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Cristina Ortiz in Recital

During more than 25 years as an international concert and recording artist Cristina Ortiz has developed a unique bond with audiences all over the world, with the result that she has become one of the most popular and repeatedly sought-after soloists. She plays music by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Albéniz and Debussy in this live recording of a recital she gave during the Munich Klaviersommer. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Rachmaninov's Prelude in G Minor  (Read 2539 times)
all_black_and_white
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« on: September 25, 2004, 09:46:18 PM »

I love this peice; I worked it to death.  But even after I had in memorized backwards and forwards, my hands couldn't seem to put all the intense chord stretches and the speed of the peice together!  I've been able to master this in other peices, but this one just wore me out.  Is this something that could come with excersize/acquiring "finger muscle" :-), or is it possible that my hands are just too small to take it?

I appreciate any suggestions!
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piano sheet music of Prelude
cziffra777
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2004, 05:38:47 PM »

Quote
I Is this something that could come with excersize/acquiring "finger muscle" :-), or is it possible that my hands are just too small to take it?


I'd say it's more likely that you aren't playing the work properly. This piece requires a lot of arm/wrist motion and  not so much finger technique. If you can play the chordal passages at a slow tempo, then you should be able to get the piece up to speed. Of course, you need to be aware of the proper movements required to play the piece or you will never play it at tempo. Your teacher should be able to help you with this.
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super_ardua
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2004, 07:50:43 PM »

Practice it in super slow motion and ppppppppppppppp
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We must do,  we shall do!!!
all_black_and_white
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2004, 12:53:42 AM »

Thank you both for the input.  Practice - ah!  That has to be it.  Since that always seems to be the answer...

 I think practicing slow would certainly help, and the arm/wrist motion, well, I do feel I've given this work quite a bit of that, but I suppose more wouldn't hurt!  I actually put this one away for awhile, my teacher being pretty satisfied with the results - but I wasn't.  So it's back out again. :-)  We'll see how I do...
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rohansahai
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!
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2004, 04:58:44 PM »

Well, I've worked on this piece recently and I can give some suggestions! First of all, it is very true that this piece requires a lot of stringth! Why? I'll give the reason. First of all, the passage starting with the Eb major chord is extremely powerful and basically, the power goes on till the middle section (or just a few chords before). Then u have a build up again and an explosive final passage!
Finger push-ups are a must! Plus, remember that this is a piece in which you should not hold back! Take lots of risks; a cautious approach will mar and spoil the fire this piece has! Also, although u have to play the opening passages quite softly, but there has to be some crescendos and de-.... there also, else it sounds dull!
Another important point is that with too much stress on the outer movements, the middle section can get neglected. You should be able to play the entire left hand arpeggios without smudges and at the pace of, say, revolutionary etude (of course, this is only for practice, the actual pace is slower!)
But the most imporant thing is the character of this piece! I interpret it this way:
1st page: Napoleon Bonaparte marching with his army to Russia, the Russian peasants are mystified with the sound of the approaching enemy; hence, show the Napoleon's confident march, and the Russian commoners' terror!
2nd page: The battle begins, cannons are being fired, the soldiers are fighting... Lot of power! The napoleon is initially winning.
Middle section: The Russians have drawn the army in to Siberia, where they cut off the supplies of the french. Winter has set in and the scene is pathetic for the french. One by one, their men are passing away!
Recapitulation: The Russians are regrouping their army and building it up for the final assault!
The attack comes again in the ff section, this time it is the Russians!
The finale: The russians are driving out the french from thier country! ===>Very very powerful ( for me the highilight of this piece!).

