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I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy? (Read 27225 times)

Offline animae

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I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
« on: February 15, 2011, 08:55:51 PM »
Hello,

I'm 18 years old and have been playing the piano for 9 years now. I'm grade 8 standard and would like to play something challenging and enjoyable. I heard the Rach 3 concerto in the movie Shine 3 years ago. I didn't pay too much attention to it at first but recently I heard a performance of the Rach 3 ossia cadenza and thought it was revolutionary...

For the past 2 years I've been very narrow in selecting composer's works to learn - J.S. Bach was regarded as the greatest composer who lived. However, since listening to Rach, his concerto No. 3 takes me beyond the muddled presence and allows me to touch something timeless and eternal. I've never played any Romantic pieces before. I've always focused on Baroque music and rarely stepped into the classical realm. Although there's something daring me to learn this piece... but... Should I attempt it? I heard only a select few professional pianists have played this successfully with true interpretation and emotion but I believe I can too.

Should I?

PS: I have very large hands if that's useful. :)

Offline kelly_kelly

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 10:21:05 PM »
I think the short answer has to be a resounding no. I am also 18, within the neighborhood of grade 8 standard (DipABRSM to be exact), and I know how you feel - at our level there's so much that we can play that it's hard sometimes to accept that there are also things we can't. Don't do it. Besides the frustration of not matching up to high performance standards, you could physically injure yourself. There are so many "challenging" and "enjoyable" pieces which are more approachable than Rach 3 - why jump into it now?
It all happens on Discworld, where greed and ignorance influence human behavior... and perfectly ordinary people occasionally act like raving idiots.

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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 10:48:31 PM »

I've never played any Romantic pieces before.

Well, to put it mildly, this is not the piece to start with.

I can understand why people want to play this concerto, but to attempt to play it without any experience of romantic works is like building a skyscraper without any foundations.

Why not keep it as a goal for future years and leave it well alone until you are ready.

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Offline stevebob

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 10:48:31 PM »
If you're to achieve success with such a project, it could take years to reach fruition.  If you ultimately don't have the technique to play it to your satisfaction (or a consistent and long enough practice schedule even to make real and lasting progress), you might ultimately find it to be a huge waste of time and effort.

But we like what we like, and what motivates us the most is usually what we learn best.  I don't think anyone can decide for you how to use your time and energy most appropriately.  If you keep your mind open to the possibility that this endeavor is not for you after all, you should find out soon enough.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline becky8898

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 05:15:04 AM »
Hi : rather than give you a straight answer.  Think about this.  Those great artists you have heard play the Rach 3 , what do you think they had to do in order to get to the point that they could play it like that.  What makes you think you will have success if you dont follow the regime they did. Maybe you can, im just asking you to think. Ok now here is something else.  Why not learn it  first instead of thinking about playing it. I mean learn it the way a conductor would. Become totally familiar with everything about it. Maybe then you can make a better decison about if you should  try and play it. Just stuff to percolate on. .  best of luck.

Cheers, Becky

Offline ponken

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 06:55:40 AM »
Crazy? No. You just have a desire. You also seem to have confidence in yourself, which actually is a good thing. However, considering that you have no experience of romantic music this concerto is not well suited for you. There is no one who can deside for you what to play but I would suggest you to play some easier romantic pieces as a start. You probably need years of experience to achiev the techinal skills and understanding for romantic music that Rach 3 requires. But don't feel discouraged as a pianist. You will get there.

You could of course already get yourself familiar with Rach 3 by listening to different performances of it while reading along the sheet music. Be observant while listening. You can also play parts of it just to get a clue of how it feels. That is a great preparation, but don't put too much time and effort into it.  

Good luck!

Offline emilye

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 01:58:30 PM »
Hello,

I'm 18 years old and have been playing the piano for 9 years now. I'm grade 8 standard and would like to play something challenging and enjoyable. I heard the Rach 3 concerto in the movie Shine 3 years ago. I didn't pay too much attention to it at first but recently I heard a performance of the Rach 3 ossia cadenza and thought it was revolutionary...

