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 Post subject: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:11 am 
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I would like to present the 5th of Op.23 now. Again, I have some dropped notes and smudge here and there, but this conveys the idea of where I want to go with this piece. There are some interpretive matters that some may or may not like. Please give me your thoughts on the sound of this one. This time I used my mics on cardioid setting, in A-B configuration at about 8' from the piano, height of ~ 5.5'. Piano opened all the way. I backed off the reverb that I had increased for prelude no. 6 (BTW Monica or Chris, I did some remastering {backed-off reverb, etc.} of no. 6 and have it here too for you to replace with, please). This G minor Prelude is down right hard. I will need to go much further with it. Your comments are appreciated. (Next on tap: Scriabin Nocturne for LH alone).

Rachmaninov - Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:25 pm 
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Hi, just some observations of mine:
- The B section sounds really nice (maybe a tiny bit too slow?), I really like these voices in the left hand. But why do you play such a heavy ritardando before the accelerando? I would think that the rit. is only intended up to the bar following it.
- The A section needs a stricter rhythm.


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:42 pm 
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Syntaxerror wrote:
Hi, just some observations of mine:
- The B section sounds really nice (maybe a tiny bit too slow?), I really like these voices in the left hand. But why do you play such a heavy ritardando before the accelerando? I would think that the rit. is only intended up to the bar following it.
- The A section needs a stricter rhythm.

Hi Syntaxerror,
Thanks for listening and commenting. I'm expecting to get comments like yours regarding that ritardando, but hope that some may appreciate what I'm doing there. I would like to delay my reply to give more time for other reviews first. I will say that I have a very strong objective reason for it. You might see if you can figure it out first? 8) Regarding the tempo in the A secton, I do hear it fluctuate a bit, but not too much. I seem to be playing around m=100, but actually wish to play it at m=104. I will be certainly putting myself through further metronome work.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Good work. It is indeed not an easy prelude, though not terribly hard by Rachmaninov standards.
That ritenuto-to-standstill when you start the reprise is really corny IMO.
You could do more with dynamics, it's a bit monochrome.
I'd also pay more attention to the staccato marks and accents, in particular in these insistent downward jumps.
The voicing in the middle section is well done.
The recording sounds a little dry and bright fort my taste. Rachmaninov needs more opulence (I love that word so much I use it in every review :roll: )

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:01 pm 
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Bravo, Eddy, that´s an interesting interpretation and a good playing of this well-known prelude. (That´s one of the few Rachmaninof-preludes I already have played myself, btw.)
You show us an excellent voicing in the middle-section and I personally like your extreme ritenuto just before the reprise.
I know how hard it is to take all these staccato-signs seriously and nowadays I think, that many of them are just "hand-signs" not "sound-signs". (Many of them sound ridiculously, if they are played like a real dry staccato without pedal.)
The only thing I miss in your version is a true p respective pp, f.ex. the beginning of the middle-section should be pp while you are playing mf or something like this. And also the chord-repetitions after that ff-organ-point (pedal-point) should start more silent (p). (But, of course, I know, how hard a real p is to play between all that chord-repetitions and octaves, which make the hand easily cramped.)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:09 am 
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Hi Eddy,

I think that your Baldwin has great clarity of tone and a truly vibrant sound. And the room acoustics are conducive as well. The reverb in the original submission of No. 6 only detracted in my opinion. To me, this is more natural and much better.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:10 am 
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Hi Eddy,

I just finished listening to No. 5 which by and large is played very well IMHO. I liked your control over the repeated chords, your differentiating matters of touch, and in the middle section your dynamics following the melodic contour, the quiet lake effect in the LH, voicing, and your focus on lyricism throughout part B.

Over on page 4, fourth line down--where you've already received some critiques--I believe that playing this piece, being so popular as it is, one needs to be mindful of performance practices, including the way Rachmaninoff himself played it. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-zKWgjrOmI). The way you play that section now seems like a radical departure which calls undue attention to itself in the context of the entire piece. I believe what is actually intended there (so the way I play it myself), is to initiate the retardando and diminuendo where written, and then start the next measure marked ppp noticeably slowly and steadily. At the indication "poco a poco accelerando e cresc. al Tempo I", you can start a gradual accelerando and crescendo, but recognizing that you must "spend" it over six measures. So the gradualism has to be carefully calculated and executed. Once you're at the Tempo I marking, then it must, of course, be up to speed. I'm not suggesting that you or anybody else have to be slavish about this, as one's individuality should be present to a degree in a performance or recording. But again, the amount of latitude taken can't be contrary to the score or in opposition to performance practices either.

