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#2303795 - 07/18/14 05:44 PM 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3
Felipe1987 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/18/14
Posts: 3
hi i just wanted to share a video that i did, tell me what you think!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIr-wRYr6M0

youtube

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#2303808 - 07/18/14 06:24 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6167
Loc: St. Louis area
That would take all day wouldn't it?
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#2303817 - 07/18/14 06:53 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Not in this version!

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#2303890 - 07/18/14 11:45 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18131
Loc: Victoria, BC
And the point of this is ... ?

Click to reveal..
... for people with no more than a ten-second attention span!
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#2303914 - 07/19/14 01:58 AM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8903
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Argerich @ 31:20, though not listed.

Interesting compilation, thanks Felipe!
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#2304198 - 07/19/14 08:40 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
It seems that BruceD is somewhat missing the point of the video.
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#2304216 - 07/19/14 10:51 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5318
Loc: McAllen, TX
Nice compilation! That was strangely homogenous, given the range of pianists sampled. I guess it confirms what I've long suspected about Rach 3...

Click to reveal..
...that the piece is lacking in any depth whatsoever!
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#2304232 - 07/19/14 11:34 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Brendan]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Brendan
Nice compilation! That was strangely homogenous, given the range of pianists sampled. I guess it confirms what I've long suspected about Rach 3...

Click to reveal..
...that the piece is lacking in any depth whatsoever!

You make an interesting point, but I'm afraid it has led you to the wrong conclusion, as what you have observed says much more about the interpretations than about the piece itself.
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#2304236 - 07/19/14 11:56 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5318
Loc: McAllen, TX
Well, if it were a deeper piece, one might argue that there would be a wider interpretive range. I can't recall ever hearing two identical performances of the Schumann Fantasy or the Waldstein Sonata, but the vast majority of Rachmaninoff 3rds all seem to come out the same. It's a difference of philosophy, I guess.
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#2304239 - 07/20/14 12:00 AM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Brendan]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Brendan
Well, if it were a deeper piece, one might argue that there would be a wider interpretive range. I can't recall ever hearing two identical performances of the Schumann Fantasy or the Waldstein Sonata, but the vast majority of Rachmaninoff 3rds all seem to come out the same.

That's because the work is used as a virtuoso showpiece by a wide assortment of pianists who have no business playing it. Listen to Rachmaninoff's own performance.
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Polyphonist

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#2304240 - 07/20/14 12:05 AM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5318
Loc: McAllen, TX
I have; in fact, that's the very first recording I ever heard of the piece, and it's still my favorite (but perhaps because of Rach's playing and not the work itself). Pletnev's recording from ca. 10 years ago comes pretty close.

Anyway...
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#2304252 - 07/20/14 12:52 AM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 478
Hey, this is a cool project you hacked together wink . . . don't worry about the naysayers. Their favorite piece would sound exactly as homogenous if someone cared to splice 28 interpretations together, too, regardless of their pretension.

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#2304306 - 07/20/14 08:18 AM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Polyphonist]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19455
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
It seems that BruceD is somewhat missing the point of the video.
I don't see the point either, except as a fun project to demonstrate one's computer skills or to amuse the listener.

Can someone please tell me if there is more to this compilation than that?


Edited by pianoloverus (07/20/14 08:20 AM)

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#2304471 - 07/20/14 04:10 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Polyphonist]
Colin Thomson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/07
Posts: 102
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Brendan
Well, if it were a deeper piece, one might argue that there would be a wider interpretive range. I can't recall ever hearing two identical performances of the Schumann Fantasy or the Waldstein Sonata, but the vast majority of Rachmaninoff 3rds all seem to come out the same.

That's because the work is used as a virtuoso showpiece by a wide assortment of pianists who have no business playing it. Listen to Rachmaninoff's own performance.


While I wouldn't disparage the MANY incredible performances of this piece, I would have to say I agree with the sentiment about Rach's own performance. Absolutely fantastic.
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#2304502 - 07/20/14 06:20 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Colin Thomson]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8903
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Colin Thomson
...I would have to say I agree with the sentiment about Rach's own performance. Absolutely fantastic.

Yes, it is. A shame about the very damaging cuts, though they were unlikely Rachmaninov's idea. crazy (I have read conflicting reports about this.)

Would love to have heard Rachmaninov play it with Mahler in NYC. For that matter, Mahler and Busoni in Beethoven's Emperor (that generated plenty of polarization with the critics!), then of course Mahler conducting Tristan in Vienna, but I digress.