For the past 2 years I've been very narrow in selecting composer's works to learn - J.S. Bach was regarded as the greatest composer who lived. However, since listening to Rach, his concerto No. 3 takes me beyond the muddled presence and allows me to touch something timeless and eternal. I've never played any Romantic pieces before. I've always focused on Baroque music and rarely stepped into the classical realm. Although there's something daring me to learn this piece... but... Should I attempt it? I heard only a select few professional pianists have played this successfully with true interpretation and emotion but I believe I can too.

Should I?

PS: I have very large hands if that's useful. :)

If you want to play this piano concerto, one of the most difficult piano concerto ever, you must answer for the questions: how many piano concertos do you play? which? how many etudes (Rachmaninov, Chopin, Liszt), sonatas etc. In my opinion it's strange to play concerto: Rach3 if you don't play many piano concertos in your life.
Now playing:
Prokofiev - Sonate in d-minor op. 14
Bach/Busoni - Chaccone in d-minor
Bach - II Partita in c-minor
F. Chopin - Barcarole in F sharp major, Op. 60
                Ballade in f-minor

Offline nearenough

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 04:58:46 PM »
I got through the first 2 pages easily, so you should have no problem.

Offline 1plus

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 10:52:40 PM »
My teacher played Rach concerto 3 for her Ph.D final recital some years ago,all she tell me about this concerto:tired physically but exciting emotionally.
You're not the only one who is crazy for it! But i really don't think you can handle it now...I ask my teacher's opinio last year and she told me she isn't planning to work on it with me in 20years.. ;D

Offline horizontal

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 01:01:42 AM »
I'd go for it. Rach 3 (at least just the notes) can be learned by someone at your level in about 2-3 months if you're spending around 3 or 4 hours a day on it. It's the music/interpretation aspect that's the hard part about it.

Offline stevebob

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 03:14:44 AM »
I'd go for it. Rach 3 (at least just the notes) can be learned by someone at your level in about 2-3 months if you're spending around 3 or 4 hours a day on it. It's the music/interpretation aspect that's the hard part about it.

There's no basis for knowing the original poster's level in practical terms, or for speculating that such a project would take "about 2-3 months if you're spending around 3 or 4 hours a day on it," or for predicting how long it would take anyone according to a formula based on hours of practice.

(Edited slightly because I didn't wish to sound harsh, but Becky already quoted the original.  No offense intended!  :) )
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline becky8898

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 04:04:17 AM »
That's an absurd claim.  There's no basis whatsoever for knowing the original poster's level, for speculating that such a project would take "about 2-3 months if you're spending around 3 or 4 hours a day on it," or for predicting how long it would take anyone according to a formula based on hours of practice.

Boy do I second that. Stevebob has it dead on.  I cant even believe how far off in the ozone some statements are.  This is the Rach 3. Let me say it again, The Rach 3.  Hey maybe one more time the Rach 3. im speechless, and that doesnt happen often.  What can I say its no big deal if you want to try it, but you asked our opinion.  Maybe you can try something easy first, like the Brahms first or the chopin e minor, or the oh so simple  Rach 2 and then try the Rach 3. 

i apologize in advance if I put off any one.

Cheers, Becky

Offline horizontal

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 04:39:24 AM »
There's no basis for knowing the original poster's level in practical terms, or for speculating that such a project would take "about 2-3 months if you're spending around 3 or 4 hours a day on it," or for predicting how long it would take anyone according to a formula based on hours of practice.

I was quoting what I think is the longest reasonable time someone should take to memorize it if they have been playing piano for as long as the poster indicates he has and is of perhaps average intelligence (I'm sure some people, due to being incredibly stupid, are probably incapable of memorizing even simpler pieces). I'm not saying that people in his shoes don't take longer, say a year and a half or more, to memorize Rach 3, simply that this is due most likely to inefficient and lazy memorization methods rather than their innate capacities.

Frankly, given a time investment of 4 hours a day, talking strictly about the notes, I don't think memorizing Rach 3 in a single month is an all unreasonable. I'm certainly not saying it would be up to speed in all places, and playing it up to speed may take a few more months. Also, the musicality is of course extremely difficult to get right and could possibly take a year or more. What I'm talking about just the notes themselves.

