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#2046448 - 03/11/13 11:38 AM Concerto Analysis
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Hello everyone,

This is going to be similar to the "Sonata Analysis" thread that has been going on in the Adult Beginners forum, except we will be looking at piano concertos instead of solo repertoire, and we are hoping to get into more advanced, in-depth analysis of the pieces we examine. And hopefully we can stay on topic a little bit more than in the other thread. wink
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Polyphonist

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#2046449 - 03/11/13 11:40 AM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
Wonderful! I'm in. Any particular concerto(s) you have in mind?
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Ebaug(maj7)

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#2046450 - 03/11/13 11:43 AM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
I'm opening it up for suggestions. Let's just not try to start on a colossal work like the Busoni concerto for the first one we analyze. wink
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Polyphonist

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#2046451 - 03/11/13 11:49 AM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
I heard Daniil Trifonov play the Tschaikovsky First Piano Concerto last fall, so that's my current concerto love at the moment. But I'm up for anything.
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Ebaug(maj7)

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#2046455 - 03/11/13 12:06 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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What do you mean by analysis? What are you looking for?

BTW seems like you want to sort of run a course, but you're not saying what it is! grin

(Many of us don't much see that other section and so we don't know what you're referring to over there.)

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#2046459 - 03/11/13 12:28 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Here's an idea - let's do two concerti: Beethoven 3 and Rachmaninoff 2.

They're both popular, very different in style, but there are a great deal of similarities between the two that I think would be very interesting to explore in detail. Scores are available on IMSLP (we'd have to agree on which ones to use exactly so we can reference page and rehearsal numbers.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#2046490 - 03/11/13 02:14 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
im@me Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/12
Posts: 68
I don't particularly understand this thing that you are doing, but it sounds interesting, a suggestion is/are the Liszt piano concertos, or a Mozart concerto?

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#2046500 - 03/11/13 02:38 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Kreisler]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Here's an idea - let's do two concerti: Beethoven 3 and Rachmaninoff 2.

They're both popular, very different in style, but there are a great deal of similarities between the two that I think would be very interesting to explore in detail. Scores are available on IMSLP (we'd have to agree on which ones to use exactly so we can reference page and rehearsal numbers.)



Wonderful suggestions. In the Beethoven, I am particularly a fan of the transition back into C minor after the end of the cadenza in the first movement. Sheer magic with simple means.

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#2046511 - 03/11/13 02:58 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Mark_C]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
(Many of us don't much see that other section and so we don't know what you're referring to over there.)

We've been looking at various pieces over in the ABF. The current thread, Classical Sonata Analysis, was started out to look at sonatas and sonata form, but we have looked at non-sonatas there too.

We use various tools to understand how the music is put together and how it achieves its effects. We look at a variety of features of the work including (but not limited to) harmony, melody, themes and their transformations, and form. Without fully knowing what polyphonist would like to do here, I imagine this thread would be similar.
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#2046545 - 03/11/13 03:54 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Similar, but more advanced. Richard had a little too much going on in the other one, and overloaded his "students" with information, which may have been right or wrong. wink
So, if you are not a fairly good pianist with a strong understanding of theory and harmony, this thread is not for you most likely.

I'd like to combine some suggestions that have been put in here and the two concertos we start with will be

Chopin 2 (F minor) and Rachmaninoff 2 (C minor).

Please stay on the topic of these two concerti. Preferably, in any one post, begin with the first movement and work through however much of the concerto you would like to, responding to previous questions/comments or presenting new information.
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046622 - 03/11/13 06:33 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
We have found it helpful in the other thread to put the work and movement number at the start of each post, in bold.

"Fairly good pianist with a strong understanding of theory and harmony"... I guess I'm going to find out if I measure up!

Polyphonist, are we going to work through both concerti at the same time? Do you have a preferred score from imslp for us to work from, or use any score?
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#2046628 - 03/11/13 06:51 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
In reply to PianoStudent88: Very good questions. Everyone participating should read this, as it will contain important information.

Yes, we will do 2 at once. More than that would be too confusing, while only having 1 might exclude someone who really didn't like one of the concertos for whatever reason, but with 2 there is another one for them to participate in.

About scores: I'm going to be using my Henle Urtext 2 piano reduction edition for the Chopin, and Boosey & Hawkes for the Rachmaninov. But any score should be fine.

For the Rachmaninov, your score should have rehearsal marks. Bar numbers for that concerto will be referred to according the rehearsal marks: for example, R11+6 means six bars after rehearsal mark 11.

