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#441197 - 08/17/01 11:03 PM Concertos
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
Hi!
I'm trying to decide which concerto to start learning. I don't know very many but from the ones i've heard i'm interested in learning the Grieg A minor or Rachmaninoff's second concerto. Out of those 2 which one is your favorite? Also, what are your favorite concertos?
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#441198 - 08/17/01 11:10 PM Re: Concertos
jgoo Offline
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Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Well, I've only heard the third movment of the Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2 but I've heard The Grieg concerto in A minor many times and I think that it is a very good piece. I would recomend that one if its one that you really want to learn.
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#441199 - 08/17/01 11:28 PM Re: Concertos
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
the rach 2 is very nice... every minute of every movement has something to it... it's terribly difficult for me to pick a favourite movement... but i think i'd prefer 2 and 3 over 1...

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#441200 - 08/17/01 11:37 PM Re: Concertos
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
I'm wondering why you want to learn a concerto. Certainly, I encourage you to do so, but I'd do some more listening to various piano concerti. Talk with you teacher. Of the two choices you present, I'd say that the Grieg would get my vote as most likely to be a positive experience as your first concerto and, more importantly, it's just lots of fun. You might want to think about some of the Mozart and Beethoven concerti (not because they are necessarily "easier") but because they might also be good places to start learning about the piano concerto itself.
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#441201 - 08/18/01 12:12 AM Re: Concertos
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
I was also about to ask much the same question, I recently took interest in Beethoven's 5th piano concerto, and although it is technically difficult, I feel it is among the best concertos. Any of the Mozart Concertos (around the 20's are good) are great to learn, and also slightly easier than romantic concertos like those by Liszt or Chopin.

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#441202 - 08/18/01 12:16 AM Re: Concertos
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
The Greig concerto in A minor is easier than it looks! (Well, the beggining of it anyway). I was just trying to play it on my piano now. I've never tried it before but I got through the first page just fine. I'll have to try the rest later. (My printer ran out of ink after the first page was printed).

[ August 18, 2001: Message edited by: jgoo ]
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#441203 - 08/18/01 01:59 AM Re: Concertos
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
I agree with the others. Netizen wrote that the Grieg would be a more positive experience. What he didn't say was trying to learn any of Rachmaninoff's concerti, especially as a first concerto, is likely to be a bad experience. I've played the first two, and they were not trivial to learn. I agree with the others. Listen to other concerti. One of Beethoven's first three concerti or one of Mozart's concerti would also be a good place to start. Prokofiev's first concerto is fun to play, although it requires pretty strong fingers \:\)

Ryan

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#441204 - 08/18/01 08:19 AM Re: Concertos
All Thumbs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 20
Hi,

My personal favourite (to listen to) is Mozarts Concerto #21 (Elvira Madigan). The piano pieces are gorgeous (played by ashkenazy(sp?).

Why is it hard to find an orchestra that play this piece. Why does it seem harder and harder to find live performances of popular pieces, instead of more obscure work. BEAUTY IS FOREVER!!

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#441205 - 08/18/01 08:46 AM Re: Concertos
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18015
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by All Thumbs:
Why is it hard to find an orchestra that play this piece. Why does it seem harder and harder to find live performances of popular pieces, instead of more obscure work. BEAUTY IS FOREVER!![/b]


I think that part of the answer to your question from what I'm reading, these days - but only part of it - lies in the following. The little blue-haired ladies and their dozing husbands who in large measure support orchestras with their subscription series tickets and their contributions all want to hear Haydn and Mozart and Beethoven, etc. The orchestra managements, however, as they see this older crowd actually die off, are trying to lure younger members with "newer" music. Some of the younger concert goers are quite sophisticated, and have already heard as much of the old standards as they want to hear and are enjoying the new programming. But, with newer works being programmed more frequently, some orchestras are actually coming out at a loss, as far as total number of subscribers are concerned, as some of the older more mature audiences - the people with the money - turn away from this new programming, which they think they don't like. At the moment, it seems to be a losing situation all round. Some orchestras are having a difficult time trying to keep their well-heeled subscribers and lure new members at the same time. A rather complex situation with rather sad results, generally speaking.