Just do the arithmetic: my edition has 128 pages for Rach 3 with about 14 measures per page, or approximately 1778 measures (not all of them even have notes, because sometimes the orchestra is playing, but let's assume they all have notes). Three months at 4 hours a day is 21600 minutes. 12600/1778 = 12 minutes. Take the hardest measure in the entire concerto. Could you memorize it in 12 minutes if you focused all your energy on that one single measure? Certainly (though of course not up to speed). Ergo, the whole work should be memorizable in around three months, 4 hours a day, even by an average person, provided the chunked it carefully and diligently in this manner. Some people who are naturally better at memorization may be able to memorize measures faster (say, 8 minutes per measure), and ergo would learn it much quicker.

Offline stevebob

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 05:04:54 AM »
Sorry to be blunt, but I think that's an even bigger load of crap than what you first wrote.  I wasn't even considering memorization in the equation, as I think it's barely relevant to the challenge presented (viz., someone who's played nothing but Baroque mastering the execution of the techniques that are required by a massively difficult Romantic piece).

Perhaps you should try learning Rach 3 according to your own formulas and timetables and keep us posted on your progress.  It might indeed work for you, but I don't believe it has the remotest general applicability.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline pianist1976

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #14 on: February 21, 2011, 10:54:41 PM »
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I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?

No, you aren't. Sometimes we listen a piece and we instantly have the desire to play it. This is good in some sense because means that we have a taste and music interests to us. But there's a real problem when we want to play a work we are not prepared to yet. Reading your first post, I don't think you are prepared at all to play this monster. You said that you didn't play even classicist music (did I understood well?), no speaking about romantics. So from that point of view, the answer in my opinion is yes, you are crazy.

Difficulty is always relative and subjective, depending on many factors. But if we try to objectify or quantify them, from Rach 3 we have:

- It's a really long concerto. Not only in duration but also in the quantity of pages of music written.
- It's one of the most dense works. There are many passages with many notes per square inch
- Requires a top technique and a full domain of many aspects of it: double notes, ultra complex textures, polyphony, finger independence, octaves, succession of octaves (pulse), big chords, big jumps, fast finger passages, etc.
- It's very difficult to read.
- The complex harmony, form and melodies makes it difficult to be quickly understood.
- If we don't have enough experience, we may focus on the tree while losing the view of the forest, struggling to play all the little notes slow, difficultly, pausing and been unable to make the important things sound.
- The technique required to play something like this must be very well connected to the musical ideas. It's obvious that some mechanical abilities are needed but a musical aim is indispensable. If we don't have a clear idea of the musical result, we could misuse our energy. In my opinion music and technique are joined together.

Its a very grave mistake to attempt a work one is not ready to play. There's a big risk of frustration but even of injury if we try to play a piece for we don't have the adequate technique nor enough background or previous music experience.

I once talked to Bruno Gelber about this concerto (who plays this in a wonderful way) and he said to me that it was one of the hardest things he had to do on his life. He used several weeks only to finish reading the score. He felt like solving a puzzle, reading note by note. I think that if a great and experienced pianist as Gelber suffered to bring out this piece, I have not very much to add.

Offline scottmcc

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #15 on: February 22, 2011, 11:25:17 AM »
I like the post about being able to make it through the first two pages so the rest shouldn't be a problem.  priceless.   ;D  even I can play the first page or two--but clearly that's not the hard part.

horizontal, I think that you have made some fundamental errors in your math of memorizing.  if, however, you didn't, may I suggest a new career for you:  http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/20/magazine/mind-secrets.html?src=me&ref=homepage  For most human beings, memorizing is not a strictly mathematical process.  it happens in leaps and bounds, with periods of frustration in between.  I've noticed the same with music.  I can memorize 3-4 pages of music relatively easily if it's something with a "story," or different musical patterns, but something simple like the Bach prelude in C (WTC I, nr 1), I can't memorize for crap. 