Certainly Rachmaninov 3 is a great vehicle for an accomplished pianist, and per the compilation of the OP, the technical difficulties seem to pose no challenges for today's hotshots.

Generally agree with Brendan re the (lack of) depth in this concerto. But since Brendan is a formidably gifted pianist, I suppose he can get away with it. His point about the Waldstein and Schumann Fantasie is well taken. I have heard very few satisfying recordings of the Schumann.
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#2304710 - 07/21/14 07:41 AM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Brendan]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: Brendan
Well, if it were a deeper piece, one might argue that there would be a wider interpretive range. I can't recall ever hearing two identical performances of the Schumann Fantasy or the Waldstein Sonata, but the vast majority of Rachmaninoff 3rds all seem to come out the same. It's a difference of philosophy, I guess.

I might get slammed for saying it, but for someone that just made a thread on the Liszt sonata, it's surprising seeing the same person attacking Rach 3 for lacking depth. I'll repeat what Charles Rosen said about the Liszt - that it has gotten somewhat overrated if we consider Liszt's whole ouvre, and that it mixes very fine passages with an overload of bombast (luckily, he at least changed the ending - the original looks indeed dreadful).

Interestingly, it is the finer performances of the Liszt that made me realize how little the music says to me - no matter if you consider it 'just' a sonata, a cosmic battle between good and evil, or an autobiographical piece, it may indeed come out very differently, but that in itself is not a great merit imo. The superficiality of the piece remains. That 'cosmic battle' you referred to in the other thread actually reminded me of Star Wars, and my love for SW around the age of 12-13. Enchanted by the cosmic battle I was, but haven't ever returned to it since - the characters are so cliché and trivial, the plot is so damn predictable, and perhaps most importantly, I feel it says nothing to me about my life. That's exactly how I feel about the Liszt sonata. I may change my mind - Bartok did so in his 20's, saying that he didn't learn to appreciate the piece until he started playing/studying it himself. As for Rach 3, let's first say that the video includes numerous performers that should stay away from this piece, because they haven't thought it over, have only studied their own part without caring much about what is happening in the orchestra, and have thus failed to understand how very symphonic this concerto is, in spite of all of the dazzling virtuoso passages.

With this piece, we must realize that the architecture is so clearly laid out, the ebb and flow of the music has been so carefully planned - even though it also has passages in the piano part that are basically 'improvisatory'. That might mean that some parts, especially build-ups to climaxes, will indeed sound similar under many different pianists hands - but that could be said about pretty much any piece of music! Quoting Ian Pace, from an interview: ( http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2001/Feb01/pace2.htm )

Quote:
There's a brilliant article by the American musicologist Robert S. Winter in which he examines the tempi in a large sample of recordings of the second movement of Beethoven's Op. 111 - from Schnabel and Fischer, through Arrau, Ashkenazy, Brendel, Pollini, Rosen, to Badura-Skoda and Binns on period instruments. What is remarkable is quite how consistently almost all of these players speed up and slow down at the same places. The score would at least suggest a quite regular pulse - Winter doesn't claim this as the only possible interpretation, but suggests that one would have thought that someone might have tried it. No doubt many of these players were acting 'instinctively' in the rather naïve sense of the word. Some of what we classify as 'instinct' might actually be accumulated habit, not least bearing mind the huge influence of recordings; this is why I believe it's important to engage dialectically with both instinctive and rational approaches to performance.


Very informed words from a highly thoughtful pianist. In my world, the finest Rach 3 performances (which naturally excludes 'the vast majority' that you refer to) do indeed come across very differently - try comparing Horowitz to Leif-Ove Andsnes, or Hough vs Trifonov...which naturally doesn't mean that one can't find similarities also here - a similar way of phrasing, or building up tension. Then again, that could be said about so many pieces if we were to pick them apart and just listen to segments. You mentioned Waldstein - doesn't the whole buildup to the recap (starting from pp low in the bass) basically sound the same in every performance we hear? That's because it's a very straight-forward buildup, and it's clear how it should go. What about all of these pianists playing op 111, mentioned above?

