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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:17 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
Yeah, that was a pretty primitive edit I made there! I couldn't discover how to enlarge the view of the spot being edited to get a more precise sense of its boundaries. So I "operated" using the normal view which had a cost in terms of precision.

Zooming in is the very first thing you must learn to do when using an editor, so that you can cut with surgical precision. It can't be done with any chance of success otherwise. It should be easy to zoom in, search your help function. Something like shift-right arrow maybe.

Rachfan wrote:
Hopefully I won't have to tangle with edits again for a long while.

I hope you will :) Because an odious page turn is really distracting and off-putting, and can spoil an entire recording.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:51 pm 
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What you say is interesting, David, but considering his career as a pianist, it seems to me it really took off after he left Russia, as he had a family to support and Lenin had taken all his income. Except for a number of transciptions, almost all of his music was written while in Russia. Virtually all his "un-opused" works (save one, written in 1918) were written in his own country and of his "opused" work he arrived at the Etudes-Tableaux, op 39. In exile he wrote only from op 40 to 45 and of these one was his last piano concerto, the Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganinni and the Corelli Variations (the other two being 3 Russian Songs and his 3rd Symphony).

Correct me if I am mistaken.

I have read through the original Melodie. It sounds different but so far I have not come across technical problems. Maybe I need to practise it more! :P

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
Objective analysis is certainly an essential tool in understanding a score, but excessive attention to it can lead to academic and sterile piano playing. Because interpretation also includes intuitive and more subjective elements such emotional content, it must sometimes assume the role of a counterbalance in performance. Thus, objective analysis and intuitive subjectivity need to be integrated in a balanced way thereby assuring that the holistic approach will be successful. For example, in the music of Bach, because this great composer handed down scores with very sparse markings, in addition to playing statements and sequences, strettos, variations of ornaments, questions/answers, organ pedals, counterpoint, and fugue voice entrances, voice leading, etc., to make Bach's music come alive beyond those devices, the pianist, to be expressive, must call upon a measure of intuitive thinking to interpret the music more fully to broaden its context. Because Bach was improvisatory, he would expect no less. Similarly, in the Late Romantic music where the emotive elements of the music are quite obvious and most tempting, the pianist needs to set some boundaries through objective analysis to prevent the interpretation from becoming idiosyncratic or maudlin. This is a pulling in of the reins. Holistic thinking is the grand scheme and overview, but also requires a balance of analytical and intuitive thinking. If we can attain that, then we preserve the tradition of the "good old school" of pianism as you call it, that is playing in a manner always reflecting good taste. :)


Hi David,
thank you for your valuable and detailed thoughts! I have taken some time to look for some unknown words in the online-dictionary, because I wanted to understand all very well you have written. And I have to say I agree to all at hundred percent. I wish I could express all these right and true thoughts as well as you in English.
You are not only a true and thoughtful musician, but also very eloquent. I appreciate that very much. So, for me your words are not only valuable from a musical view, but also a good school of English. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Hi Andreas,

I think you do very well in writing in English. It's always quite clear, concise and fully understandable. Thanks for your nice compliment here! :)

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:57 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
I think you do very well in writing in English. It's always quite clear, concise and fully understandable. Thanks for your nice compliment here! :)


And thank you for your nice compliment here, too, concerning my English, which means much to me! :D
It´s just, that every now and then I feel a bit unsure with one or the other expression respective formulation. I like the English language very much, especially since I have visited the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove (Cornwall/England) in the 1980th and have met Andras Schiff, Sandor Vegh and other great musicians there. So, for me personally English also has become a music-related language and often when I write or speak in English about music, I have nice and inspiring associations respective recalls (memorizations) of this time.
There are some moments I wished to have studied English as a subject like my old teacher and friend, Franz-Josef Streuff(, who is also a member of this site and a composer). He really is able to speak and write a good and grammatically right (Oxford-)English.