Pianist1976, I agree with your assessment wholeheartedly.

to the original poster, perhaps you should look at who influenced Rachmaninoff's sound and learn some of the great works of those composers before you tackle this beast.  Becky had a few semi-sarcastic suggestions, all of which good, but here are my actual serious suggestions.  I would start with a few Beethoven sonatas.  He was, after all, the transition between the Classical and Romantic periods.  Try op 101--lots of challenges, relatively few people play it, and it's positively gorgeous music. I realize there are easier, more accessible Beethoven sonatas, but you said you wanted a challenge!

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #16 on: February 22, 2011, 12:42:05 PM »
Just do the arithmetic: my edition has 128 pages for Rach 3 with about 14 measures per page, or approximately 1778 measures (not all of them even have notes, because sometimes the orchestra is playing, but let's assume they all have notes). Three months at 4 hours a day is 21600 minutes. 12600/1778 = 12 minutes. Take the hardest measure in the entire concerto. Could you memorize it in 12 minutes if you focused all your energy on that one single measure? Certainly (though of course not up to speed). Ergo, the whole work should be memorizable in around three months, 4 hours a day, even by an average person, provided the chunked it carefully and diligently in this manner. Some people who are naturally better at memorization may be able to memorize measures faster (say, 8 minutes per measure), and ergo would learn it much quicker.
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Offline abcdef123

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #17 on: February 22, 2011, 01:45:05 PM »
Don't learn it, you'll regret it, trust me.

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #18 on: February 22, 2011, 02:46:50 PM »
It's a wonderful concerto, but look at the score if you have not already. There are a TON of notes in it that you don't really hear when listening to a recording. It's not the most difficult concerto out there (like that stupid movie Shine depicts), but it still is very hard.

I'm working on pieces like Brahms' 1st concerto and Ravel's La Valse, and I would still wait a couple more years myself to play Rachmaninoff's 3rd.

Maybe you can try something easy first, like the Brahms first

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you REALLY Brahms 1st is easy??

Offline becky8898

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #19 on: February 22, 2011, 05:39:08 PM »
Hi Orange. no I dont think it is easy, I was being a brat.

Cheers, Becky

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #20 on: February 22, 2011, 07:48:20 PM »
Hi Orange. no I dont think it is easy, I was being a brat.

Cheers, Becky

I see. Sorry for not getting it.

Offline richard black

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #21 on: February 22, 2011, 09:17:49 PM »
18 and Grade 8? Well, you won't get it to performance standard in a hurry but a bit of serious work on it will teach you a lot.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.

Offline horizontal

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #22 on: February 24, 2011, 05:31:25 PM »
"LOL!"^1000
Are you serious about this? Like, for real?

Yes, I am 100% serious.

Despite everyone in this thread calling me an idiot, fool, retard, ignoramus, etc. for my viewpoint on the matter of memorization, I am pretty sure that nobody insulting me here has ever tried to memorize even a short and simple prelude in the highly systematic manner I described, and am pretty sure that such a methodology (if employed in an industrious and diligent manner) would multiply the productivity of most (if not all) pianists (at least in terms of raw note learning) by a factor of anywhere from 10-100.

You don't have to start with Rach 3, I was just using it as an example. Try it with a short Bach prelude and see what happens.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #23 on: February 24, 2011, 06:24:19 PM »
Well, here is the big scoop. It's because it IS rach 3. As you said, it's a loooong concerto. Therefore you probably need to take everything several times before you can memorize is, for real. Then, actually playing it=know all the notes+the technique.

A bach prelude is, what, 4 pages, if your unlucky?

Offline stevebob

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #24 on: February 24, 2011, 08:43:26 PM »
Despite everyone in this thread calling me an idiot, fool, retard, ignoramus, etc. for my viewpoint on the matter of memorization, I am pretty sure that nobody insulting me here has ever ....

I'm not aware of any such epithets being used, but I guess the shoe fits.  In my opinion, you're too convinced of your own infallibility to have a clue how clueless your argument actually is.  Even if all your assertions about memorization were demonstrably reliable, memorization does not confer the skills needed to execute very advanced technical challenges with accuracy and musicality.

