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Topic: Rachmaninoff's Polichinelle  (Read 3281 times)

Offline frederic

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Rachmaninoff's Polichinelle
on: March 15, 2003, 12:43:37 AM
I've decided to learn this piece.

Any advices or suggestings??
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline ned

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Polichinelle
Reply #1 on: April 03, 2003, 11:09:52 PM
Good choice. I found it easy to memorize and retain, unlike most of Rachmaninoff's music. It does require finger stamina but that will come as you work on it.

Some pointers:

Differentiate clearly between p, pp, and f, ff, etc

The middle section requires a strong thumb melody in RH, but make sure all the RH notes are played. The middle section needs to flow.  As my Russian teacher said, "Imagine endless fields of grain." Wonderful image!

There are some big jumps. Work hard not to delay in changing positions.

Listen to Rachmaninoff's recording of it. He makes a lot of big tempo changes that I don't like.
All the best,
Ned

Offline frederic

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Polichinelle
Reply #2 on: April 19, 2003, 12:11:14 PM
which recording is this?

The 3rd section is horrid!
Very uncomfortable for the hand. and the jumps are quite hard too!
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline ned

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Polichinelle
Reply #3 on: April 21, 2003, 10:43:31 PM
I have the 10 CD RCA set of all of Rachmaninoff's recordings.  I would not imitate his big tempo fluctuations in Polichinelle. Play it at a steady tempo. Make sure you can play through against the metronome.
Sorry about that last section. It is tough. I can strike an eleventh so it lies under my hand. BTW, I am six foot seven. In that third section I recommend that you eliminate some of the lower notes in the right hand. It will sound good anyway and only a pedant would object.
The piece is very muscular. It took me a good six months to absorb it even though I memorized it quickly. I have performed it several times. People like it. Hang in there!
Ned

Offline frederic

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Polichinelle
Reply #4 on: April 22, 2003, 12:00:33 AM
Hi there.
You mean take away some of the notes of the right hand in the last section?
6 months?!!? I have to perform it in 2 months! what should i do? is it that hard to master?
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline ned

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Polichinelle
Reply #5 on: April 22, 2003, 12:28:13 AM
First, if you are playing for a jury my comments should be checked with your teacher. I do not want to undermine your approach.
Yes, look at the passage in the RH on the next to last page around measure 107 et seq. next to the last eighth in the measure. See the chord G E G? Okay, don't play the lower G; just play EG with 2-4. Same procedure in later similar passages. It will greatly ease the passage. You won't have to make the jumps and you won't miss the notes! The ear will not catch it.
Now maybe your listeners are waiting to see whether you succesfully take the jumps, so I don't want to give you a facilitation that will be marked down!
Other than that, the piece is not hard, just strenuous.

Don't worry about me taking six months. I study with a superb teacher and I perfom, BUT I am a full-time lawyer with small children and a WIFE. So I practice when I can. Plus I was learning other pieces at the same time.
All the best
Ned

Offline trunks

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Re: Rachmaninoff's Polichinelle
Reply #6 on: April 06, 2004, 09:53:35 PM
For those who are still figuring out what polichinelle means, it means clown - yup, funny clown who could tickle roaring laughter from anybody. Prepare your mood for humour. Hey this is the golden opportunity for true humour from Rachmaninoff, although the middle section still has its dark shades.

Coincidentally(?) the British Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) places both pieces under the same title of 'Polichinelle' (the other being Heitor Villa-lobo's, taken from his Prole do bebe) on the same technical level - Grade 8. Both are short pieces humorous in their own ways.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist
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