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#2463885 09/26/15 08:59 PM
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This has been a work in progress for a long time, and still has a ton more work to do. Regardless, I decided to make a recording today. Feedback is welcome, but please try to find at least one thing positive to say smile - I am an amateur, piano is strictly a hobby for me at this time.

I got a dedicated audio recorder recently - a Tascam DR-40. Nothing too fancy, but it sounds a lot better than my camcorder's audio in my opinion. It captures dynamics well, and shows that I need to focus more on dynamic range in this piece.


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86 views and not one response? frown

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I think that you play this quite well, although, that said, I must admit that of all the Preludes and Etudes of Rachmaninoff, this is one I like the least. It's difficult for me to give an objective opinion of your performance for that reason; I can't look past so much of what I dislike in the score while I repeat that I am very fond of almost everything Rachmaninoff wrote for the piano.

It seems to me that you might put more attention into creating and developing longer phrase lines; this is so difficult to do in this work because the underlying, sometimes overpowering, accompaniment takes over and phrases often fall apart and become nothing more than a series of notes.

I admire your handling of the technical challenges of this work and encourage you to keep working at considering what you might do to be more convincing about the phrasing. Your comment about the dynamics may reflect as much on the recorder as it does on your playing. I find that often to be the case.

As far as views versus comments; that's often a disappointment considering the amount of work we sometimes put into getting a "clean" or relatively clean recording put up here. Compare the figures on the recent Brahms I posted along with so many other performances in this particular corner of PW.

Thanks so much for sharing this. I enjoyed it and I am impressed with your playing.

Regards,


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HAving worked on this myself earlier this year, I don't share BruceD's ambivalence about the piece! A bit OTT, but great fun to play.

Very solid technically, which is half the battle, and I liked the balance between the theme and accompaniment at the outset. Very bold.

It probably lacks a bit of the appassionata feeling at the moment. Maybe because the notes are still coming under the fingers, but a slightly faster, less hesitant, tempo would help to connect the lines, and bring our the counter-voicing which flavours the piece. Also, there are several climaxes during the piece, and I sense you slow down a bit too early going into these, again losing a bit of momentum.

fwiw i'll post a link to my attempt over the summer. I think I sacrificed some notes for speed, but see what you think!

Thanks for posting. Be interested to hear any follow-up you may do!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=953ceZDiFQY


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This is quite good.

Also, as you say, has a ton of work to be done.

But as it is I enjoyed listening to it.

Thanks for sharing.

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Nice job, definitely some good work done.

I think you need to work to get a more cohesive melodic line going. See if you can 'stay' with the melody a little longer.

For example your first note in the melody is a dotted half note but I only hear it for a quarter note, if not less.

I know you can't hold it with your finger for very long but see if you can use some pedal tricks to keep that melody going.

Right now it kinda sounds like:

dah. dah. dah. dah. dah. dah.

Instead of:

daaaaaaaaah, la da da da daaaa

Not the best way to show melody but I tried!!! I hope that makes sense in some way haha!


"I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well."

J.S. Bach
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I don't mean to come across as harsh but this is what I think:

You need to hush the non-melody chords. They need to be more in the background. You also need to play out the melody more, and listen through each note in order to create longer phrases. Less rubato with the non-melody chords, after all that's the accompaniment. (Try doing lots of rubato accompanying a singer and you'll see how annoyed they'll get).

Playing the LH quieter and then a tiny bit faster actually helps with creating a longer line.



Middle section, more rhythmical stable left hand will help with providing the RH the support needed for it to really sing. Counter melody with the LH thumbs could be smoother and a longer line.

Also dynamics. I think you could do far more.




Learn the LH by heart being able to play it without having to look at it. It makes the whole etude so much easier.



I mean it is a hard etude, and it does take a while to get under the hands. I remember playing this several years ago.

I think managing to get all the notes under the hands is already an achievement.

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Originally Posted by BruceD


As far as views versus comments; that's often a disappointment considering the amount of work we sometimes put into getting a "clean" or relatively clean recording put up here. Compare the figures on the recent Brahms I posted along with so many other performances in this particular corner of PW.

Thanks so much for sharing this. I enjoyed it and I am impressed with your playing.

Regards,
The more controversial or the more famous the piece the more comments it will get it seems.

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Hi, benjamink! For me, this was really quite a satisfying rendition-in-progress; that is to say, I agree with you that you need to strive for a more organic presentation, but I think you brought out the entire LONG, elegant melodic line quite clearly. And that for me is the most important aspect of this piece, which I think is one of Rachmaninoff's finest efforts. In a general sense, I guess I'd suggest aiming for more of a string orchestra quality, meaning attention to shaping a thoroughly sustained melodic line, and especially so when the accompaniment thickens both over and under the melody. Also, I think you need to stage the climactic points with more security and rigor; right now, it comes off more as just being glad we made it from section to section. But -- I think a correct approach, and thanks for sharing it!

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I actually really liked this performance. I have the Boosey & Hawks edition of Rach's Complete Preludes, Etudes-Tableaux (Op. 33 and Op. 39), and Moments Musicaux (Op. 16) that I will be using when giving you small notes on it. I actually sightread Op. 39 No. 8 yesterday so I might post that soon. Some little things I noticed:
-Measure 2: Eighth notes at the beginning of the measure feel more like a dotted rhythm than even eighth notes. It could be just me, or maybe you slowed it down a bit? I only got like three and a half hours of sleep last night so I'm a little off today...
-Measure 4: Great job on the twelvetuplet (if that's how you describe it)
-Measure 9: Diminuendo should be more exaggerated
-Measure 37: It's marked poco a poco cresendo until measure 46 in my edition. Little by little it builds and builds until 46 with that fortissimo.
-Ending: Very nice, I loved the dynamics and control over here.

Overall, it was a really nice performance. All that's left to really fix in this piece for you are the melody notes and the small details. I'd highlight the melody notes and play them separately for a while and then add the harmony later. After you got the contrast in those, then I'd add everything else in. Also, just wondering, what kind of piano do you have? I really enjoyed watching this! smile


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Thanks all for the feedback! I appreciate the time that each of you took to provide comments. I haven't taken lessons in close to 10 years, so it is always nice to get other people's thoughts.

DG64 - I enjoyed your recording a lot. I agree that the faster tempo will help the piece flow better and connect the melody more.

Colin - the piano is a 2013 Mason & Hamlin BB. Thanks for the specific measure feedback.

Glad you enjoyed the performance!

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I've heard dozens of interpretations of this piece, played by amateurs and professionals on digitals, uprights, and grands. No matter whom or on what this piece is played, playing it requires a heroic effort. It's painfully obvious that you've spent many hours to get here, and you should be congratulated for that alone.

With that said, I think you also bring out the melody well. Like the others have said, you might want to try lowering the volume of the accompaniment. No other real feedback other than: keep practicing and polishing it and post again when you're ready. Thanks for sharing with us smile.


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
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Thanks for the feedback Dwscamel!


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