This discussion started out about learning a very long and very complex piece of music.  That's a multidimensional process, and memorization is just one component of it.  Knowing all the notes doesn't mean knowing how to play all the notes, and by that criterion all your formulas and predictions are baseless.  It takes way more than memory!
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline horizontal

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #25 on: February 25, 2011, 12:34:05 AM »
I'm not aware of any such epithets being used, but I guess the shoe fits.
Thanks for your kindness.

Quote
In my opinion, you're too convinced of your own infallibility to have a clue how clueless your argument actually is.
I agree this is a possibility.

Quote
 Even if all your assertions about memorization were demonstrably reliable, memorization does not confer the skills needed to execute very advanced technical challenges with accuracy and musicality.

This discussion started out about learning a very long and very complex piece of music.  That's a multidimensional process, and memorization is just one component of it.  Knowing all the notes doesn't mean knowing how to play all the notes, and by that criterion all your formulas and predictions are baseless.  It takes way more than memory!

I'm in 100% agreement with all of this. I never made any claims about knowing the piece in terms of musicality, however, only the mere memorization of the notes.

Thanks also for putting words into my mouth.

Offline stevebob

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #26 on: February 25, 2011, 02:16:49 AM »
You established your credibility with your own statements.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #27 on: February 27, 2011, 02:52:54 AM »
horizontal, could you provide us with examples of your current playing?

Offline danhuyle

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #28 on: March 03, 2011, 06:49:00 AM »
Just practice it for one month and see how you go. If it's something you REALLY REALLY wanna learn, go for it. Then after that, take a step back. You will then KNOW what you need to work on and what you must do to get there if playing Rach 3 is your ULTIMATE GOAL.

No you're not crazy, it's going with your desire.

Ask yourself questions like
Do I deserve to play Rach 3?
Do I have what it takes?
Do I believe I can play this?
Am I good enough to take on Rach 3?
Am I ready for it?
Am I committed to it 110&?

If you answer no to any of the questions... then you're not as committed to it as you thought. However if you answer yes to all questions, then you know you want it. If you're stuck, you can send me a message if you need any help. 
Perfection itself is imperfection.

Currently practicing
Albeniz Triana
Scriabin Fantaisie Op28
Scriabin All Etudes Op8

Offline ignaceii

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #29 on: March 03, 2011, 11:02:29 PM »
No, you are not.
Studying the score can teach you a lot of theory and harmony and orchestration.
You do said learn. And learn you must before you play.




Offline ponken

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #30 on: March 10, 2011, 03:16:15 PM »
Boy do I second that. Stevebob has it dead on.  I cant even believe how far off in the ozone some statements are.  This is the Rach 3. Let me say it again, The Rach 3.  Hey maybe one more time the Rach 3. im speechless, and that doesnt happen often.  What can I say its no big deal if you want to try it, but you asked our opinion.  Maybe you can try something easy first, like the Brahms first or the chopin e minor, or the oh so simple  Rach 2 and then try the Rach 3. 

i apologize in advance if I put off any one.

Cheers, Becky

Rach 2 simple? Really?

Offline becky8898

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #31 on: March 10, 2011, 04:29:41 PM »
HI Ponken. NO I dont think there easy. Its called Sarcasm to make a point. 


Cheers, Becky

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #32 on: March 10, 2011, 04:36:23 PM »
Oh come on! Her sarcasm isn't that difficult to understand.

Offline emill

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #33 on: March 10, 2011, 05:14:50 PM »
Just practice it for one month and see how you go. If it's something you REALLY REALLY wanna learn, go for it. Then after that, take a step back. You will then KNOW what you need to work on and what you must do to get there if playing Rach 3 is your ULTIMATE GOAL.

No you're not crazy, it's going with your desire.

Fully agree with danhuyle ......

Well, you started about the same age as my son (9 1/2 years) ... and I would not blame his teacher if she thought Enzo was "crazy" when the 1st pieces he wanted to learn on his first few months on the piano were Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu and Liebestraume by Liszt.  Abilities and skills differ greatly and if you feel confident and well motivated ... GO FOR IT.  The only "harm" that I can possibly imagine that may happen to you is the realization that you are NOT ready for the task ... and that realization can only come if you attempt to learn the piece. 