Funny by the way that you mention Waldstein, suggesting it to be a 'deeper' piece than Rach 3. It's Beethoven in C major, come on! It's full of scales, arpeggios, virtuosic passages, and it's overall a quite straightforward piece of music. The Introduzione does carry depth (so does the Andante favori), but that's about it, to me smile I remember the first masterclass I had on the Waldstein, almost ten years ago - we came to the 2nd subject, which I found very beautiful with all those rich chords, and the teacher asked me to play the melody alone. He then said: "Yeah. That's about the most DORKY melody you one could imagine." And after a moment, he continued - "...and still, it somehow becomes great music." This is, to my mind, quite true. I can't think of a non-dorky theme in the Rondo of this sonata, at all! I remember vividly how Malcolm Bilson, in a seminar of his that I attended, started singing the theme of the op 31 nr 2 finale, laughingly saying something along the lines: "Yeah, great tune there, Beethoven!


Oh, and on the Rach 3 again....I forgot to add that I recently heard Alexander Toradze do it live, and I think you can trust me on this one - never in your wildest imagination would you think anyone would do the things he did to the piece. The opening, slower than anyone has ever attempted it, and c o m p l e t e l y i n a u d i b l e. He stayed on the quiet side much more than most with the piece - whenever there was a slower part (2nd themes in the outer movements, etc), he'd slow down ten times more than you'd expect, and he'd make "outbursts" into fortissimo quite suddenly, rather than the normal build-up one would expect. Then again, he seems to have clearly set out to do "something different", and he told me that though he was often asked to play it, he felt that there were so many great recordings and he thought it would be important to do something personal with the piece, so he didn't learn it until in his late 30's, when he was 39 I believe.
(curiously enough, though, I also have gotten some bootlegs of him playing the piece in the 90's - those are much more "normal" than what I heard last year)


Edited by fnork (07/21/14 01:54 PM)

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#2304766 - 07/21/14 10:10 AM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: fnork]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
Well, I think one only need check out Jorge Bolet's masterclass and performance, that sort of accompanies it, to see that there is a considerable amount of depth to the work that often lies untapped for the sake of virtuoso pyrotechnics.

I will say that, baring Rachmaninoff's own recording, I rarely listen to the work. It was one of the first concerti I ever discovered, I think it was the first, and it's worn thin for me.

I find myself far more drawn to the 1st and 4th, though I find the 4th rather suspect at times.

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#2304788 - 07/21/14 10:49 AM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Felipe1987]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3810
Loc: Bay Area, CA
fnork--

Thanks for a well-reasoned and -informed post, not all of which I agree with. I guess I have to profess the naive opinion that the Rachmaninoff 3rd, the Liszt Sonata, and the Waldstein are all profound, each in its own way.

Incidentally, regarding tempi in Beethoven's Op.111, we can't conclude from a consistency in interpretation that these pianists haven't done their homework. For my own part, before working seriously on this piece, I was certain I was going to take a different path: I would follow Beethoven's "L'istesso tempo" markings literally; I would make tempo choices from first principles, not just because of the way I'd heard the piece in recordings. But after wrestling with these questions, back and forth, for a long time, I now find that the standard things to do (e.g. speed-up before the 1st variation; slow down before the 4th variation; speed-up before the 5th variation) are the only things that make sense. I have discovered, as if it were my own... everyone else's opinion.

-J
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#2304795 - 07/21/14 11:00 AM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: MikeN]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: MikeN
Well, I think one only need check out Jorge Bolet's masterclass and performance, that sort of accompanies it, to see that there is a considerable amount of depth to the work that often lies untapped for the sake of virtuoso pyrotechnics.

Ah, the Bolet masterclasses! Thanks for pointing those out - it's so wonderful that we have all of that readily available on youtube:



Quote:
I will say that, baring Rachmaninoff's own recording, I rarely listen to the work. It was one of the first concerti I ever discovered, I think it was the first, and it's worn thin for me.

I find myself far more drawn to the 1st and 4th, though I find the 4th rather suspect at times.

That's totally normal - for me, I am happy to hear it once a year or so, and preferably live, but I don't need more than that. Sort of as with the Liszt sonata, I just know so well which turn the music is going to take, to the point that I find it 'too predictable' - which is of course a bit ridiculous, because I can't imagine having thought anything like that when I first heard the piece!

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#2304826 - 07/21/14 12:52 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: Brendan]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
How do you guys like this one, by the way:


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#2304861 - 07/21/14 02:04 PM Re: 28 pianists plays Rachmaninov piano concerto No. 3 [Re: beet31425]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
beet31425-

Thank you for all those remarks. However the case, I do not believe that Ian nor the person who did the research claims that any of these things that were common to most performers were inherently wrong. But perhaps it suggests that someone might do a ritard simply because it is in that persons ears, having heard fifty performances where everyone does a ritard in that specific place. In any case, it is great that you came to these conclusions yourself, trying to make sense of the score on your own. That should be the point!

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