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Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343714 10/24/08 06:01 AM
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Hey everyone! Much to my surprise, my teacher said that I could learn my choice between those two pieces this summer. Anyways, I was just wondering which one you all think is harder. Yeah I know, if I'm supposed to be ready, I should know which one is harder to me, but I would just like to know your alls opinions. Currently, from just playing through each one, Gaspard seems harder while Rach 2 seems like it takes more endurance. Is this a correct assumption? Thanks!


Currently working on
Prokofiev Piano Concerto 3
Beethoven Sonata Op.109
Chopin Op.10 No.1
Bach WTC II no. 15

--Sam--
Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343715 10/24/08 07:44 AM
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I think that the Rachmaninoff is technically much easier and is terribly hackneyed. If you feel up to the challenge, I'd play Ravel.

BUT that being said--- this is fall. You have a very long time to decide. Why even ask?


Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon
Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343716 10/24/08 08:21 AM
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Get a grip and do 'em both, you will be better for it, I guarantee...

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343717 10/24/08 08:31 AM
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I'd do Gaspard.

You can use it in solo competitions, there are more opportunities for different kinds of technical work, and I think you'll get more mileage out of it in the long run. It'll also leave you better prepared to tackle more 20th century literature.

The Rachmaninoff is great, but it's awkward, and there will be fewer performance opportunities (unless you plan on entering a lot of concerto competitions or have a good accompanist.)

As far as difficulty is concerned, they're both difficult. Ravel has more varied challenges, but it actually fits the hands pretty well. The Rachmaninoff, oddly enough, feels fairly awkward (unlike most of his other writing.)


"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)

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Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343718 10/24/08 09:50 AM
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If you're considering any sort of concert career, you'll probably need to have Rach.2 in your repertoire (along with Tchaik.1, Grieg, and The Emperor). Most provincial orchestras (at least in the UK) usually use these concertos as safe-choice "bottoms-on-seats" programming.
Personally I think Gaspard is more demanding than Rach.2.

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343719 10/25/08 01:08 PM
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I haven't played it, but I think Gaspard de la Nuit is more versatile.

Rach 2 doesn't take any more endurance than any other (substantial) concerto, but it's so popular it's kind of cliché.

but it's still better than Grieg or Rach 1, IMO.


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Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343720 10/25/08 03:18 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:

BUT that being said--- this is fall. You have a very long time to decide. Why even ask?
Because this is a piano forum????

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343721 10/25/08 04:42 PM
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^ Go with Gaspard de la Nuit. As was mentioned, having this in your repertoire is better regarding the availability of performances. There is no doubt that this piece will prepare you for the challenging works of the later part of the 20th century.

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343722 10/26/08 10:34 AM
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OK, thank you all very much! This has helped a lot. Just out of curiousity, would you all agree that Rach 3 is harder then Gaspard?


Currently working on
Prokofiev Piano Concerto 3
Beethoven Sonata Op.109
Chopin Op.10 No.1
Bach WTC II no. 15

--Sam--
Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343723 10/26/08 06:43 PM
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I'm not so good that I could play either one, but I could make a guess: the Ravel piece would be the more difficult. Just my guess. ;-)

Aside from difficulty, and as others have already suggested, Gaspard, being a solo piece, might be more useful for you to know. Unless you have an orchestra standing by for your Rach. 2nd.
And an orchestra with a very extraordinary first chair clarinetist to boot.

And I would agree, from what I have heard, that the Rach. 3rd is more difficult than the 2nd. As far as the Ravel is concerned, I don't know.

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343724 10/27/08 02:10 AM
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Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit consists of three individual pieces: Ondine, Le Gibet, and Scarbo. These, incidentally, were three poems by Aloysius Bertrand relating to the supernatural. Ondine is a water spirit that lures mortal men to their watery deaths. Le Gibet portrays the gallows where a corpse remains after being hung; church bells toll in the background. Scarbo is a mischievious elf up to never-ending trickery. Listen to Jean-Yves Thibaudet's recording on Decca. Or Pogorelich's recording on DG (brilliant).