To clarify my point better may I refer you to the post by ch101 ... where he attempts La Campanella by Liszt ....  which my son also attempted to play when he was 12 years old.
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=40473.0

On the other hand, if Enzo allowed himself to be restricted by what should be for his level he would not have realized this at 10 years old or less than year of lessons:
     (Fantasie Impromptu)
      (Liebestraume)

So again .... Go for it .... you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline ponken

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #34 on: March 10, 2011, 06:48:43 PM »
HI Ponken. NO I dont think there easy. Its called Sarcasm to make a point. 


Cheers, Becky

Well there are people who actually would make statements like that and be serious about it. Lol. Thank you for explaining!

Offline danhuyle

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #35 on: March 12, 2011, 11:58:43 AM »
Thanks for the nice comment emill.

Like me, I'm a person who likes playing the virtuoso repertoire. This speaks for any other piece as well. Like many, teachers will refuse to teach you the stuff you LIKE and that's normal. Back when I was studying for my music degree, I had all my exam pieces, Bach P&F in Cminor from WTC1, Mozart k332, Liszt - TE9 and LaCampanella, Barber Excursion 1, all memorized within only the first 5 months.
After that, I went learning on my own because my teacher refused to teach me.
Chopin Scherzi 1,3,4 Etudes op25/11 (easy to memorize)  Ballade 3
Liszt TE 5,10, Paganini Etude 2,4,5,6 (could never grasp no1) Hungarian Rhapsody no15

Like I said, I liked those pieces so much, I gave it a go, then I took a step back, get some advice from this forum on pieces that I can play to work towards it.

It makes a huge difference. If you had to learn the easy pieces, then you don't have a goal and a reason to practice it, then you'll end up giving up because of it.

That's what I did and am glad I did it. I neglected playing the piano from 2008-2011. Everything I did was wrong. I'm playing now, and am more controlled than before.

You and only YOU know that you're not ready to play something and YOU come to realization that you're not ready to play it. DON'T LET ANYONE ELSE CALL THE SHOTS, ESPECIALLY YOUR PIANO TEACHERS!

The first goal you have is to get the piece memorized so that you know the notes and stuff in the score to the point where the book becomes invisible. Work on musical expression as well, but don't get caught up in it. Remember, focus on getting comfortable playing it from memory, then once you are fluent with it, it's then time to take it to the next level. I've never seen the score of Rach 3, but if it doesn't have any complex cross rhythms like Liszt transcendental etude no12 or Samuel Barber excursion no2, then you should be able to self learn it to the point where you can play it fluently from memory if it's your goal to get the best results from your teacher. 





Perfection itself is imperfection.

Currently practicing
Albeniz Triana
Scriabin Fantaisie Op28
Scriabin All Etudes Op8

Offline stevebob

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #36 on: March 12, 2011, 12:06:15 PM »
I've never seen the score of Rach 3, but if it doesn't have any complex cross rhythms like Liszt transcendental etude no12 or Samuel Barber excursion no2, then you should be able to self learn it to the point where you can play it fluently from memory if it's your goal to get the best results from your teacher. 

There's no basis for assuming that polyrhythms are more difficult to learn than the severe and myriad technical challenges that characterize Rach 3.

There are editions of Rach 3 in the public domain.  Do have a look at it.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline omar_roy

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #37 on: March 12, 2011, 07:04:14 PM »
Don't listen to Danhuyle.

Offline pianist1976

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #38 on: March 12, 2011, 07:22:56 PM »
I can't believe some advices I'm reading here. It's not about "what" do you play but "how" do you play it. The learning process must be progressive, not abrupt. What do you, people, think it's better? Playing very well a Bürgmuller etude/Clementi sonatina or playing awfully Liszt Sonata/Rach 3rd or so on? Impatience is a common mistake, and the consequences are payed with our psychical and even physical health (frustrations, delusions, injuries, etc.).