For the Chopin, we're going to use absolute bar numbers, counting from the beginning of the movement being referred to, as is normal. If your score or the one you print off the Internet doesn't have them, I'd recommend writing them in, and then checking to make sure your totals for each movement match the ones I have here:

1st movement: 348 bars
2nd movement: 97 bars
3rd movement: 514 bars

If you recheck it and still get a different number, contact me via personal message and we can discuss the issue. smile

Anyway, sorry if I sounded like a control freak in that post. ha
Have fun! smile
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046640 - 03/11/13 07:17 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

Yes, we will do 2 at once.

An ambitious undertaking! smile

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#2046661 - 03/11/13 08:10 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Hopefully the generally higher standard of knowledge on this forum will enable it, where the beginners on the other one slackened the pace to 1. smile
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046682 - 03/11/13 09:39 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Rachmaninoff 2nd Concerto, mvt. I

Here's a quick sketch:

Opening - Piano introduction on f minor. (Just a quick mention now, but this stuff becomes important later.)

R1 - C minor, Exposition, First Thematic Area
First theme begins in the orchestra with piano accompaniment.

R2 - Transition
A second phrase in the exposition with continued piano accompaniment. The opening of the phrase at R2 emphasizes the subdominant chord (which we heard in the piano introduction) and a fortissimo climax emphasizes a Neapolitan (Db7) chord. (Db also being a rather important note in the piano introduction.)

R3 - More Transition!
The piano finally gets a melody! It's the same melody that the orchestra has at R2, but shorter and propels the piano into some virtuoso figuration. The opening motive of the orchestra part at R1 (CDCDC) appears in the piano leading into R4, which takes us to the 2nd thematic area of our sonata form.

R4+8 - Eb Major (relative major), Second Thematic Area
The second thematic area is presented in the piano. It's in Eb Major and it's pretty. Note that the theme is a first inversion major triad with a whole step (G-Bb-Eb-F) and then a neighbor note thing (G-Ab-G.) This is important because...

R6 - Moment of Genius
Here we have some counterpoint. The orchestra begins and the piano follows. The melody in the piano consists of the two motives I mentioned in reverse order. We have a neighbor figure (this time C-Db-C) soon followed by a first inversion major triad with a whole step (this time D-F-Bb-C). Also clever is that the first inversion thing appears as accompaniment in the orchestra at R6+10, but augmented (in half notes instead of quarters.) Beethoven and Brahms are often credited as being masters of this kind of motivic efficiency, but Rachmaninoff could easily hold his own.

R6+16 (the un poco piu mosso) - Closing Theme
The exposition ends with this closing theme, in Eb Major. It has all the hallmarks of a classical closing theme. It's short, repetitive, and cadential. More motivic economy in the orchestra part - we get the same orchestra figure that opened the 2nd thematic area (G-C-B-Ab-G...) and the first theme from the exposition! (CDCDC, transposed here to EbFEbFEb...) Now it's time for...

R7 - The Development (sort of)
The development could be seen in two different places. It could start here, where the G7 harmony destabilizes the Eb Major second theme. Or it could be seen as starting at the Moto precedente (On a C7 chord.) Both make sense. I like how the rhythm of the opening theme from the exposition (dotted half - quarter) makes an appearance in the orchestra, and I like how the piano figuration in the two bars before the moto precedente is reminiscent of the piano accompaniment from the opening theme of the movement. Again - a nice bit of compositional economy from Rachmaninoff. (Who, like Beethoven and Brahms, constantly transforms and disguises his material so that it sounds familiar and interesting without being repetitive or monotonous.)

The development is a can o' worms, so I'll leave it for later. I hope that gives everyone enough to chew on for now...
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2046693 - 03/11/13 09:49 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
ahhsmurf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/13
Posts: 48
Loc: Banned
so that's my current concerto love at the moment.

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#2046697 - 03/11/13 09:54 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Kreisler]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Thanks for the big overview Kreisler. Enjoyed reading your insight into the contrapuntal textures and economy employed by Rachmaninov.

Originally Posted By: Kreisler

The second thematic area is presented in the piano. It's in Eb Major and it's pretty.


Seems like a rather gross understatement to me... smile It's arguably one of the most beautiful melodies ever composed.
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Polyphonist

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#2046698 - 03/11/13 09:55 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: ahhsmurf]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: ahhsmurf
so that's my current concerto love at the moment.


