off the tempo throughout the piece just a bit to better accommodate them.  

The coda is marked leggiero (lightly) and is supposed to be mere whisper at pp (best to play the entire code without damper pedal, but soft pedal there is fine).  As it now stands, too loud!  And no reason to rush the coda.

I hope this helps.



Thank you! That means a lot. The problem is that when I record with this camera most of what I play sounds like f, even if I play p, pp etc. But I found this helpful and I am going to try what you suggested.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 03:57:10 PM »
Thanks ponken,

As you know, camera/sound recording directly to a PC or laptop delivers a relatively poor sound despite your own efforts at the piano.  Sometime if/when you have the means, even if you were to purchase a hand-held portable recorder like Zoom4 or the Edirol portable along with a USB2 cable (or use of Firewire) for uploads  to your computer music files, you'd find an amazing difference in recording quality just upgrading to that modest step. Much of the harshness, clipping during louder passages, and distortions would go away as well.  I'm not really familiar with editing programs as I refuse to edit my recordings ever, preferring instead to do them in one take.  But I believe that Audacity (free) might let you synchonize the video and audio tracks for the situation where the camera and recorder are independent of one another.  (I don't do videos, just audio recordings including YouTube.)       
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline emill

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #9 on: November 20, 2010, 06:03:23 PM »
wow!! ...  sounds great even on an upright!! :)
member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline jjs238

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #10 on: December 10, 2011, 10:29:56 PM »
Well...I congratulate you on being able to play all the notes and have the tempo good, a tad fast though. I myself prefer the staccatos with some more pedal than you used. I think you have the whole score portion and hand position of the song memorized well. Now it's time to work on making it burst with passion and slow it down a notch. There is a lot more passion and emphasis you could have put into the counter melody where the left accents the right when it changes pace.

It may have just been your microphone but the whole song felt almost equal with left/right hands without many dynamics. I know it's hard to translate how we should play a given piece but I'm most fond with the Van Cliburn take on this one. Anyways, very well done for being able to play it technically speaking, work a little more on bringing all the parts out now so they just pop, cheers!

PS - Rachmaninoff never sounds right nor records right when played on a smaller spinet or light action piano. This song really needs a grand or full upright to make its tone come out and just linger in the background even without pedal. So, I bet this fellow would sound amazing if not on the smaller piano. It's so hard to keep the loudness and banging feel in check when played on a smaller one I've noticed.

Offline megadodd

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 12:27:53 AM »
very nice indeed, enjoyed listening.  :)
Repertoire.
2011/2012

Brahms op 118
Chopin Preludes op 28
Grieg Holberg Suite
Mendelssohn Piano trio D minor op 49
Rachmaninoff Etude Tabelaux op 33 no 3 & 4 op 39 no 2
Scriabin Preludes op 1

Offline pianoplayjl

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #12 on: December 12, 2011, 07:39:14 AM »
Nearly there. Nice effort to go all the trouble to learn this piece. Commendable effort even though not even half perfect. keep working.

JL
Funny? How? How am I funny?

Offline starstruck5

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude in g minor (Video)
«Reply #13 on: December 12, 2011, 06:38:08 PM »
Can't add anything to advice already given.  You are technically very good.

It is so important in this prelude to bring out any contrasts in dynamics and tempo -otherwise it is a bit like being hit on the head with a hammer.
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