I think it's an irresponsible attitude encouraging to not listen to the teachers and do whatever one likes to do. Do whatever you like... when you'll be prepared to do it, not before. Shortcuts are never good in music learning (at least that's my opinion).

Offline roger_1948

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #39 on: March 12, 2011, 11:02:32 PM »
I am 110 pct behind Pianist1976. Being good at anything requires a lot of hard work and discipline.  It certainley isnt doing whatever the heck you want to do, whenever you want to do it.  Get a good teacher, listen to your teacher and do as your told. Want to do something then sure do it, but put in the work that is needed to do it. There are no shortcuts. And yes you could I guess come up with some kind of BS playing of a piece that you really have no business screwing around with.  But what the hell is that worth.  I can whistle the opening theme from the Rach 3. So what. It isnt playing the music that Rachmoninoff  wrote.  I simply dont understand how some people just dont think the rules work for them.  Anyway my suggestion is to set realistic goals that you can actually do well. 

Roger
Roger

Offline jesc

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #40 on: March 13, 2011, 05:55:59 AM »
I cannot judge you on what you can or cannot do.

I'm agreeable with you studying harder pieces if you've displayed the maturity to do so. This includes : restraint (not playing fast/loud just to show off), consistency(tempo) and some other formal terms I don't even know about (who's this jesc anyway huh? you don't even know the proper terms bwahahaha... bwahahaha).

For starters, maybe you can go to youtube, listen to Horowitz, Argerich, etc. If you have the maturity enough to appreciate/notice the difficulty they've overcome to play at such a level, well then, you will know what you can currently play.

If you want' to learn the hard way, play what you want, post it on youtube and prepare for the onslaught of "honest" opinions (minus the trolls of course). That's imposing yourself... but I think there's a better position you can be in.

The better position is the reverse. You, being mature about your limitations and the teacher is the one giving you the difficult pieces you didn't even dream of touching.

Offline mussels_with_nutella

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #41 on: March 13, 2011, 11:38:17 PM »
hahahahaha Are you crazy? I might say YES!! hahahaha
But don't worry, you are not too much crazy, or at least less than I am hahaha I am also 18, self-taught and I am trying to learn Rach 2, being playing piano for three or four years hahaha and I am succeeding so far!

So go ahead!! Get it! I'll see you in your piano concert! I am sure you can!  ;)

Do not let the tough parts make you give up! continue with the rest, and don't stop trying to learn the parts you have omitted! Eventually you will be able to play it thoroughly and, a bit later, masterly  :)
Learning:
Liszt's 3rd Liebestraum

When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something
Shostakovic

Offline hannah9

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #42 on: May 08, 2011, 07:50:07 AM »
YES!!! :) I'm 15 and at Grade 8 level and I'm trying to learn it. My plan is to learn ALL of the notes, then inject all the vitality and spirit into it afterwards. I hope that this is the right approach  ;D

At the moment I'm listening to a few different recordings of it every moment of the day - and following with the score is very helpful.

I believe if you are extreeeeeeeeemely precise in your learning, then play it until you cannot put a 'foot' wrong (which might affirm your craziness) there is no reason why you cannot play like katia skanavi (who I discovered on YouTube and I think is pretty swish ;)) There is no denying that this will take you a lifetime and a half, but it's worth it!

It's nice to know that there are also other crazy people too ;D
learning:
La Campanella - Liszt
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G minor
Chopin - Heroic Polonaise

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #43 on: May 08, 2011, 11:42:06 PM »
YES!!! :) I'm 15 and at Grade 8 level and I'm trying to learn it. My plan is to learn ALL of the notes, then inject all the vitality and spirit into it afterwards. I hope that this is the right approach  ;D

At the moment I'm listening to a few different recordings of it every moment of the day - and following with the score is very helpful.

I believe if you are extreeeeeeeeemely precise in your learning, then play it until you cannot put a 'foot' wrong (which might affirm your craziness) there is no reason why you cannot play like katia skanavi (who I discovered on YouTube and I think is pretty swish ;)) There is no denying that this will take you a lifetime and a half, but it's worth it!

