Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
Mr. PianoWorld - the full interview
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
67 registered members (cathryn999, Beowulf, Beemer, Balezin Dmitry, amad23, clothearednincompo, Alex C, Agent88, 19 invisible), 1,422 guests, and 6 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 #2108148
06/25/13 09:57 PM
06/25/13 09:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 392
Maryland
Allan W. Offline OP
Full Member
Allan W.  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 392
Maryland
Having never really listened to classical music before I started playing piano, after a few listens, I'm now addicted to this concerto and Tchaikovsky Piano Concert No. 1. Anyway, I'm attempting to learn a few sections of it.

The first chords contort my fingers in pretty awkward positions, but it seems like it's effortless for the great players... Mostly the issue is in measure 2, my LH pinky can hit the adjacent note, and my wrist is pretty tense. No matter what I do I can't avoid depressing the adjacent white key a little bit, but it might only be a quarter way so it doesn't sound. My right hand seems OK though. Any advice?

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108153
06/25/13 10:11 PM
06/25/13 10:11 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,786
Ann Arbor, MI
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member
jazzyprof  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,786
Ann Arbor, MI
You could try this... smile


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108160
06/25/13 10:41 PM
06/25/13 10:41 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
K
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Kuanpiano  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
K

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
Two solutions:

1 - take the bottom F of the left hand as a grace note for the entire passage.

2 - for that particular chord, play the F, D flat, and C simultaneously with the right hand, and fill on the top A flat quietly right after.

If your left hand can't reach everything, then don't kill yourself - it means your span is unfortunately too small, so you'll have to make some compromises.


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108173
06/25/13 11:24 PM
06/25/13 11:24 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
D
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Derulux  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
Yeah, that's a tough chord. Surprisingly, my issue is in the RH, not the left. I think it depends on a few different factors, one of which may be voicing along with hand size/span.

A lot of pianists with smaller hands roll at least some of these chords, or take a "grace note" approach as Kuanpiano suggested. I think it's been done so many times that, while not preferred, it has become accepted.


Now, looking at the picture of your hand position, I really don't think you have to do this. I simply think your wrist/hand is collapsed over on the left side and not "on top" of the chord enough to hit it solidly. Your hand looks like it's bigger than mine (or at least longer fingers), so if I can hit it, you should be able to. wink

Quick Cheats: If you don't voice the rising notes, you can drop the Db in the LH. The Db in the RH covers the dissonance.

Alternatively, you can get the damper to lift by using your index finger on the C and rubbing against the Db (angle your knuckle to bring the key down if possible). Since you're not voicing it, the strike won't be missed, but the vibration will continue as if you had struck it (albeit a bit softer).

If you do voice it, drop the C in the LH, but keep the Db.

This will help you get over on the notes better, and depending on exactly how you voice the chord, the notes won't be missed.


This is not good/proper technique, but sometimes you can curl the 3rd finger under and strike the C with the back of your knuckle/nail. This will free up a little extra stretch to get down to the F and up to the Ab, and you may not have to drop either note. I don't really advise it, or practicing it for long periods of time, but it does work. Sometimes the reason you can't reach the F-Ab stretch is because your 2nd and 3rd fingers are in the way.

Hope this helps. smile

Last edited by Derulux; 06/25/13 11:25 PM.

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.
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108183
06/25/13 11:35 PM
06/25/13 11:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Orange Soda King  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
It's okay to roll the chords by using F as a grace note (as suggested above). Rachmaninoff himself rolled the chords! wink

Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108191
06/26/13 12:21 AM
06/26/13 12:21 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
D
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Derulux  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
Really? I don't ever recall a recording (I am way too young to have heard him live wink )where he did that. Do you have one? I would really like to give a listen! Every performance/recording of his I've ever heard was blocked chords.


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.
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108325
06/26/13 10:31 AM
06/26/13 10:31 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Orange Soda King  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
The one I heard does have some blocked chords, but he does roll some of them if you listen closely. I don't remember where I heard it, though..

Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108354
06/26/13 11:18 AM
06/26/13 11:18 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,060
New York City
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,060
New York City
Roll Over Beethoven Rachmaninov!

Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/26/13 11:18 AM.
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108363
06/26/13 11:34 AM
06/26/13 11:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 106
New York, NY
T
TimV Offline
Full Member
TimV  Offline
Full Member
T

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 106
New York, NY
I have a question about the RH in the 2nd measure. This has plagued me for a long time. Do people play the D flat with their 2nd finger?? (If so, please take a picture of this prodigious feat). Do they hook their thumb over and play the C and D-flat with the thumb? That feels really unreliable to me in such an exposed texture.

Thanks,
Tim V.


--------------------------
Bach WTC 1 #7
Brahms Op 76 #1, Op 118 #5
Debussy Suite Bergamasque
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108377
06/26/13 11:52 AM
06/26/13 11:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Orange Soda King  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I play the D flat with my 2nd finger. If you can't do it, try making the thumb work on both keys. With enough practice, you could get consistent with it. Or leave out the low C all together? grin

Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108392
06/26/13 12:16 PM
06/26/13 12:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 392
Maryland
Allan W. Offline OP
Full Member
Allan W.  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 392
Maryland
I thought the RH wasn't difficult so I didn't post a picture of it. Here's my amateur hands playing RH 2nd measure:

In the picture my thumb is barely hanging onto the key but I can play it pretty high up too. The trick for me is to have a fairly high wrist, but for me it's not much tension.