That's my 2 cents which is meant to be helpful.

Again, I really enjoyed listening.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:51 am 
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I've dabbled in this one sometime in my distant past but have not looked at it in awhile, and I'm not looking at the score now so I don't know the markings. With that said, I also liked your extreme ritenuto. To me, it's like the machine has wound down and then gradually comes back to life and then off we go into the final section. The whole piece is played very nicely!

However, in my opinion, the overall sound ambiance needs a little more warmth - probably more reverb. It's almost on the verge of sounding harsh here. I think a couple spots actually peaked out too. Don't worry; we all know that it takes time to find the right recording specs. I'm still experimenting!

I've put this up on the site and also replaced your no. 6.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:35 am 
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Thanks lady & gentlemen for your comments. (Warning: If you don't find discussing interpretation interesting, this post will likely be boring and too long.) Thus far, the vote regarding the ritardando prior to the transition back to the A material is 3:2 against. I will now explain my concept, though I will also admit that I may have the magnitude "wrong." First I claim total ignorance of how Rachmaninoff played it, but frankly think that that should only be a minor consideration (sorry David :( ). If we have a "holy grail" performance, then everyone might seek to do it the same. Second, I never studied these 3 preludes before so am learning them without any coaching from an artist-prof. But even when I was, beyond catching some missing voicing or phrasing issues, largely I was free to interpret as I saw fit. Many a great teacher (definitely Rosina Lhevinne) was known to say something to the effect of, "If you can substantiate your reason, then I will acknowledge your interpretation," or something similar. Ok, here we go:

So that we're on the same page, my score, published by Schirmer, is in fact a reproduction of the First Edition published in Moscow that one can see on IMSLP at http://imslp.org/wiki/10_Preludes,_Op.23_(Rachmaninoff,_Sergei).
1. On Page four, 3rd line, 1st bar, 3rd beat, there is "dim. e rit" Observe that there is no dashed line to indicate how far this extends.
2. Two beats later, (pg.4, 3rd line, 2nd bar, beat 1), is a dynamic of ppp and a base line that goes: D--F#,Bb,-G,-D--F#,Bb,-G,-D--.
3. At this last D, above the measure and extending almost half way above the next measure (a lot of text!) is "poco a poco accelerando e cresc. al Tempo I"
This now is the first critical component to my interpretation: I observed that I have heard this last two measures of music earlier. It is present in bars 5 to 1st beat and a half of bar 7 in a slightly different fashion, and then again a bit more differently on the last line of page 2, starting 3rd beat of measure 1 (i.e., 2.5 measures before start of B music). Analytically, these two earlier passages serve as a repose on the dominant just prior to something new happening! Note in particular that in measure 7, the new music begins on the 2nd half of beat 2 (marked p). I thought (and this is the part you will find brilliant or pointless) our passage in question should be the same, in that the dominant repose is the end of something, prior to the start of new music.
4. Returning to the bar discussed in #3 above, we can now see clearly that the dominant repose doesn't end until 1 and 1/2 beats into the measure, and that the new music (8th note dropping down to dotted quarter note) starts on 2nd half of beat 2, just as it had in bar 7!
5. Then the eureka moment for me (2nd critical component): looking at all that text above the bar that already extends almost halfway over the next bar, I concluded that such a positioning was considered the best manner of publishing the text, but that the intent was for it to correspond to the start of the "new music" begining with 2nd half of beat two! If the text had been aligned to indicate the start of same, it would have extended all the way to the end of the following measure.
6. Consequently, I carry the ritardando to the end of the dominant repose, and begin the poco a poco accelerando with the "new music."