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all_black_and_white
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2004, 05:12:42 PM »

rohansahai,

It was nice to hear from someone who has worked on this one.  This peice definitely requires a lot of endurance, as well as power - and I need to work on both.  I thoroughly enjoyed your interpretation of it, as well - it fits this peice just about to the "T"! Cheesy
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jlh
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2004, 06:05:39 AM »

Well, I don't know about the "finger pushups", but you do need some endurance for this one.  The power in playing heavy passages of Rachmaninoff comes not from the fingers, but from the weight of your body.  If you're getting excessively tired at the end of the piece, then your technique may need some tweaking.  Practice while continually thinking of the tension in your hands and try and find ways to loosen up and use more of your body instead of just the fingers.
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Shagdac
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2004, 09:49:30 AM »

B&W....

I have been working on this piece for the past month or so as well. I too was seemingly exhausted and seemed to run out of steam! My hands are pretty small however, but I haven't had any trouble reaching any of the chords. I didn't feel tired until I really started trying to play it up to speed, then it seemed very difficult. One suggestions my teacher made, that made so much difference...primarily starting with the 2nd page, was to play the first chord (and in following measures where it has a chord followed by 3) and make sure that I RELEASED. I would go into it hard, (even using my shoulders) but was not releasing properly. Once I practiced the technique of playing and releasing at this speed, it made quite a bit of difference, and now I don't get fatigued when playing it, although it still requires endurance to some degree....much easier. Hope this helps.

S Smiley
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Spatula
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2004, 10:56:06 PM »

Quote
B&W....

primarily starting with the 2nd page, was to play the first chord (and in following measures where it has a chord followed by 3) and make sure that I RELEASED. I would go into it hard, (even using my shoulders) but was not releasing properly. Once I practiced the technique of playing and releasing at this speed, it made quite a bit of difference, and now I don't get fatigued when playing it, although it still requires endurance to some degree....much easier. Hope this helps.

S Smiley


Yes, you can't smudge the 4 note chords with what I call the "threesomes" dont get any funny ideas here.

But I play those at about a mF volume and the 1 beat at about a F, accenting always the first beat.  I can play the first page at about 100 and the second page about 60 for a decent sound.

The middle section still needs work as my LH keeps going to wrong notes.

Try to listen to Howard Shelley's recording of how he does the opening (it's inspiring to jump back to the piano) with Hyperion records.

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rohansahai
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2004, 06:11:21 AM »

I don't think anyone can beat Richter in playing this piece. Except for a bit on the last page, where I feel he slows and softens a little tooo soon, the recording is FLAWLESS AND MAJESTIC!!! If u want, I can send u the mp3.
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Spatula
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2004, 02:03:50 PM »

I don't think anyone can beat Richter in playing this piece. Except for a bit on the last page, where I feel he slows and softens a little tooo soon, the recording is FLAWLESS AND MAJESTIC!!! If u want, I can send u the mp3.

please do.
send to my MSN email hotmail
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rohansahai
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2004, 05:36:15 AM »

Click http://stage.vitaminic.com/sviatoslav_richter_vol._7 for the page that contains the perfomance by Richter. If anyone has a better one, please send it to me!
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deebies
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2004, 06:06:41 AM »

I personally also like how rachmaninov plays it too, I have a recording if you want me to send it to you.

Bryan
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will
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2004, 06:38:22 AM »

   The Richter version is great  though I agree with rohansahai that it does slow a little near the end.
   A Horowitz version is the most interesting (though not my favourite) for it's sheer speed and changes of tempo.
   I have done some tempi calculations of different performers for this piece (I know,  I have an interesting life Smiley  )
   In the Richter and Dmitri Alexeev version the tempo at the E Flat chordal section (i.e.  34 seconds into the Richter version) starts about 100 bpm and at the end of the section has reached around 110. At the similar section near the end the tempo starts at about 110 and goes to 115.
   In the Horowitz version this section starts around 120 bpm and goes up to 140 the first time, then when this section repeats later the tempo starts around 135 and goes up to 150. That is fast.
  The Horowitz version is on a 3 Disc CD called "Horowitz Recordings 1930-1951" released through EMI. It's worth a listen if you can get your hands on it.
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