[Linked Image]


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108400
06/26/13 12:27 PM
06/26/13 12:27 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
K
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Kuanpiano  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
K

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
I play the C and D flat with my thumb together. There's no hooking, just play those two notes with the thumb close to the black keys, and then push the C with the tip of the thumb, and the D flat with the part of the thumb just underneath the joint.


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108402
06/26/13 12:28 PM
06/26/13 12:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,059
W
wouter79 Offline
5000 Post Club Member
wouter79  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
W

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,059
Looks good to me as in your picture. Just stretch your pinky a tiny bit straighter and 3&4 further a bit and keep the hand relaxed


[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108403
06/26/13 12:29 PM
06/26/13 12:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Orange Soda King  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
That doesn't look too bad. If you can voice the chord well, that should be just fine.

Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: TimV] #2108443
06/26/13 01:19 PM
06/26/13 01:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
D
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Derulux  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
Originally Posted by TimV
I have a question about the RH in the 2nd measure. This has plagued me for a long time. Do people play the D flat with their 2nd finger?? (If so, please take a picture of this prodigious feat). Do they hook their thumb over and play the C and D-flat with the thumb? That feels really unreliable to me in such an exposed texture.

Thanks,
Tim V.

If you're voicing the rising line there, then you can leave out the C. It really can't be heard, especially if you've got the C resonating in the LH. If you're not voicing the Db, then you may want to go with the "hook over" as you've described it. grin



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.
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Derulux] #2108509
06/26/13 02:52 PM
06/26/13 02:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,964
B
bennevis Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,964
Originally Posted by Derulux
Really? I don't ever recall a recording (I am way too young to have heard him live wink )where he did that. Do you have one? I would really like to give a listen! Every performance/recording of his I've ever heard was blocked chords.


I believe Rachmaninov always plays the bottom (F) notes as grace notes, and many modern pianists imitate that way of playing, even if they can easily stretch to encompass those chords. And of course, Rachmaninov's huge hands could swallow those chords whole, if he wanted to...

http://youtu.be/x8l37utZxMQ


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108510
06/26/13 02:59 PM
06/26/13 02:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,654
San Jose, CA
J
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member
jeffreyjones  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,654
San Jose, CA
These are the easiest bars in the entire concerto, aside from maybe the silent ones. (Always found counting empty measures to be the most nerve-racking part of any concerto.) If you can't reach it then you roll it. Not so easy to do with the filled-in octaves at the recapitulation.

Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108732
06/26/13 07:59 PM
06/26/13 07:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 33
Louisiana
King Cole Offline
Full Member
King Cole  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 33
Louisiana
Just use your 2nd finger for C and D flat. Put it on the left side of the D flat but you're pressing down on C at the same time and yeah you'll scrap that G but you'll be alright it wont voice like you said


"What is genius? To aspire to a lofty aim and to will the means to that aim" -Nietzsche
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: bennevis] #2108773
06/26/13 09:47 PM
06/26/13 09:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
D
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Derulux  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Derulux
Really? I don't ever recall a recording (I am way too young to have heard him live wink )where he did that. Do you have one? I would really like to give a listen! Every performance/recording of his I've ever heard was blocked chords.


I believe Rachmaninov always plays the bottom (F) notes as grace notes, and many modern pianists imitate that way of playing, even if they can easily stretch to encompass those chords. And of course, Rachmaninov's huge hands could swallow those chords whole, if he wanted to...

http://youtu.be/x8l37utZxMQ

Man, my speakers must be horrible because I can't hear a grace note at all! frown

Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
These are the easiest bars in the entire concerto, aside from maybe the silent ones. (Always found counting empty measures to be the most nerve-racking part of any concerto.) [...]

In most concertos, I don't. I memorize the orchestral parts, and come in where the music fits. I could never sit there and count half a movement (in some cases). I think Rachmaninoff is good in this way, because it's very obvious where the piano needs to enter, and if you can take the musical queue, you won't need to count. Other composers are not so easy in this regard.



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.
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108800
06/26/13 10:55 PM
06/26/13 10:55 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,665
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
Gold Subscriber
BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,665
Victoria, BC
All this talk (and advice) about how to play the opening chords of the Rachmaninoff Second Concerto leads me to my question : what are you going to do after you learn the opening measures?

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Opening chords of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2 [Re: Allan W.] #2108808
06/26/13 11:14 PM
06/26/13 11:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 392
Maryland
Allan W. Offline OP
Full Member
Allan W.  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 392
Maryland
This thread got a lot of responses. I guess I'm going to have to post a new thread for every line in the score smile

At some point I'll try the 2 piano version with my teacher -- should be fun.


1980 Yamaha C7 from Rick Jones (http://imgur.com/a/duLJb)
Kawai MP-10
Previously: 2012 Young Chang Y175, which was quite impressive for the price

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Sticking sustain on Yamaha and UK 5 year warranty
by pianist007. 11/17/18 04:12 AM
Chopin's 4th Scherzo
by SiFi. 11/17/18 03:18 AM
SEO
by hongthai. 11/17/18 12:30 AM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics188,375
Posts2,761,884
Members91,504
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2