(Sorry, that I have got quite out of topic here!)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Hi Andreas,

Yes, forming expressions is the most difficult part in speaking or writing in any foreign language. And sometimes translations cannot be as exact as in the original tongue. In fact, sometimes they cannot be translated at all, as they would have no meaning. I always thought it would be interesting to study piano with a Russian pedagogue who spoke no English. Probably I'd learn a lot. :lol:

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:09 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
Hi Andreas,

Yes, forming expressions is the most difficult part in speaking or writing in any foreign language. And sometimes translations cannot be as exact as in the original tongue. In fact, sometimes they cannot be translated at all, as they would have no meaning. I always thought it would be interesting to study piano with a Russian pedagogue who spoke no English. Probably I'd learn a lot. :lol:

David


You are lucky there: in these global days that is one of the few countries where English is about as widespread as Old Babylonian.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I agree with your premise that most of Rachmaninoff's works were written in Russia; however, it's unmistakable that the revision to the "Melodie" was composed in 1940 here in the U.S. (He died here in 1943.) Thus I think all of my introductory remarks pertain, that is, that indeed, well after leaving Russia, he might have wanted to bring a more mature perspective to the piece, or a more lush sound, or to use it as a new encore on tour even though he had been residing in the U.S. for a long time. He didn't change the opus number for the revision, as he did not change the opus numbers on his other revision either, such as the 4th Piano Concerto to the Second Sonata. After all, they were only updates.

You should not find much difficulty with the original Melodie from 1892 (the Russian days), as it is not nearly as challenging as the revision--way fewer notes to play.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:47 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Yes, if I had a really ugly page turn like that one I dealt with here, I'd try to fix it. For awhile I'll be occupied with Liadov, and these pieces all fit on the music desk--so there should be no problem during recording sessions. :D I'll scour the editor for the magnifying function. Those guys don't always make things obvious.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Hello, David,

No magnifying glass on your editor?

You are lucky with the page turns. You must be right-handed. Whenever I try to turn a page the score falls on the keyboard. Imagine when it is the volume with half Mozart's sonatas. :oops:

(Imagine what Chris would say. Shhh...)

Your remark clarifies mine, in that I should have said in the US he transcribed works by other composers and revised earlier works of his.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:24 pm 
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Hi Richard,

Yes, I'm right-handed, but even that leaves me open to a major discombobulation in the haste of an ill-placed page turn where the flow of the music is not at all conducive. The turns where there happens to be a rest or at least a natural pause is usually far more manageable, of course. In this particular case the sheet music seemed to sprout wings, and as I tried to grab it, it made an incredible amount of noise! :roll:

I have both AVS Audio Editor and Audacity and need to examine both more closely to find the elusive magnifier function. I was in AVS at the time and it seemed very well hidden away.

Rachmaninoff was very good about distinguishing his revisions from the originals. In the "Melodie" under the opus number the score shows "(1940)". In the Second Sonata under the opus number it shows "(1931 Edition)". It was a little different for the 4th Piano Concerto. The orchestral score had been completed and Rachmaninoff had next been working on the two-piano reduction score but died before completing it. Mrs. Rachmaninoff then asked the American artist Robert Russell Bennett to finish the reduction as played by the composer, which he did. When the score was published, Boosey & Hawkes placed a note on the back of the title page indicating the revision as 1942, as last played that way by Rachmaninoff. Many pianists have come to know which is original and which is revised in these pieces, but for the unknowing, the revision dates always appear for clarification.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
For awhile I'll be occupied with Liadov, and these pieces all fit on the music desk--so there should be no problem during recording sessions.

Nice to hear someone else cares about Liadov ! I'll be interested to see what piece(s) you have chosen.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Ah yes! But no hints at this time. I'm easing into his music now and am already pleasantly surprised at how really good it is! I believe I'll be able to do a lot with it. He was Catoire's composition teacher for a brief period when Catoire was young, so that might explain it. More to come!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:52 pm 
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I have been working off and on on a Ljadov piece for a long long time, but I need to finish it. Of course I will not post it before David posts his mystery piece.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninoff, "Melodie", Op. 3, No. 3 (1940 revision)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:48 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I expect to be doing a series of Liadov pieces, so please feel free to post your piece anytime. :)

David

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