Regards,

[ August 18, 2001: Message edited by: BruceD ]

[ August 18, 2001: Message edited by: BruceD ]
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#441206 - 08/18/01 09:09 AM Re: Concertos
All Thumbs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 20
Hi BruceD (Amy?)

I believe you are absolutely correct. But can they not program a classical masterpiece with the newer pieces?

It's the same with solo classical pianists, I have yet to find one, where I live, play a repetoire which would include any one of the more populist pieces - Pathetique - Moonlight Sonata - Chopins Polonaise Heroic - Liebestraum - Alla Turca, etc, etc. I would not care what they play if one of these masterworks (?) were included as part of the show or as an encore.

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#441207 - 08/18/01 10:00 AM Re: Concertos
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18015
Loc: Victoria, BC
All Thumbs:

I think many orchestras are trying to "balance" their programming, with limited success, however.

As far as recitals are concerned, there may be two branches of the same thought on programmes:

a) Some performers may feel that so many other pianists have already played the old "warhorses" that, in order to draw an interested audience, they have to programme less-heard works.

b) Some may feel that not only have others played these works extensively, they may also feel that they have nothing new to add to the interpretation of those works, that others have played them just as well, or better, than they could. Therefore, they may[/b] = and notice I said may - be avoiding them for that reason.

Pure conjecture on my part, however.

Regards,
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#441208 - 08/18/01 10:24 AM Re: Concertos
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
maybe part of the problem lies in people liking famous pianists' renditions of famous works... for example after hearing someone as good as Ashkenazy play the Rach 2 or Argerich play the Rach 3 or Ravel G, who'd walk away 100% satisfied hearing someone else perform the same thing?

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#441209 - 08/18/01 10:33 AM Re: Concertos
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
I am in the Binghamton Youth Symphony orchestra. I want to learn a concerto because every fall there is a concerto competition. The director picks 2 or 3 people to play their concertos in the winter concert. The orchestra is AMAZING! Many of the members go to the all-state band and orchestra. Every year we have people going to some great conservatories too! (Curtis, Peabody, Juilliard, ect
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#441210 - 08/18/01 11:02 AM Re: Concertos
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18015
Loc: Victoria, BC
Amy:

Maybe one of the elements of your choice should be the size and balance of the orchestra. Is it an orchestra which sounds "better" playing a Romantic or a Classical work?

To show your playing to its best advantage, you want to have a good balance between you and the orchestra, I would think. Or do they adjust the size and balance of the orchestra according to what is being played?
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#441211 - 08/18/01 11:07 AM Re: Concertos
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
I forgot to mention this before. Don't overlook Haydn's concerti. They can also be a great place to start.

Playing a concerto has challanges beyond simply learning to play the notes. One challange is the ensemble with the orchestra, that is, how well you stay together and how well the dynamic levels are balanced. Another challange that people tend to forget is that some orchestra parts are quite difficult for the orchestra to play, e.g. Rachmaninoff. When you choose a piece, it is a good idea to keep these things in mind.

Good luck with the competition!

Ryan

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#441212 - 08/18/01 04:03 PM Re: Concertos
ZeldaHanson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/01
Posts: 276
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, USA
Bach's Piano Concerto no 1 !!!!!
You must play that =0)

Zeldah
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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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#441213 - 08/18/01 08:28 PM Re: Concertos
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
Has anyone played any of Camille Saint-Saens concertos?
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#441214 - 08/19/01 05:10 AM Re: Concertos
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18015
Loc: Victoria, BC
The Saint-Saens second piano concerto in G minor is by far the best-known of the five piano concertos he wrote. It is a wonderful work: lush, rich, and stately (maybe slightly overblown) in the first movement, with a delightfully infectious second movement. Only the third movement seems to fall short of the inspiration of the first and second movements, but as you all know, this is only one person's opinion.

