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#350354 - 06/09/01 10:56 PM Rach's prelude in c#m
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
ok i've been practising this for over two weekz and i'm having the most trouble with the middle section... i can't get the accents right... anyone have any tips on this? my neighbours are going crazy with the amount of time i spend banging this thing out...=[

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#350355 - 06/12/01 01:52 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2684
I assume this is op.3 no.2 and you are talking about the intermittent fast tremolo chords divided in both hands. I have a recording of the roll by Rach himself playing this piece. He plays this section so fast that the accents are barely noticiable. I would suggest practicing without the accents first and bringing the section to tempo gradually. When you play at tempo if the accents are slightly there it is fine. But I wouldn't care much if they are not heard explicitly, just play.
BTW this is a really advanced piece for someone who has never taken lessons. Congragulations and I wish you good luck.
Rgds,
Hakki.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#350356 - 06/12/01 04:12 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 853
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Hello all! I've just registered for the new forum and it looks pretty sharp so far! I haven't been to active musically which is partially caused by a transit strike we're experiencing here. I took my lessons and was teaching at a conservatory that is a fair distance from where I live and transit was my only means for transportation. This means that I had to drop the teaching and drop my lessons. What a bad deal eh?

Anyways, I'll provide a list of some things I'm working on:

The Busoni arrangement of Bach's Chaccone for Solo Violin in D-minor. I was introduced to this piece by Brahm's left hand study/arrangement of this piece and thought I would check out Busoni's arrangement for two hands. The Busoni is quite a bit more effective for the piano and it doesn't compromise the emotional content of the Bach original.

Something else I've started working on which is the Brahm's Handel Variations. I'm mainly putting aside the variations for now and concentrating on the fugue. I have the first couple of pages down fairly well, but I can tell this piece is going to take a lot of work. I think I will start to work on some parallel third and sixth studies. Any recommendations?

I still have the Moonlight Sonata on my plate, but really want to turn to #1 of the Op. 27(?). In some ways I like it better than the Moonlight and its played less often.

- this accurately portrays my general state of mind!
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Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#350357 - 06/12/01 04:23 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 853
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Sorry...new at this forum...this reply belongs to the topic below. \:\(
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Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#350358 - 06/12/01 04:51 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
Chris W Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 29
Loc: Boston
Eerie coincidence . I was listening to the mid section on my ride in today wondering that very same thing. It does not sound like it is written. That much I've figured out. I see triplets and hear eighths . The tempo on the recording I have speeds up to about qtr=130.

Its taken me well over 2 weeks to get as far as I have. My hats off to you for getting all those voicings down in so short a period of time.

So, the advice of the experts is to make the triplets sound out (sans accents) and get the notes before the feel? Other thoughts? I know this is a popular one.

Hope the Graemlins worked.

Chris W

[ June 12, 2001: Message edited by: Chris W ]

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#350359 - 06/13/01 08:10 AM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
i can get the notes right and the tempo just slightly slower... but without the accents it sounds like... nothing... when the notes go a little higher it seems to be a little easier to accent the top ones... but when it's lower it's really bad... i think i have really weak 4th and 5th fingers... sigh... nvm i'll keep practising this... and driving my neighbours crazy...=[... thankz for the help guys! =]

edit: maybe it's because i listen to Ashkenazy's recording too much and always strive to achieve his kind of playing... anyone else experience the same thing where you try to copy a certain pianist and when you're not quite there you really try real hard??

[ June 13, 2001: Message edited by: magnezium ]

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#350360 - 06/13/01 02:09 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
This is what i did in the middle section. break each "roll" down into a chord. ( a triad in this peice) with the note that yu want accented, strike it really hard..in the first measure of this middle section, it is an E. you can also try playing the E really loud by itself and then the other two notes together. do this with all of them..experiment with the note you want accented..play it loud, soft, strike it quicky, slowly..this will get it into your fingers. Once you have htis accomplished slowly speed it up. Good luck!
_________________________
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff

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#350361 - 06/13/01 02:15 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
Rodion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 296
Loc: Salt Lake City
i was always getting into trouble with my teacher for listening to recordings of the pieces i was currently working on...it's not a good habit to get into, but it's so hard not to, isn't it!
_________________________
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. - Hector Berlioz

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#350362 - 06/13/01 04:06 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2684
Hmmm...I think I have made a false assumption. You meant the first accented notes of the triplets which construct the melodic line in the beginning of this middle section . They definitely have to be accented. While strengthened 5th and 4th fingers help a lot (staccatto playing with only the 5th and 4th finger using the wrist can help strengthening)you can also try raising your wrist on the first notes of the triplets and balance your arm weight with the 5th or 4th finger. Even you can drop on to the first notes in every two groups of triplets form a little height (very little) when crescendo begins to help accenting.
Rgds,
Hakki.

