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#2079549 - 05/08/13 10:53 PM Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
I'm fairly happy with this performance - again from a festival last year, but this was a practice recording before my final performance of the summer in Vermont.



The preparation of this piece represented a personal challenge: I learned the notes a while back and didn't return to it until my mom's suggestion that it would fit the 5-minute time limit for the final concert where everyone at the festival performed, if I could polish it up in time for the concert on that Sunday. She said that on Wednesday, and over the course of the four days, I challenged myself to relearn, memorize, and bring it to a new level of polish. Unsurprisingly, I crashed and burned at the performance audition on Thursday - just memory-wise, of course - in large part because I also had been intensely working on the first movement of a Mozart concerto that I played at the same audition for the Saturday concert. Then, inevitably, someone else at the audition got the spot that my Mozart could have had. Hmph.

Anyway, I was advised to play a movement of a Beethoven sonata that I'd already performed four times that summer, and my spirits were pretty crushed. I got the (super awesome) festival director to allow me to play it for him on Saturday, and if it was ready then, then I would be allowed to play it as my farewell. I withdrew into myself and had intensive coachings and practice sessions on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday I played it for him with intensity and security, and that was that. (The actual performance on Sunday is significantly less interesting than this one - here, my tone is more lush, my timing more natural, my fingers more secure. The other one isn't nearly as fun to listen to - but I do look better in a bow tie than in a t-shirt ha )

Enjoy!

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#2080017 - 05/09/13 08:28 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
Orange Soda King Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6035
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Well done!

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#2080027 - 05/09/13 08:46 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
Polyphonist Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 6325
Loc: New York City
I like the trees swaying in the background - they seem to fit with the piece. smile

Very promising playing. Keep at it!
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2080028 - 05/09/13 08:53 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
Bravo! Did you know Richter performed this piece more than any other single piece in his repertoire?

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#2080896 - 05/11/13 03:19 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 600
One of the points about 19th century performance practice that I have tried to make on PW is that when a person truly makes music there is tempo modification and rhythmic alteration, along with arpeggiated chords and an asynchronized baseline. However, it all has to have balance, and it all has to make sense.

Accordingly, listen and learn. It don't get any better than this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNDz3-Uaf6o

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#2083323 - 05/15/13 09:39 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: Louis Podesta]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
One of the points about 19th century performance practice that I have tried to make on PW is that when a person truly makes music there is tempo modification and rhythmic alteration, along with arpeggiated chords and an asynchronized baseline. However, it all has to have balance, and it all has to make sense.

Accordingly, listen and learn. It don't get any better than this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNDz3-Uaf6o


It don't? Are you sure? You may want to listen to this one closely, Louis. This performer is truly making music:

http://youtu.be/7qYtPSHATwI
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2083405 - 05/15/13 11:33 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: Cinnamonbear]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
[...]listen to this one closely, Louis. This performer is truly making music:

http://youtu.be/7qYtPSHATwI


I absolutely agree. This is a very fine performance that exhibits real musicianship : good tone, good voicing, nice pacing, dynamics that carry the phrases along beautifully. What more could one ask for?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony

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#2083603 - 05/16/13 09:59 AM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
Tim Adrianson Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 973
What a terrific performance of this piece, AldenH! This had urgency and passion throughout, with wonderful shaping of the melodic line. For me, this is SO important an element in presenting Rachmaninov -- his melodic progressions and harmonizations are quite elegant, and need to be addressed with the kind of attention that you provided. Very satisfying, and thanks for sharing!

PS I'd love to hear what you'd do with some of the Etude Tableaux; or, for that matter, some of the lesser-known Preludes.

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#2083667 - 05/16/13 12:33 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 600
The major reason I attached the following link of Rachmaninoff playing his own Prelude was to show his mastery of tempo modification. This is the way people played the piano in the 19th and early 20th century.

In Form and Analysis it is called harmonic rhythm. By speeding up and slowing down at just the right moments, one can create an additional level of texture that is sorely missing from today's modern pianism.

This recording is well played, but it ain't Rachmaninoff.

Once again, please listen for the way he weaves the melody in and out by modifying not only the tempo but also the volume dynamic. It is pure genius in my opinion.