Nevertheless, the second concerto is very pianistic, in the sense that, in spite of some of its difficulties, it does "fall into the hands" well. It is evident not only that Saint-Saens was a good pianist, but also that he knew well how to compose for the piano in a very idiomatic way.

I haven't tried any of the others. The fifth, the so-called "Egyptian," is I guess the next best.

Regards,
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#441215 - 08/19/01 05:20 PM Re: Concertos
yok Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 464
Loc: New Zealand
Another few to consider:

Schumann

Gershwin's Piano Concerto or Rhapsody in Blue as arranged by Grofe.

Mendelssohn No.1 in G minor or 2 in D minor. I'm working on his D minor Piano Trio at the moment. The piano writing is very brilliant and finger-friendly (mostly).

FWIW I personally can't stand the Grieg, Rachmaninov 2 or any of the Saint-Saens, but that's just me.

BTW, have you formed a chamber group yet?

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#441216 - 08/19/01 09:48 PM Re: Concertos
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
For the chamber music group my teacher is trying to find some good music for piano, clarinet and maybe a cello. I am also going to play piano duets.
Why don't you like the Grieg?
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#441217 - 08/20/01 03:21 PM Re: Concertos
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
jgoo-
where did you find the grieg A minor concerto online?
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#441218 - 08/20/01 05:05 PM Re: Concertos
sj@@k Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 30
Loc: holland
sheetmusicarchive.net

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#441219 - 08/20/01 05:45 PM Re: Concertos
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
I got it from my CD Sheetmusic but you can probably get it from www.sheetmusicarchive.net
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#441220 - 08/20/01 07:53 PM Re: Concertos
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Of the concertos you mention, the Grieg is definately easier---a consideration for a first venture.

Someone mentioned the Schumann, but IMO the Schumann is quite difficult--as is the Rach II. Mozart #21 or 23 would be excellent---maybe Beethoven #1 ...

Best of luck,
Mat D.

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#441221 - 08/20/01 11:15 PM Re: Concertos
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
Thank you everyone for the replies. I didn't expect so many! : ) I think that I will probably end up playing the Grieg. I still have a couple songs I have to finish learning before I start it so I have a little more time to think about it.
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#441222 - 08/21/01 08:53 AM Re: Concertos
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Of the two you listed here Grieg is for sure the more manageable one. However, I think it is still a very challenging piece for a 'first timer' if you know what I mean.

I would recommend an easy Mozart, K414 for example or Haydn D major as a starter. Just my $.02

AndrewG

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#441223 - 08/21/01 09:16 AM Re: Concertos
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
I have to agree with Andrew. The Grieg is sometimes called an "easy" concerto, but I don't find it particularly easy to play or learn. The cadenza and parallel thirds (and finger twister leading up to it) in the first movement are two places that can be challanging, and the last movement is a real finger twister. Give some of these places a real hard look before you decide to jump in. If you can handle them, great. If not, there is no shame in putting it off for a while.

Somebody mentioned the Schumann concerto. I absolutely love this concerto, but I would recommend staying far from it. It is not a virtuoso concerto, but is very difficult to play none the less.

Ryan

[ August 21, 2001: Message edited by: ryan ]

[ August 21, 2001: Message edited by: ryan ]

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#441224 - 08/21/01 10:58 AM Re: Concertos
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
Two further recommendations: Mozart #17 or #24 (I like the 24th. Also, I encourage you to look closely at Beethoven no1 (this, actually, was the first one I studied --years ago, I must have been 11 or 12 at the time, and it still remains one of my favorite to listen to and play --(I especially like Artur Rubinstein's recording). As for Saint-Saens 2, it's in the same boat as the Grieg (it's sort of a standard student/competition concerto - but it is of an advanced level).
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