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It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
Those of you that have been here for several years now might remember me, I haven't been very active in the last year or two I'm afraid. Still, it's good to be back reading very interesting opinions and news thanks to you.
I've been wanting to present to you my new invention, so far I haven't heard a cadenza for the incredible Rachmaninov-Paganini Rhapsody and I've decided to write one. Bellow, I send you the link to my performance with the purpose of hearing your comments on the playing in general, and the cadenza in particular. It would be very interesting and thought-provoking to hear your opinion, I hope you enjoy the recording: (the cadenza starts at 21:18 and ends at 22:01)
I've been exploring the possibilities of piano transcriptions and I've made one inspired by Liszt's 15th Hungarian Rhapsody "Rakoczy-March" which you can also listen to bellow if you're interested.
Thank you for your attention, hope to hear from you soon! Best regards!
Rachmaninoff is my hero. Your playing is phenomenal; even though I've heard the Paganini variations a trillion times, your interpretation is fresh and lively. I feel like I'm hearing it all for the first time again. As for the cadenza: it's interesting and well-played. I think it fits nicely, and it doesn't seem show-offy or superfluous to my ears.
Thanks for posting -- I'll check out your Liszt transcription later!
Beethoven - Op.49 No.1 (sonata 19) Czerny - Op.299 Nos. 5,7 (School of Velocity) Liszt - S.172 No.2 (Consolation No.2)
Dream piece: Rachmaninoff - Sonata 2, movement 2 in E minor
Thanks a lot for your comment, I'm very happy that you liked the performance and the cadenza. I had a lot of doubts concerning the cadenza, I wasn't sure if it would fit well and I didn't want to over do it with a lot of virtuoso passages or ornamentation.
Hope to hear from you soon, I wish you a pleasant weekend.
I think you play extremely beautifully and with great authority.
I'm not sure I agree with or understand the idea of adding a cadenza to this piece. Am I correct in assuming Rachmaninov didn't have an indication for an optional cadenza? If so, it seems like he didn't want one.
I can't think of other examples of pianists or composers adding cadenzas to works for piano and orchestra where there was no prior indication for one. Has this been done by others in some different pieces?
[...] I'm not sure I agree with or understand the idea of adding a cadenza to this piece. Am I correct in assuming Rachmaninov didn't have an indication for an optional cadenza? If so, it seems like he didn't want one. [...]
I am inclined to agree with this. There is no indication in the score for an ad lib addition to the cadenza already written in Var. XXII, and I am not sure that "gilding the lily" by doing so is necessarily appropriate, tempting though the context may be.
Perhaps it's just familiarity with the work as Rachmaninoff wrote it that prompts my reaction, but I can't see that an extension of the written cadenza is really justified, given how beautifully crafted and balanced the work already is.
That said, you play this work with great authority and conviction.
I think it's a wonderful idea, and the cadenza fits well.
I'd even love to hear a longer cadenza - spend some time developing the ideas a bit more and adding some lyrical material.
I wouldn't worry about people who think there shouldn't be a cadenza added. For those people, there are thousands of other recordings and yearly performances available for their ears.
I think being a pianist-composer in the context of a pianist-composer's work makes a lot of sense.
"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)
Thank you, argerichfan - it's good to be back! Everyone's comments are a wonderful feedback for my recent discoveries. I considered my decision several times and I've consulted with many musicians and conductors including the one that I've performed the piece with on the recording. I believe what Kreisler said is one of the reasons I decided to just play it - there are simply a lot of performances and recordings for this piece which do not include a cadenza and I thought it would be a fresh change. At the same time, I realized that it takes a lot of nerve to add something to a piece and that it basically means that I must play the whole piece in its entirety in a very authoritative, well-prepared and professsional way. I hope I managed to do this, especially because this is my first performance of the piece with an orchestra. Again, thanks all for your comments, hope to hear from you soon! Best regards.
ecm, your playing is first rate. As for the cadenza, what Kreisler said, it fits well and could be longer. You indeed did play the piece in its entirety (and your cadenza) in a very authoritative, well-prepared and professional way as the enduring applause at the end makes clear. I appreciate your modesty, you're obviously very accomplished as a performer. I started to listen to your second piece and found it quite engaging and once again indicative of a monster player. Very nice!
Hello Steve, thank you for your kind words! I appreciate your comments on the cadenza and the performance. It makes me happy to hear that you've listened to my transcription as well. Currently, I'm working on several other transcriptions. I find it to be a good training for my creative development as a pianist, hopefully as a composer one day if I feel I'm up to the challenge. Thank you for your kind attention, hope to hear from all of you soon!