Now, you may not like this interpretation (and it may not be what the Rach does), but I think (I hope) you will conclude that it is a legitimate conclusion (based upon analysis). Having said all that, I do acknowledge again that the magnitude of my performace may not yet be correct. In particular, I took the bar and a half prior to the "dim e rit" too slowly, which only complicated this passage in question. That is something I will definitely be working on; that is, to arrive with a faster tempo so that I can keep the same contour of ritardando, but not the same magnitude of ritardando. If no one else plays it that way, I'm actually happy! I endevor to find the basis of my interpretation in the score itself (even if the composer didn't realize it was there!). Now let me say that, having your critiques, really helps me refine my interpretation, and I am grateful to be a part of PS and have your disperate input. As mentioned before, we have almost a virtual masterclass for ourselves here. :D

For having read this far :) I offer anyone wishing to learn this work a few "procedural technique" ideas for consideration:
In bar 1 play with LH, the octaves on G--Bb,D-Bb-G. Play EVERYTHING else with the RH!
In bar 14, play the rapid A,C,D thusly: A: LH octave + RH; C: Sacrifice middle-C and play single note in LH and RH; D: Play octave with RH and single note with LH. (This is a very Brahmsian way of playing this texture).
In Eb major fanfare of bar 17, RH 4th beat (octave starting on black key) sacrifice the G, as it was just sounded and is way too risky for any appreciable difference. In the three following similar passages (next 3 measures), don't delete any notes (no need to) and play full octaves in the RH (add the "missing notes")
In bar 21, beats" &-a-4" play the G of the bass clef with the RH; you can also add a G in the RH (same as just played) to play with the low Eb of the LH.
In bar 24, play full octaves in both hands (add notes one octave lower than written to the LH, and keep the full RH octave through the end of the measure, and down-beat of the next measure.

Thanks for reading.

Edit: Changed the salutation and score having just seen Monica's post

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:09 am 
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Hi Eddy,

I had a listen to your recording and liked the way you shaped the main theme, the scale of dynamics throughout the piece and though others say you could have applied reverb, I felt the dryness of the recording gave it a coarser texture which I think gives it character in how it relates to the other preludes.

Thanks for sharing your interpretation,

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:24 am 
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Eddy,

Personally I think your interpretation is fine. You bring out much of the Russian nationalistic flavor in this marchlike prelude. Sorry, I was trying to keep an open mind, but I guess I would have to agree with the others that the near stopping at the outset of the workup to the reprise is in poor taste. I like your idea of gradually accelerating there, but IMHO your gesture goes a bit OT. There are also IMO some details you could work on to polish it:

1. Rhythmically, the outer sections seem a bit flabby in places. Some of the melodic phrases are a bit uneven and some of the accompaniments occasionally get out of control with an unpleasant harshness of accent and sense of struggle at the end. Personally, I think you'd make it easier on yourself here if you balance the melodic figures against the accompaniment better and accented the beginning of each accompaniment figure instead of the end, which I think is the normal way this is accented. In the chord passages on the second page you seem to slow down and struggle slightly and use just slightly too much pedal. Very nice descending RH octaves though.

2. The middle section overall is quite nice overall, with some well-etched voicings though some of the inner voices also get a bit lost in the rich texture as well. The lefthand could be just a tad quieter and less notey. The pedalling sounded maybe just a tad lush.

3. I very much liked your ending (after the hiatus of course :P ) and thought it sounded more in control. Some of the pauses between the bass notes and accompaniments do sometimes seem a little long. In a few places, I would check to make sure you're playing the internal rhythms totally accurately.

From my perspective, the problem is not whether or not you can play it with the metronome but whether you've mastered the technical element of the piece (i.e., the bouncing reflex of the wrist on those chords). This aspect does not totally convince me yet. Just my two cents of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:13 pm 
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jlr43 wrote:
Eddy,

Personally I think your interpretation is fine. You bring out much of the Russian nationalistic flavor in this marchlike prelude. Sorry, I was trying to keep an open mind, but I guess I would have to agree with the others that the near stopping at the outset of the workup to the reprise is in poor taste. I like your idea of gradually accelerating there, but IMHO your gesture goes a bit OT. There are also IMO some details you could work on to polish it:

1. Rhythmically, the outer sections seem a bit flabby in places. Some of the melodic phrases are a bit uneven and some of the accompaniments occasionally get out of control with an unpleasant harshness of accent and sense of struggle at the end. Personally, I think you'd make it easier on yourself here if you balance the melodic figures against the accompaniment better and accented the beginning of each accompaniment figure instead of the end, which I think is the normal way this is accented. In the chord passages on the second page you seem to slow down and struggle slightly and use just slightly too much pedal. Very nice descending RH octaves though.