It's nice to know that there are also other crazy people too ;D

Personally, I don't feel that listening to recordings a lot is a great approach. I also don't think "notes first, musicality later" is a great approach either. I understand your enthusiasm for this work, because I, too, share a great enthusiasm for massive undertakings also! :D

What I recommend is following the score, but instead of listening to recordings, keep studying the score intently, and practice parts yourself to "hear how it sounds." Recordings of others, regardless of how great they are, can easily make other people's interpretations rub off onto your own playing, thus hindering your creative genius from interpreting as close to what the score says to do instead of what some other performer does.

And yes, that performer may be sticking very faithfully to the score! But does that mean you are him/her, or he/she is you? No.

So if you want to learn this piece, just start practicing! If it takes a lifetime and a half to learn it, it sounds very tedious no matter how you do it. So if you do a way that works your brain harder, but will make you come out a much stronger and smarter musician in the long run in addition to learning this whole piece, then why not choose that idea instead?

By the way, don't think I'm talking down to you, because I really am not. I haven't heard your playing, and you could possibly outplay me. I'm just telling you my opinion from one student to the next.

Offline michael_langlois

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #44 on: May 09, 2011, 12:27:45 PM »
Hello,

I'm 18 years old and have been playing the piano for 9 years now. I'm grade 8 standard and would like to play something challenging and enjoyable. I heard the Rach 3 concerto in the movie Shine 3 years ago. I didn't pay too much attention to it at first but recently I heard a performance of the Rach 3 ossia cadenza and thought it was revolutionary...

For the past 2 years I've been very narrow in selecting composer's works to learn - J.S. Bach was regarded as the greatest composer who lived. However, since listening to Rach, his concerto No. 3 takes me beyond the muddled presence and allows me to touch something timeless and eternal. I've never played any Romantic pieces before. I've always focused on Baroque music and rarely stepped into the classical realm. Although there's something daring me to learn this piece... but... Should I attempt it? I heard only a select few professional pianists have played this successfully with true interpretation and emotion but I believe I can too.

Should I?

PS: I have very large hands if that's useful. :)

What is your teacher's advice?

Offline sjeon

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #45 on: May 09, 2011, 04:08:08 PM »
hey horizontal,
according to your 'formula'  a kid is able to learn chopin etudes in a day or to. do you think it's possible? ;D
just joking :D

Offline chopinaninoff

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #46 on: May 10, 2011, 11:33:58 PM »
Before attempting Rach 3, I would suggest playing through some of his preludes, etudes, and even his 2nd concerto. It would be a good practice to get to know his harmonies, rhythms...I am surprised that you have been playing piano for 9 years and have not touched a romantic piece..I would go crazy on playing just bach.

Offline floydcramerfan

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #47 on: May 11, 2011, 12:38:37 AM »
I was quoting what I think is the longest reasonable time someone should take to memorize it if they have been playing piano for as long as the poster indicates he has and is of perhaps average intelligence (I'm sure some people, due to being incredibly stupid, are probably incapable of memorizing even simpler pieces).

Sorry to sound jerky here, but as someone who tried to play classical music in college, but bombed it really, really badly because I was thrown into braille music because the teacher wouldn't let me learn by ear as I had been doing, which doesn't take me long at all, I could take three months just to learn one or two pieces, and I think I am definitely not stupid.  I hope I don't come off as rude because I hate internet wars, but sometimes memorization is harder for some people.  It doesn't mean they're stupid.  I would think if you're playing classical music, you're definitely not stupid.  :)
I don't practice.  I call it play because I enjoy it. --A quote by Floyd Cramer.

Offline lonelagranger

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #48 on: August 28, 2011, 01:47:20 AM »
Van Cliburn said it took him 10 years of practice to play this piece at the performance level.

Offline steinway_d

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Re: I'm going to learn Rach 3! Am I crazy?
«Reply #49 on: August 28, 2011, 03:22:56 PM »
lonelagranger,

Nikolai Lugansky supposedly learned this concerto in 3 days.

But personally, i think he's much better than cliburn.

No offense Mr. Cliburn.

steinway_d