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Rachmaninoff Bach Violin Partita - Prelude (Read 964 times)

Offline cranston53

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Rachmaninoff Bach Violin Partita - Prelude
« on: April 26, 2020, 05:25:42 PM »
Hello all,

Has anyone tackled the Rachmaninoff transcription of the prelude from Bach's violin partita? I'm working on it at the moment, and it's surprisingly difficult. I'm certainly finding it harder than many of Rach's Preludes and Etudes.

Any advice welcome.

Offline tripletrobot42

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Re: Rachmaninoff Bach Violin Partita - Prelude
«Reply #1 on: April 27, 2020, 11:58:39 PM »
I have never played this piece. So I can't give any technical advice on this specific piece. However, I have played other Rachmaninoff transcriptions, and I can say that if you're ever in a rut as to how to interpret something in the piece, almost all off Rachmaninoff's transcriptions for solo piano are recorded by the composer himself. This one included!



Also another thing with Rachmaninoff Transcriptions. I know this is really stupid advice because it applies to any piece, but for these Rachmaninoff transcriptions especially, it is IMPERATIVE that you keep a relaxed wrist. Otherwise you're just screwed. Some things are absolutely impossible to play in these transcriptions with tension in the wrist, especially in the Bach Partita, full of light sparkly passages that don't allow for any of the clunky sound you get when you have tension in your wrist.

So yeah! I hope that my words are meaningful to you, and I hope you have a good day and good luck practicing this rather difficult piece!

Offline cranston53

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Re: Rachmaninoff Bach Violin Partita - Prelude
«Reply #2 on: April 28, 2020, 06:50:34 PM »
Thanks for your response Triplerobot42.

I've actually decided to put the piece to the side for the time being. I think one of the important rules in music is to learn when difficulty turns to frustration.

I've worked on it for another few hours and I'm not sure I will enjoy playing it. It manages to muddy the beauty of Bach whilst simultaneously lacking the pianistic enjoyment of playing Rachmaninoff.

The last two pages especially are just a chore. Too many notes.

I've decided to work on a Bach partita instead! Especially during lockdown, I don't think I can handle the irritation.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Rachmaninoff Bach Violin Partita - Prelude
«Reply #3 on: April 28, 2020, 07:40:45 PM »
It is horribly difficult. As you say, when frustration plays a part, it is time to put it to one side and come back to it later.
The transcription of Midsummer Nights Dream is a million times worse, or it was for me.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Rachmaninoff Bach Violin Partita - Prelude
«Reply #4 on: April 28, 2020, 07:57:15 PM »
It is horribly difficult. As you say, when frustration plays a part, it is time to put it to one side and come back to it later.
The transcription of Midsummer Nights Dream is a million times worse, or it was for me.
These things are indeed difficult - but not for Rachmaninoff himself, so any difficulty for some others is surely justified by the quality of the conception?...

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Offline gey1958

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Re: Rachmaninoff Bach Violin Partita - Prelude
«Reply #5 on: April 28, 2020, 11:47:44 PM »
Here are a few ideas to consider:

1) Consider working on the prelude to Bach’s Lute suite in E major as a preliminary study.  This is Bach’s own transcription of the same prelude that you want to play for a keyboard instrument call lautenwerck.  Starts at 22 second marker.


2) Consider playing at a slower tempo like Kholodenko.  Rach is playing WAY too fast imo.

You can play at an even slower tempo like that used in the first lautenwerck recording.

3) Consider modifying Rach’s work to make the piece easier for you to play.  Maybe only a few modifications are needed.  This could be a fun project. 

Combination of slower tempo and note modification may help you play this wonderful work.