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Topic: What Rachmaninoff piece to learn next? ("Essential" Rach pieces?)  (Read 2914 times)

Offline ffchopinist

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I "graduated" from a few pieces recently and have been researching some ideas on what to learn next. I'd really love some recommendations.

I like Rachmaninoff because I love sad or dark / dramatic pieces in minor keys.  (Note: I have relatively small hands, though, and can span only an octave. I realize this is not ideal for Rachmaninoff, but I usually make it work for other pieces by rolling the bigger chords, redistributing between hands, and occasionally reaarranging chords or dropping a note when absolutely necessary.)  I've only played one Rachmaninoff piece ever, and it was a relatively easy one - the Prelude in C# Minor - decades ago and back when I was really young, so I don't have much experience with Rach and would love to start building up more repertoire.  

In terms of difficulty level, I'd like to start with something that isn't the hardest but isn't super easy either  (For "reference", I've finished 3 of the Chopin etudes recently, Debussy Estampes, and am working on the Chopin Ballades.)  I like challenging myself, but I also don't mind learning pieces that are "easier" than what I've been working on if it's essential repertoire that I skipped over, too.

I was originally thinking of trying his Moment Musicaux No 4, since I like dramatic pieces - not sure if this would be a good one or not, though.  I also like the middle part of his Elegy Op 3 No 1. Not sure if these are appropriate or not in terms of difficulty, though.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to a Rachmaninoff piece to "start" with for someone who's never played much Rachmaninoff?  What are some of his "essentials" or the most fun to play?




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Offline visitor

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probably the most famous piano work of his so it's nice to have a paraphrase of sorts on such an iconic piece.

Offline mjames

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Pick out a day with some free time slots, get your scores, fire up a webpage about Rach's ouvre, and listen to his music. You're the only here that's aware of your skills and preferences. Honestly considering the works you've played, there are plenty of accessible and beautiful works by Rach that you can play.

That said, listen to his preludes and etudes. You're bound to find something interesting in there.

Since you said you have puny hands:

Offline ffchopinist

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@ visitor - Neat! The Rach 2 is one of my favorite concertos, and it's cool to listen to the arrangement. Thanks for sharing.  

@ mjames - Thanks for chiming in and for the recommendation. It's an interesting piece and reminds me of Debussy (rather than what I traditionally think of when I hear "Rachmaninoff", though not necessarily a bad thing at all).   I've actually listened to a large number of Rachmaninoff pieces (I have a bunch of Rach CDs, in fact), and there are tons I like listening to ... but I'm not sure what's considered "essential repertoire" for a serious piano student and which ones are good from a learning standpoint in terms of improving technically or musically.  My teacher gave me the opportunity to come up with some ideas on what I'd like to learn next, so I figured I'd use the chance to put together a short "wish list." Are there any others in particular you recommend playing that you've enjoyed or learned a lot from?

Offline mjames

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Offline ajlongspiano

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Op.39 No.5 is a great one. :)

Best,

AJ

Offline pencilart3

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Some rach n roll!

sorry

idk anything about rachmaninoff. oops. haha.

 :D
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline goldentone

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probably the most famous piano work of his so it's nice to have a paraphrase of sorts on such an iconic piece.

Oh I'm sure this paraphrase is a winner. 8)

Rach's piano music he wrote for himself, and so it is very difficult.  You might spend
time playing through his preludes and see if you find one that is fit for you.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline chopinlover01

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If you want some less sophisticated and/or technically demanding Rach, check out his Morceaux de Salon (Opus 10 I believe).
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