2. The middle section overall is quite nice overall, with some well-etched voicings though some of the inner voices also get a bit lost in the rich texture as well. The lefthand could be just a tad quieter and less notey. The pedalling sounded maybe just a tad lush.

3. I very much liked your ending (after the hiatus of course :P ) and thought it sounded more in control. Some of the pauses between the bass notes and accompaniments do sometimes seem a little long. In a few places, I would check to make sure you're playing the internal rhythms totally accurately.

From my perspective, the problem is not whether or not you can play it with the metronome but whether you've mastered the technical element of the piece (i.e., the bouncing reflex of the wrist on those chords). This aspect does not totally convince me yet. Just my two cents of course.

Thanks for listening and your thoughts, Joe. No doubt I do have some refinement yet to achieve. BTW, you should check out the recording of Rachmaninoff playing it himself (link above in David's reply). His interpretation would get excoriated by PS! :? (I'm not kidding: I didn't like it at all.)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Quote:
Thanks for listening and your thoughts, Joe. No doubt I do have some refinement yet to achieve. BTW, you should check out the recording of Rachmaninoff playing it himself (link above in David's reply). His interpretation would get excoriated by PS! (I'm not kidding: I didn't like it at all.)


Hmm, well you may not like to hear then that I think it's the ideal performance of the piece :mrgreen: It is his piece after all. Of course, it's no secret that I like the old-school pianists above all. To each his own of course. But I mean just listen to the perfection of the technique, the uncanny evenness and panache, the balance of the accompaniments against the melody, the bounce of the wrists and the light accent, the phenomenal lightness, the ethereal cascades and subtle voicing highlights in the middle section. Just my take on it of course, but I can certainly see where David's coming from. IMHO his is consummate polished playing. I hadn't listened to his performance or played it in years, having played it for a competition years ago, but hearing playing like his reminds me of just what a long ways we all have to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:32 am 
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musical-md wrote:
I will now explain my concept..

It's an interesting concept, but it doesn't quite convince me. I'm struck by your use of the phrase "dominant repose". Conventional wisdom is that a pedal point on the tonic conveys repose, but a dominant pedal is a source of tension. That, together with the idea that chromatically rising lines suggest forward momentum, might give you a reason to reconsider your idea. Not that I have anything against new ideas--it's great to hear a familiar piece played a different way--but this one seems to be a little off the mark.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:58 am 
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hanysz wrote:
musical-md wrote:
I will now explain my concept..

It's an interesting concept, but it doesn't quite convince me. I'm struck by your use of the phrase "dominant repose". Conventional wisdom is that a pedal point on the tonic conveys repose, but a dominant pedal is a source of tension. That, together with the idea that chromatically rising lines suggest forward momentum, might give you a reason to reconsider your idea. Not that I have anything against new ideas--it's great to hear a familiar piece played a different way--but this one seems to be a little off the mark.

Alexander,
What you say is true about the energy; perhaps I used the wrong word, but, to admittedly mix my evidence, listen to Rachmaninoff do precisely this (a "dominant repose") as he ends the first A section: he practically brings it to a very restful stop (and this D major harmony is most certainly still the dominant prior to the start of the B section, where it is transmuted to a Tonic). This is the principle that I am trying to describe. I readily admit that he doesn't do it where I do it, but I submit that the sections (that I listed) are functionally analogous. I agree with you entirely that "chromatically rising lines suggest forward momentum." That is, in fact, precisely where I begin the upward climb again, so I don't understand the point you're making.
Quote:
this one seems to be a little off the mark
Personally I give myself about 90%. I'm only to the point with it that I can play the piece, but I'm not quite where I can play with the piece. At this point on this one, the piano is still playing me a bit. I hope that when I have it fully secure, you may be better convinced of the idea. In any case, I really do appreciate that you botherd to listen at all! Thank you for your input. Please continue.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:33 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Thanks lady & gentlemen for your comments. (Warning: If you don't find discussing interpretation interesting, this post will likely be boring and too long.) Thus far, the vote regarding the ritardando prior to the transition back to the A material is 3:2 against. I will now explain my concept, though I will also admit that I may have the magnitude "wrong." First I claim total ignorance of how Rachmaninoff played it, but frankly think that that should only be a minor consideration (sorry David :( ). If we have a "holy grail" performance, then everyone might seek to do it the same. Second, I never studied these 3 preludes before so am learning them without any coaching from an artist-prof. But even when I was, beyond catching some missing voicing or phrasing issues, largely I was free to interpret as I saw fit. Many a great teacher (definitely Rosina Lhevinne) was known to say something to the effect of, "If you can substantiate your reason, then I will acknowledge your interpretation," or something similar. Ok, here we go:

So that we're on the same page, my score, published by Schirmer, is in fact a reproduction of the First Edition published in Moscow that one can see on IMSLP at http://imslp.org/wiki/10_Preludes,_Op.23_(Rachmaninoff,_Sergei).
1. On Page four, 3rd line, 1st bar, 3rd beat, there is "dim. e rit" Observe that there is no dashed line to indicate how far this extends.
2. Two beats later, (pg.4, 3rd line, 2nd bar, beat 1), is a dynamic of ppp and a base line that goes: D--F#,Bb,-G,-D--F#,Bb,-G,-D--.
3. At this last D, above the measure and extending almost half way above the next measure (a lot of text!) is "poco a poco accelerando e cresc. al Tempo I"
This now is the first critical component to my interpretation: I observed that I have heard this last two measures of music earlier. It is present in bars 5 to 1st beat and a half of bar 7 in a slightly different fashion, and then again a bit more differently on the last line of page 2, starting 3rd beat of measure 1 (i.e., 2.5 measures before start of B music). Analytically, these two earlier passages serve as a repose on the dominant just prior to something new happening! Note in particular that in measure 7, the new music begins on the 2nd half of beat 2 (marked p). I thought (and this is the part you will find brilliant or pointless) our passage in question should be the same, in that the dominant repose is the end of something, prior to the start of new music.
4. Returning to the bar discussed in #3 above, we can now see clearly that the dominant repose doesn't end until 1 and 1/2 beats into the measure, and that the new music (8th note dropping down to dotted quarter note) starts on 2nd half of beat 2, just as it had in bar 7!
5. Then the eureka moment for me (2nd critical component): looking at all that text above the bar that already extends almost halfway over the next bar, I concluded that such a positioning was considered the best manner of publishing the text, but that the intent was for it to correspond to the start of the "new music" begining with 2nd half of beat two! If the text had been aligned to indicate the start of same, it would have extended all the way to the end of the following measure.
6. Consequently, I carry the ritardando to the end of the dominant repose, and begin the poco a poco accelerando with the "new music."

Now, you may not like this interpretation (and it may not be what the Rach does), but I think (I hope) you will conclude that it is a legitimate conclusion (based upon analysis). Having said all that, I do acknowledge again that the magnitude of my performace may not yet be correct. In particular, I took the bar and a half prior to the "dim e rit" too slowly, which only complicated this passage in question. That is something I will definitely be working on; that is, to arrive with a faster tempo so that I can keep the same contour of ritardando, but not the same magnitude of ritardando. If no one else plays it that way, I'm actually happy! I endevor to find the basis of my interpretation in the score itself (even if the composer didn't realize it was there!). Now let me say that, having your critiques, really helps me refine my interpretation, and I am grateful to be a part of PS and have your disperate input. As mentioned before, we have almost a virtual masterclass for ourselves here. :D

For having read this far :) I offer anyone wishing to learn this work a few "procedural technique" ideas for consideration:
In bar 1 play with LH, the octaves on G--Bb,D-Bb-G. Play EVERYTHING else with the RH!
In bar 14, play the rapid A,C,D thusly: A: LH octave + RH; C: Sacrifice middle-C and play single note in LH and RH; D: Play octave with RH and single note with LH. (This is a very Brahmsian way of playing this texture).
In Eb major fanfare of bar 17, RH 4th beat (octave starting on black key) sacrifice the G, as it was just sounded and is way too risky for any appreciable difference. In the three following similar passages (next 3 measures), don't delete any notes (no need to) and play full octaves in the RH (add the "missing notes")
In bar 21, beats" &-a-4" play the G of the bass clef with the RH; you can also add a G in the RH (same as just played) to play with the low Eb of the LH.
In bar 24, play full octaves in both hands (add notes one octave lower than written to the LH, and keep the full RH octave through the end of the measure, and down-beat of the next measure.