[ June 13, 2001: Message edited by: Hakki ]

[ June 13, 2001: Message edited by: Hakki ]
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#350363 - 06/13/01 09:50 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
woof thankz for all the help guys... i'll try all your suggestions out and see what happens...=]

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#350364 - 06/16/01 01:52 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
The D's Pianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/01
Posts: 624
Loc: Southwestern Oregon
magnezium:

I know exactly what you're talking about! I was playing Chopin's Mazurka Opus 33, Number 4 for a recital, and I had heard Rubinstein's recording of it, and I tried SO hard to sound like he did on that recording, but I rationalized that he's like.... ummm... old, and I'm 14, so I figured I should be happy with the technique and mood I conjured for the song myself before I heard Rubinstein play it.
Just a thought on that question you asked...

a PianoFaerie
_________________________
Musically,
Benjamin Francis
http://www.myspace.com/benjaminfrancis
(I just changed my sig., so no grief, yeah?)
----------
Sofia Gilmson regarding Bach:
"Bach didn't write the subject; he wrote the fugue."

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#350365 - 06/16/01 08:17 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
Rodion: "i was always getting into trouble with my teacher for listening to recordings of the pieces i was currently working on...it's not a good habit to get into, but it's so hard not to, isn't it!"

Oh yes, i know what thats like, and ecspecially with the music technology today, where its easy to get just a single peice off the internet instead of having to buy an entire album. Listening to the peice before i try to figure it out for myself is such a temptation, and if i give in, i try to find various artist's renditions of the peice so that i at least get a couple different points of view. Like on Rachmaninoff's Prelude No. 5 Op. 23...i heard only one version of it, and held it to be standard, but then heard a couple of drasctially different versions. I liked them all, so i just combined it inot one big happy version of mine!
_________________________
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff

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#350366 - 06/16/01 10:51 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
no matter what i think it is highly essential to listen to a number of recordings before playing anything...

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#350367 - 06/16/01 10:55 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
Rodion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 296
Loc: Salt Lake City
i think it's definitely good to listen to recordings to get different viewpoints on interpretation, as piano muse pointed out, but it's not good when you're trying to learn it and you want to keep playing it like you hear it, instead what your current ability for that piece is.
_________________________
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. - Hector Berlioz

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#350368 - 06/16/01 11:41 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
It's also not good if you ever want to learn how to learn a piece without having a recording as a crutch. What if you want to learn something that you don't have a recording for? I think that listening to recordings can be a useful tool, but I think it's primary usefulness comes after you have learned the piece on your own and taken a stab at coming up with your own interpretation. You can test how well you did by comparing to other, more exprienced pianists on recordings. Hope that made sense...

Ryan

Ryan

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#350369 - 06/17/01 04:02 AM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
yeah that did make a lot of sense... but for me i can't stay away from recordings for a good reason i think... i don't have a piano teacher, and thus i have to source for music on my own and have no recommendations from anyone professional other than you guys on these forums...=] so usually i would just download things off Napster or borrow friends' CD's or something to find good music for me to play... then i'd go get a copy of the score... what would i do without listening to recordings? it's pretty difficult...

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#350370 - 06/17/01 10:25 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
It can be a catch 22, especially when you don't have a teacher. I used to listen to lots of recordings to help me learn pieces, especially in high school and college. The only problem was that there were always spots that I learned incorrectly because of liberties (or even mistakes) by the pianist that made the recording. I used the recording as a cruch and did not do a very good job of following the score as written by the composer. Hence, I would play things without having a true understanding of what the composer intended. I took for granted that the interpretation I had heard was the composer's intent, rather than seeing it for what it really was. And because of "drift", which is the fact that you can never copy someone else exactly, I tended to exagerate passages much more than the pianists who I listened to. The result was not always pretty, but I guess it was a learning experience. The most benefit can be derived from a teacher that can teach you to read the score and interpret the composer's intentions. You would be surprised at the liberties that some take, and might be surprised at the liberties others don't take.

Anyway, I hope I don't sound like I am knocking you - I'm just describing my own experiences. I think we all tend to copy our heroes to some extent - I know I still do.