And,for the record I play this piece much like the manner of this new recording. However, after listening to the composer's version, I am not going to anymore.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNDz3-Uaf6o

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#2083669 - 05/16/13 12:42 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2100
Very good ! I really enjoyed listening to it.

Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

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#2083716 - 05/16/13 03:17 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5062
Loc: Philadelphia
Very nice. I enjoyed this very much.

I have a very partial and biased opinion of this particular prelude, since it's one of the few pieces I can still play relatively cleanly without practice. (I don't get much practice these days, and certainly not on an acoustic piano.)

There's some really really minor stuff, like a note played a hair too softly in the LH at 0:24. But it's really minor, and could just be a slip on that particular take.

The only thing I would really like to mention, if you were looking for anything to consider, would be at 1:16. You start this section very slow, and we can't hear the dominant note in the left hand. I would consider bringing out that note in the LH (more akin to how you play at 1:23), and starting this section faster. I agree with the accel, but I don't think you have to start from a crawl.

Thank you for sharing -- I really enjoyed the multiple listens (I think I'm on my 14th or 15th listen). smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2083731 - 05/16/13 04:05 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: Louis Podesta]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Well done!


Thank you! If I'm not mistaken, that's the first exclamation point that you've used in your praise of my performances, so special thanks!

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I like the trees swaying in the background - they seem to fit with the piece. smile

Very promising playing. Keep at it!


Oh yes, very fitting! The fluttering gestures and the rustling leaves... there were about 20 seconds of film footage that I cut from the opening of the video where I sat still and readied myself; perhaps I should have left that in! I am doing my best to keep at it, and this summer will excite and motivate me: PianoTexas and Aspen!

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Bravo! Did you know Richter performed this piece more than any other single piece in his repertoire?
Originally Posted By: BruceD


Thank you! I always appreciate bravos from you; you've heard so many great performances in New York. I didn't know that about Richter, time to give his multiple recordings of it another listen... oh, WOW. That is Richter really at his finest - Bells of Moscow move over: his ringing, soaring tone is a beautiful thing to behold. Perhaps I'll bring this back and attempt to approach new heights.

Originally Posted By: Hakki
Very good ! I really enjoyed listening to it.

Thanks for sharing.


Thank you, Hakki! You have high expectations, so I take your praise feeling honored.

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
[...]listen to this one closely, Louis. This performer is truly making music:

http://youtu.be/7qYtPSHATwI


I absolutely agree. This is a very fine performance that exhibits real musicianship : good tone, good voicing, nice pacing, dynamics that carry the phrases along beautifully. What more could one ask for?

Regards,


Thank you, CinnamonBear!

Your words mean the world to me, BruceD, knowing your discerning taste.

Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
What a terrific performance of this piece, AldenH! This had urgency and passion throughout, with wonderful shaping of the melodic line. For me, this is SO important an element in presenting Rachmaninov -- his melodic progressions and harmonizations are quite elegant, and need to be addressed with the kind of attention that you provided. Very satisfying, and thanks for sharing!

PS I'd love to hear what you'd do with some of the Etude Tableaux; or, for that matter, some of the lesser-known Preludes.


Goodness, thank you! I probably will be relearning Op. 39, No. 5 this summer, so hopefully by September I'll have a recording to share! I'm enjoy less than half of the Preludes and √Čtudes-Tableaux (Op. 23, Nos. 2, 4, and 9, Op. 32, Nos. 1, 5, and 10, Op. 33, Nos. 2, 5, 6, and 8, Op. 39, Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5 and 9), and of those the ones that I would consider putting in the hours to learn are relatively few - the poignancy of Op. 23, No. 4, Op. 32, No. 5 and Op. 33, No. 2, the majesty, tragedy, and passion of Op. 23, No. 2, Op. 32, No. 10, and Op. 39, Nos. 5 and 9 call to me more than the many brooding and meandering or flashy marches and siciliani. What of it - there are many worth playing, and I hope to share them with you lovely people in the future!

Originally Posted By: Derulux
Very nice. I enjoyed this very much.

I have a very partial and biased opinion of this particular prelude, since it's one of the few pieces I can still play relatively cleanly without practice. (I don't get much practice these days, and certainly not on an acoustic piano.)

