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Topic: Which Rachmaninoff Etude to Start With?  (Read 1209 times)

Offline droprenstein

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Which Rachmaninoff Etude to Start With?
on: October 29, 2022, 11:40:57 PM
I have not played much Rachmaninoff. I got pretty far into his Prelude in D minor(Op 23 No 3) before getting bored and stopping, and started playing a few other pieces, eventually also getting bored and stopping(in case you couldn't tell, one of my main weaknesses at the piano is my short attention span when it comes to pieces). As a bit of context, the last piece that I'm currently still polishing is Chopin etude Op 10 No 1, which I learned to get a decent rendition of in a bit more than one week. I want to play one of Rachmaninoff's etude tableau(preferably Op 39) after I've polished the Chopin, but I'm not sure where to start. Ideas?

Online jamienc

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Re: Which Rachmaninoff Etude to Start With?
Reply #1 on: October 30, 2022, 02:06:19 AM
None of them. If you’re bored after a bit of time with one of the more accessible preludes that wasn’t finished and you only spent a week “polishing” Op. 10 No. 1 then I’d say the Rachmaninoff etudes are going to be a bit of a problem. I’m sure others will chime in quite soon.

Offline adariation

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Re: Which Rachmaninoff Etude to Start With?
Reply #2 on: October 30, 2022, 12:21:04 PM
There is one thing, in my opinion, that makes rachmaninoff one of the hardest composers to play well is the very thick texture. Making this worse (for the interpreter) is the use of huge chords, and phrases with no clear ending. I am sure anyone  who has experience with rachmaninoff will know what i am talking about.
Furthermore, op 10 no 1 comes no where near the difficulty of Rachmaninoff's op 39, both musically and technically. Although this may seem strange, I'd recommend you to work on some Bach/other composers who write contrapuntal music but in a less technically difficult way, alongside a Rachmaninoff Prelude/Moments Musical. Moments Musical 3 & 4 can be worked on at the same time, as they both require different skills. I'd accompany this, as a said earlier, with a contrapuntal work. You can try some of  Shostakovich's fugues too, if you aren't a fan of bach/baroque.

OR

you an ignore everything i just said and learn op 39, and have it as a long term project (if you do this thought, make sure to set a reasonable deadline that will both challenge you, while giving you enough time to learn it). If i was you I'd start off with number 4, which won't bore you as much -  A charming cross between a hopak and gavotte, with lots of harmonic colour. But my personal favourite has to be no 3, just beautiful-An incredibly complex Etude-Tableaux, tone-wise: while it starts off sounding angry and frenetic, there are moments of violent sublimity scattered through the piece. no 5 is also very good, but can get too 'muddy'. If you want something more lyrical, then have a look at no 8.
Hope this helps,
Adar D

Offline symphonicdance

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Re: Which Rachmaninoff Etude to Start With?
Reply #3 on: October 30, 2022, 02:16:28 PM
For fun and exploration, no harm for you to attempt any Rachmaninoff etudes. For proper learning and progression, perhaps it's better if you can expand your repertoire on the less challenging romantic and Rachmaninoff works, before seriously tackling his etudes.

Offline hmoll53

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Re: Which Rachmaninoff Etude to Start With?
Reply #4 on: November 03, 2022, 11:00:08 PM
Op.10 No.1 is about as hard as most of the challenges any Rach etude will give you.
Choose whatever you want, the only piece I think would be more difficult than 10/1 is Op.39 No.6 maybe. The rest are all easy and probably won't give you any significant troubles
Some Current Repertoire:
Scriabin: Sonatas 2,4 and 5
Chopin: Ballade 1,4, Scherzo 1
Rachmaninoff: Concerto 3
Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit
Barber: Sonata
Beethoven: Appassionata

Offline pianopro181

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Re: Which Rachmaninoff Etude to Start With?
Reply #5 on: January 08, 2023, 10:24:23 PM
Op.10 No.1 is about as hard as most of the challenges any Rach etude will give you.
Choose whatever you want, the only piece I think would be more difficult than 10/1 is Op.39 No.6 maybe. The rest are all easy and probably won't give you any significant troubles

Easy? All of op.39 (other than A minor) are fiendish to play convincingly. I’d like to smoke whatever it is you’ve been smoking, as I’m sure would most of the piano community. What’s next, are all Godowsky Etudes ‘easy’ too? Lol
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