I learnt Ondine and Le Gibet when I was in my early twenties, and the word that always comes to mind about Ravel is that his music is extremely seductive (yes, you read that right). On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of difficulty, Ondine rates a 9 and Le Gibet rates an 8 for me. These are NOT easy pieces to play, but they have an allure which drives and challenges you to perfect them. Scarbo rates an 11, what with its extremely difficult repeated notes and florid runs (Liszt would have loved this) Apologies, I tried, but gave up on it (Scarbo won).

I'd say, go for Gaspard, and be seduced by its magical and musical charm.

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343725 10/27/08 03:44 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by xtraheat:
Just out of curiousity, would you all agree that Rach 3 is harder then Gaspard?
No. I don't even agree that it is harder than the Rach 2.

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343726 10/27/08 04:18 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Bill Finn:
I'm not so good that I could play either one, but I could make a guess: the Ravel piece would be the more difficult. Just my guess. ;-)

Aside from difficulty, and as others have already suggested, Gaspard, being a solo piece, might be more useful for you to know. Unless you have an orchestra standing by for your Rach. 2nd.
And an orchestra with a very extraordinary first chair clarinetist to boot.

And I would agree, from what I have heard, that the Rach. 3rd is more difficult than the 2nd. As far as the Ravel is concerned, I don't know.
I once played Rach.2 with an orchestra whose principal clarinet decided that the second movement was going to be HIS piece and managed to drag the tempo back a good half-inch on the metronome, and as the conductor seemed unwilling, or unable, to do anything about it, all I could do, other than create a tug of war and a battle of wills, was to follow the funereal pace and fume inwardly.

I can't agree with WR that Rach3 is not more difficult than the second concerto. It demands a great deal more stamina and sheer technique.

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343727 10/27/08 07:02 PM
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Thank you all for your comments! It now seems like it is pretty unanimous that Gaspard is harder. However, I'm not picking the piece depending on how difficult it is. They both seem quite difficult, and, since I'm still pretty young, I'm sure both will serve as a sufficient challenge. I like Rach 2 more as a piece, but I hate playing things that are overplayed. However, as of right now, I would rather play Rach 2, but if you all have any other suggestions, I would be happy to hear them!


Currently working on
Prokofiev Piano Concerto 3
Beethoven Sonata Op.109
Chopin Op.10 No.1
Bach WTC II no. 15

--Sam--
Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343728 10/27/08 08:38 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by xtraheat:
I could learn my choice between those two pieces this summer.
Have fun learning either one in just three months :p

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343729 10/27/08 09:27 PM
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Well, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to complete either in three months... I meant that I was gunna start one this summer :.P


Currently working on
Prokofiev Piano Concerto 3
Beethoven Sonata Op.109
Chopin Op.10 No.1
Bach WTC II no. 15

--Sam--
Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343730 10/28/08 03:53 AM
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Having downloaded the first page of Ravel’s Ondine to share in the enthusiasm for his Gaspard de la Nuit ... is there anybody out there who has mastered the ppp playing of the tres doux et tres espressif LH theme which is edged into the busy RH rhythmic motif in m2 & 3 ... only to be almost totally absorbed in m5 and 6 ... I’m battling at my piano to make sense of the
complicated structure ... anybody shine a light!

ondine first page

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343731 10/28/08 04:02 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by xtraheat:
Well, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to complete either in three months... I meant that I was gunna start one this summer :.P
It's a good job Dohnanyi isn't still around...he told one of his students to bring "The Emperor" concerto to the next lesson; the student protested that he had never learnt the piece.
"You have a whole week" was Dohnanyi's laconic comment.

Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343732 10/28/08 07:05 AM
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It is worth studying the exact story which prefaces the poems. It clearly demonstrates its diabolic, yet subtle origins and ideas.


Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon
Re: Gaspard de la Nuit or Rach 2?
#343733 10/28/08 10:29 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Wood-demon:
It's a good job Dohnanyi isn't still around...he told one of his students to bring "The Emperor" concerto to the next lesson; the student protested that he had never learnt the piece.
"You have a whole week" was Dohnanyi's laconic comment.
Then at the other extreme, there's Argerich who reportedly brought a fully memorized Gaspard to her lesson with Gulda after a week's study.

After Gulda fainted from apoplexy, Argerich simply said "I didn't know it was supposed to be difficult."


Jason
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