There's some really really minor stuff, like a note played a hair too softly in the LH at 0:24. But it's really minor, and could just be a slip on that particular take.

The only thing I would really like to mention, if you were looking for anything to consider, would be at 1:16. You start this section very slow, and we can't hear the dominant note in the left hand. I would consider bringing out that note in the LH (more akin to how you play at 1:23), and starting this section faster. I agree with the accel, but I don't think you have to start from a crawl.

Thank you for sharing -- I really enjoyed the multiple listens (I think I'm on my 14th or 15th listen). smile


Thank you for your praise and detailed comments. You're being kind about the melody note at 0:24 - it's not there at all! Oops.

Interesting that you think that I take too much time at 1:16 - Louis Podesta seems to be suggesting that I take more time, and more often! Rachmaninoff's own recording is full of temporal eddies, some more effective than others. I happen to like this one - the first recording I heard of this piece creates a "magic" moment through slowed time and quiet, mysterious dynamic there, and I've become very fond of it. I'll definitely be more clear about the early LH notes when I bring this back in the future. Thanks for pointing that out!

Goodness gracious, 15 listens?! You've increased the view count by at least 20%! I guess with a short work like this that you are very close to, it's easy to listen over and over (and over and over and over) again.

Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
The major reason I attached the following link of Rachmaninoff playing his own Prelude was to show his mastery of tempo modification. This is the way people played the piano in the 19th and early 20th century.

In Form and Analysis it is called harmonic rhythm. By speeding up and slowing down at just the right moments, one can create an additional level of texture that is sorely missing from today's modern pianism.

This recording is well played, but it ain't Rachmaninoff.

Once again, please listen for the way he weaves the melody in and out by modifying not only the tempo but also the volume dynamic. It is pure genius in my opinion.

And,for the record I play this piece much like the manner of this new recording. However, after listening to the composer's version, I am not going to anymore.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNDz3-Uaf6o


Thanks for sharing the composer's recording with me; many insights and much to learn from it. I'm curious what you think of my general "pulling back" at 1:16, since it seems analogous to what Rachmaninoff does at different points in his recording. I agree that it is an extraordinary performance - quicksilver accompaniment and bronzed melody.

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#2083878 - 05/16/13 11:26 PM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5062
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: AldenH
Thank you for your praise and detailed comments. You're being kind about the melody note at 0:24 - it's not there at all! Oops.

Interesting that you think that I take too much time at 1:16 - Louis Podesta seems to be suggesting that I take more time, and more often! Rachmaninoff's own recording is full of temporal eddies, some more effective than others. I happen to like this one - the first recording I heard of this piece creates a "magic" moment through slowed time and quiet, mysterious dynamic there, and I've become very fond of it. I'll definitely be more clear about the early LH notes when I bring this back in the future. Thanks for pointing that out!

Goodness gracious, 15 listens?! You've increased the view count by at least 20%! I guess with a short work like this that you are very close to, it's easy to listen over and over (and over and over and over) again.

Anytime -- thank you for giving me something to listen to many times with ease. smile When I comment on someone's performance, I like to give it multiple listens so I can get a flavor for exactly what I want to say; I certainly do my best not to be trite or flippant, because the artist deserves better. I've listened to it a couple more times since my earlier comments -- I think you have a strong case for the slower start at 1:16. Perhaps I was more concerned with the LH dynamic? I bet if you brought out those descending notes just a hair more, I wouldn't have reacted to the tempo, except to appreciate the relatively unsung interpretation.

But don't let that detract from the overall performance. It was -- and still is -- an enjoyable take on one of my favorite pieces. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2083966 - 05/17/13 02:54 AM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: BruceD]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6031
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: BruceD
This is a very fine performance that exhibits real musicianship : good tone, good voicing, nice pacing, dynamics that carry the phrases along beautifully. What more could one ask for?

thumb thumb thumb
Well thought out and beautifully executed !!!
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2086095 - 05/21/13 02:40 AM Re: Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, Op. 32, No. 12 [Re: AldenH]
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 433
This is exactly the kind of stuff I come to this forum to enjoy. Way to go. I can't wait for the op.39 no.5 etude!

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