Cool! Mind telling us a little bit about the process of learning it? smile
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046702 - 03/11/13 10:02 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Hopefully the generally higher standard of knowledge on this forum will enable it, where the beginners on the other one slackened the pace to 1. smile

The other forum is a learning forum ("beginner" is a misnomer) and the purpose there was to learn the concepts via analysis. I assume the decision to bring concerto analysis in this section was in order to look at concertos, rather than to learn about concerto form. It might be interesting at some point to do the same in the ABF, but with learning about concertos as the goal. In this forum one would assume that everyone knows what concertos are about, and so the interest is in the works themselves. I don't think that the standards are higher - the knowledge base and purpose are different.

It will be interesting to watch. It's a different angle.

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#2046706 - 03/11/13 10:07 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: keystring]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19840
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: keystring
The other forum is a learning forum ("beginner" is a misnomer) and the purpose there was to learn the concepts via analysis. I assume the decision to bring concerto analysis in this section was in order to look at concertos, rather than to learn about concerto form. It might be interesting at some point to do the same in the ABF, but with learning about concertos as the goal. In this forum one would assume that everyone knows what concertos are about, and so the interest is in the works themselves. I don't think that the standards are higher - the knowledge base and purpose are different.

It will be interesting to watch. It's a different angle.

That's all part of why I didn't know what was being asked for.

I like clarity. grin

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#2046709 - 03/11/13 10:15 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
keystring is correct. We are not here to learn, we are here to share our love of music. Currently, keystring, we're looking at Rach's Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op 18. The score can be downloaded here (anyone who needs a score should use this link): http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks...ed.Gutheil_.pdf
The rehearsal marks are between the two piano parts.

Anything to add to the discussion? smile
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046716 - 03/11/13 10:23 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
And by the way, has everyone numbered the Chopin measures so I can post an overview of that? smile
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046736 - 03/11/13 11:01 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
keystring is correct. We are not here to learn, we are here to share our love of music. Currently, keystring, we're looking at Rach's Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op 18. The score can be downloaded here (anyone who needs a score....
Anything to add to the discussion? smile

Since I'm in the camp of those who are in PW to learn, I'll watch for now. smile

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#2046739 - 03/11/13 11:07 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
All right, well I think I'll start by opening the thread up for questions on theory, structure, or interpretation or technique, for any movement of either concerto. smile Questions welcome.

Meanwhile, if there are no questions, I will probably do an analysis of the first movement of the Chopin.
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Polyphonist

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#2046750 - 03/11/13 11:43 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
It may take me a few days to be able to contribute. I want to order scores, and listen to both pieces several times, before starting.
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Ebaug(maj7)

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#2046754 - 03/11/13 11:54 PM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Take your time. But purchasing the scores will not be necessary: they can be obtained for free on the following site: http://imslp.org/ smile
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046757 - 03/12/13 12:06 AM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I'd also like to say that I hope everyone thinks of this as an exercise in observation. Music theory and analysis isn't just about labeling chords and identifying the recapitulation. It's everything one might find interesting. Even people who don't have a theory background should feel welcome to make any kind of observation they feel is interesting. For example:

"This part sounds kinda like a mazurka."
"That F# sounds unusual and interesting..."
"Didn't Mendelssohn do something like that in the Reformation symphony?"

I'd also offer SHMRG as a framework for our discussion. It's a tool developed by musicologist Jan LaRue to help people listen to and think about music. More details here:

http://ttumusicology.wikispaces.com/SHMRG+details
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2046759 - 03/12/13 12:12 AM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
I want to bring up a question about the first movement of the Chopin F minor: What are your favorite sections (give bar numbers)?

I really like the section from measure 151-168, and its return in 301-318. smile
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046760 - 03/12/13 12:15 AM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Kreisler]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I'd also like to say that I hope everyone thinks of this as an exercise in observation. Music theory and analysis isn't just about labeling chords and identifying the recapitulation. It's everything one might find interesting. Even people who don't have a theory background should feel welcome to make any kind of observation they feel is interesting. For example:

"This part sounds kinda like a mazurka."
"That F# sounds unusual and interesting..."
"Didn't Mendelssohn do something like that in the Reformation symphony?"

I'd also offer SHMRG as a framework for our discussion. It's a tool developed by musicologist Jan LaRue to help people listen to and think about music. More details here:

http://ttumusicology.wikispaces.com/SHMRG+details


We cross-posted, Kreisler. And yes, I am encouraging this. smile Sorry if it didn't seem that way.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2046812 - 03/12/13 03:57 AM Re: Concerto Analysis [Re: Polyphonist]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Count me in as as interested observer!

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