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#2654805 - 06/19/17 10:48 AM Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor  
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I like Piano Offline
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Can you guys rank the movements from hardest to easiest. I got to play one of them for a performance

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#2654812 - 06/19/17 11:34 AM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: I like Piano]  
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G. Henle publishers ranks the concerto as "Difficult" (7/8 out of a possible 9) - but with no assessment of individual movements by difficulty.

Difficulty can be very subjective, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of a particular pianist.

You need to make this determination by yourself - with the guidance of your teacher.

If I had to perform a single movement of the concerto - and had concerns about difficulty - I'd probably consider the shortest (or slowest) movement first. smile


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#2654819 - 06/19/17 12:16 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: I like Piano]  
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Being as objective as I can, I would say 1 is definitely the easiest as far as playing all the notes is concerned. 2 and 3 have very different challenges, but I think it's probably easier to barrel your way through 3 than to finely execute the delicate but fiendishly difficult leggiero figurations of the scherzo. So for me, it would be 2, 3, 1 in descending order of difficulty.

However, that's my personal view, after having learned but not performed the piece. Per Carey's point, others might come up with a different ordering based on subjective experience. I do think most would agree that the first movement is the easiest, but make sure you're in sync with your teacher on your selection (assuming you have a teacher smile ).


SRF
#2654884 - 06/19/17 04:02 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: I like Piano]  
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Agreeing with the subjectivity/personal skills/experience comments, I feel that the first movement is the easiest of the three. The first movement is not without its challenges, but much of it "lies well under the hand" as they say.

Regards,


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#2654918 - 06/19/17 06:08 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: I like Piano]  
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from experience: 2nd movement, very tricky and exposed, arpeggios, jumps. scales, it all seems basic, it is, but ye gods, they're awful.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#2655003 - 06/20/17 01:02 AM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
from experience: 2nd movement, very tricky and exposed, arpeggios, jumps. scales, it all seems basic, it is, but ye gods, they're awful.


... but isn't it a pure delight (when played well!)?

Regards,


BruceD
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#2655091 - 06/20/17 11:00 AM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
from experience: 2nd movement, very tricky and exposed, arpeggios, jumps. scales, it all seems basic, it is, but ye gods, they're awful.


... but isn't it a pure delight (when played well!)?

It really is! I always marvel at how the jaunty second theme manages to teeter on the brink of triviality but never topples over. One of Camile's most delicious concepts.


SRF
#2655094 - 06/20/17 11:12 AM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
from experience: 2nd movement, very tricky and exposed, arpeggios, jumps. scales, it all seems basic, it is, but ye gods, they're awful.


Totally agree. The first movement is quite pianistic, and once you're past the opening cadenza, it's fun to play. The second movement is a nightmare not just because of the aforementioned scales, but because there's almost no room for rubato, so you're stuck playing some incredibly fast scales strictly in tempo. The third movement is manageable and the LH stuff isn't as bad as it looks.

#2655146 - 06/20/17 05:37 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: I like Piano]  
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I once tried the Bizet-solo version, there the 2nd movement is just a little easier, alas, the rest is harder...


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#2655170 - 06/20/17 07:24 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: SiFi]  
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Originally Posted by SiFi
I always marvel at how the jaunty second theme manages to teeter on the brink of triviality but never topples over. One of Camile's most delicious concepts.

Delicious indeed, one of his best concerto movements.

Yet you presumably know which Chopin piece inspired Saint-Saëns? It was one of his favourites, though IIRC Arthur Rubinstein thought he played it too fast.


Jason
#2655197 - 06/20/17 09:48 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: argerichfan]  
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by SiFi
I always marvel at how the jaunty second theme manages to teeter on the brink of triviality but never topples over. One of Camile's most delicious concepts.

Delicious indeed, one of his best concerto movements.

Yet you presumably know which Chopin piece inspired Saint-Saëns? It was one of his favourites, though IIRC Arthur Rubinstein thought he played it too fast.


Has to be the E major Scherzo?


SRF
#2655204 - 06/20/17 10:11 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: I like Piano]  
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Thank you guys. Your input is very useful.

#2655206 - 06/20/17 10:16 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: SiFi]  
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Originally Posted by SiFi

Has to be the E major Scherzo?

Indeed!

Saint-Saëns played the premiere of all of his piano concertos, who conducted him in the G minor?

We know the burly Russian guy. wink


Jason
#2655227 - 06/21/17 12:22 AM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: argerichfan]  
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by SiFi

Has to be the E major Scherzo?

Indeed!

Saint-Saëns played the premiere of all of his piano concertos, who conducted him in the G minor?

We know the burly Russian guy. wink


Back in the days when one purchased vinyl records with sometimes voluminous program notes on the back of the sleeve, I remember reading that he was commissioned to write the concerto in a period of only a month or so, which meant he had very little time to learn the piano part. Afterwards, Saint-Saens himself admitted that he didn't play it well, which is admirably honest but not surprising. I'm sure the scherzo gave him the most problems.

As to who conducted the premiere, you gave way too much away with your clue. Anton Rubinstein would be my rather confident guess. Might have been better if they had switched roles, given Rubinstein's phenomenal prowess as a pianist. Wouldn't you agree?


SRF
#2655407 - 06/21/17 05:45 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: I like Piano]  
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Rubinstein asked Saint-saens to program a concert where he could make his Paris conducting debut, it happened that the concert hall was only available in 3 weeks time, so Saint-Saens started to write a concerto for himself as the soloist and Rubinstein as the conductor. He composed it apparently in 17 days, leaving him 5 days to practise, that is not enough, not even for Rubinstein,haha. I have the slightest idea that Saint-Saens would have been the better pianist by the way.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
#2655424 - 06/21/17 06:45 PM Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: dolce sfogato]  
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The stories and recordings of Saint-seans certainly indicate he was a bit of a freak pianist in the best possible sense.

#2656403 - 1 hour ago Re: Saint Saens Piano Concerto in G minor [Re: SiFi]  
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Sorry to be late in reply.
Originally Posted by SiFi

Afterwards, Saint-Saens himself admitted that he didn't play it well, which is admirably honest but not surprising. I'm sure the scherzo gave him the most problems.

Where have you read this? There is no indication that S-S ever had a problem with playing his piano music, certainly the scherzo is much easier than the Opus 52 Etudes, THEY are difficult. But the guy could play anything, and I suspect any problems in the G minor concerto would have been ensemble related.

Quote
As to who conducted the premiere, you gave way too much away with your clue. Anton Rubinstein would be my rather confident guess. Might have been better if they had switched roles, given Rubinstein's phenomenal prowess as a pianist. Wouldn't you agree?

Yes and no. The only evidence we have is hearsay. (Well, a few piano rolls, doesn't tell us anything in particular.) Rubinstein was reportedly this HUGE dominating figure that assaulted the piano in a way that we can barely appreciate these days. His concertos were written to showcase that, and it is not surprising that they fell out of favour after his passing. We still get the D minor, but it's sort of like the commemorative party without the star. Quite a contrast with the Rachmaninov concertos, eh?

But the S-S concertos are very different, and if the musical value is miles and miles ahead of Rubinstein's, I don't think he would have played them well.


Jason

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