Ryan

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#350371 - 06/18/01 11:33 AM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18153
Loc: Victoria, BC
Now I wonder what learners did before they had immediate access to recordings? Well, come to think of it, I could ask myself, among others. If I can just cast my memory back far enough ...
It may be hard for some of you youngsters (yes, listen to the old man!) to realize that there was a time not too long ago when one couldn't just run out and get a recording of whatever you thought you might want to play. Not everything was readily available on disc, and, if it was, it often had to be special ordered - if you could afford to buy it. You had more often to rely on all the indications in the score - read the score closely! - and also on a good musical instinct. It wasn't bad training, come to think of it.
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Estonia 190

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#350372 - 06/18/01 12:10 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
Chris W Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 29
Loc: Boston
>I used the recording as a cruch and did not do a very good job of following the score as written by the composer. Hence, I would play things without having a true understanding of what the composer intended. [/b]

I don't want to go against the grain of how important it is to have a teacher who can help you learn to get from sheet music to an authentic sounding rendition, but I think it is more often the reality that people who listen to recordings let the sheet music dictate where they may be hearing "liberties". It is not as if they make the recording the paramount source for their interpretation. At least, one would hope not.

The other issue I am finding, especially as a time-limited adult learner, is that the prospect of learning a piece I have never heard makes it possible to waste considerable time only to discover I don't like it when I'm done. And, as pointed out earlier, it is easier than ever to compile several renditions of a single work from noteworthy pianists, who make their stylistic differences plain.

Not to knock teachers, but what is to stop them from telling you how to perform a piece their way? You could argue, relative to the several recordings you have being played by Rubenstein, Rachmoninoff, Perahia, etc, that these offer guidance that is possibly superior to your teachers intentions.

Taking the counterpoint, as usual.

Chris W

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#350373 - 06/18/01 01:28 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
There is no feedback from a recording. Who is there to tell you if you really succeeded in playing like Rubinstein, Perahia, etc.? Most people do not have objective enough ears to hear themselves accurately, especially not in the first years of playing. Who will explain why a pianist chose to play a passage a certain way? Copying an original without feedback and understanding does not tend to create very good copies. The copy is often a gross exaggeration of the original. Look at all of the pianists that tried to be Horowitz clones, including his own students. Where are they today?

I don't want to undermine the importance of listening - because it's critical. I always play my student's pieces for them after they have made enough progress that we are really into the fine tuning stage. I will draw instructions on their music and then demonstrate how to play them. They overdo things at first, because they have not yet learned how to play subtle shadings yet. But over time their ears and fingers start to get more refined. I guess my point is that they have somebody to listen to them and to provide feedback. Another technique is to play a passage exactly as they just played it followed by how I would expect it to be played. Again, this is feedback that helps them to learn to hear the difference between subtle differences in interpretation. It's not even a matter of my way vs. their way, it's a matter of training the ear to be more objective and more accurate when listening to oneself play.

Sorry for the rant, I just wanted to make sure that I had explained myself. Given the difficulty of writing this down, I hope I didn't just muddy the waters \:\)

Ryan

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#350374 - 06/18/01 10:49 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
i usually record whatever i play and play it back later to see what i did right or wrong and what work i need to do... but it definitely doesn't beat having a teacher around...

anywayz, big thank you for those suggestions on the Prelude... I think I'm getting better at it now...=]

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#350375 - 06/18/01 10:55 PM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Cool! Sorry to go off, I don't know what made me get so long winded. I guess I've had a little too much of my job for the past couple of months... \:\)

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#350376 - 06/19/01 06:29 AM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18153
Loc: Victoria, BC
Ryan:
I wouldn't say that you "went off" in your last post. One of the exciting aspects of this forum is the interest and occasional passion that surface when talking about something we love so much.
I subscribe to Magnezium's practice of recording what I am working on. We - or do I have to say I, in this context? - often think we are doing something at a certain point in a piece, whether it be giving a breath at the end of a phrase or accenting an inner voice, only to find when we/I listen to what was played that it didn't quite come out the way we intended it at all.
If we are going to listen to recordings, by all means let's do so, but let some of those recordings be of our own playing, and let us try to objectively analyze what we hear there.
Glad you mentioned that, Magnezium.
Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#350377 - 08/02/01 11:52 AM Re: Rach's prelude in c#m
ZeldaHanson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/01
Posts: 276
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, USA
thats my fave rach song. =0) I love the Joseph Hoffman plays it in "the art of the piano"
_________________________
Glenn Gould in regards to music:

The problem begins when one forgets the artificiality of it all, when one neglects to pay homage to those designations that to our minds-to our reflect senses, perhaps-make of music an analyzable commodity. The trouble begins when we start to become so impressed by the strategies of ours systematized thought that we forget that it does relate to an obverse, that it is hewn from negation, that it is but a very small security against the void of negation which surrounds it.

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