Thanks for reading.

Edit: Changed the salutation and score having just seen Monica's post


I do not want to sound boorish, Eddy, but music is music, not philosphy. Do you not agree that if one needs to give an extensive explaination why one plays this way and not that, only then to be appreciated, there must be something wrong? Can you imagine if every pianist had to read out a ten-minute speech before each concert in order to be "understood"? I am of the school that if the way one plays does not cut ice without having a tretease attached to it, it must be bunk.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:56 am 
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richard66 wrote:
I do not want to sound boorish, Eddy, but music is music, not philosphy...

I don't want to sound boorish either ;-) but musicians should have reasons for doing what they do. I'm sure Eddy hoped that we'd appreciate the music on its own first, but he was ready to supply a reason why he departed from the traditional interpretation. There are many good performers who base their interpretations on solid analysis. Thinkers like Heinrich Schenker, Charles Rosen and many others have a lot to offer to practising musicians.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:26 am 
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musical-md wrote:
I agree with you entirely that "chromatically rising lines suggest forward momentum." That is, in fact, precisely where I begin the upward climb again, so I don't understand the point you're making.

Okay, I admit that I didn't explain myself clearly. You begin the upward climb with the E flat in the middle of bar 52. At the beginning of the bar you're still slowing down. But the D at the beginning of the bar should be your cue to start moving forward again, in my opinion. The phrasing in this piece always lines up with the barlines; it feels unnatural to make the middle of a bar sound like the start of a new section.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:32 pm 
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hanysz wrote:
musical-md wrote:
I agree with you entirely that "chromatically rising lines suggest forward momentum." That is, in fact, precisely where I begin the upward climb again, so I don't understand the point you're making.

Okay, I admit that I didn't explain myself clearly. You begin the upward climb with the E flat in the middle of bar 52. At the beginning of the bar you're still slowing down. But the D at the beginning of the bar should be your cue to start moving forward again, in my opinion. The phrasing in this piece always lines up with the barlines; it feels unnatural to make the middle of a bar sound like the start of a new section.

This is exactly the kernel of my point, Alexander, however, I see the D as the end, not the beginning, just as in measure 7; the phrasing there is clearly not with the bar line. Don't you think that it might be possible that the poco a poco accelerando is positioned with the barline only because the text is so long that it is already halfway into the next bar, instead of being where the next musical idea is (the first chromatic upwards step)? BTW, I see the first two "phrases" (bars 1 and 2) as elided together: the end of the first is serving as the start of the second; but in bar 7 the phrase is allowed to end and then comes the next musical idea. This I see happening exactly the same in bar 52. It the very crux of my interpretation, which I quickly admit may have been a bit too much as executed. (In the Eb major fanfare section, the 4th beat octave scale passages clearly resolve repeatedly across the barline too.) Anyway, I hope you'll give me this much: "It is well considered." :|

I'm curious if you, as a professional, do any of the "procedural technique" (or resource management) aspects that I listed for the first part of the piece? Also, there are some interpretive aspects that are also not usual (I think) in my performances of #4 and 6 that no one has mentioned yet. Certainly those works are less iconic than this one, but I wonder if you might give a listen to those, especially if they are in your rep?

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:45 pm 
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hanysz wrote:
richard66 wrote:
I do not want to sound boorish, Eddy, but music is music, not philosphy...

I don't want to sound boorish either ;-) but musicians should have reasons for doing what they do. I'm sure Eddy hoped that we'd appreciate the music on its own first, but he was ready to supply a reason why he departed from the traditional interpretation. There are many good performers who base their interpretations on solid analysis. Thinkers like Heinrich Schenker, Charles Rosen and many others have a lot to offer to practising musicians.


But the reason must be obvious, if not, the idea is not good. It is like a joke: if one does not laugh outright, but need to read a book beforehand, is it a good one?

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Hi Eddy, nice to hear your interpretation. Of course, with a piece as well known as this, quirks are likely to ruffle feathers.

A few thoughts:

mm. 7,8: I assume this is a conscious rubato. I'm not sure about it and think it slightly disrupts the alla marcia aspect.

from m 17: I'm less sure this is rubato and not a safety measure, but I don't like the slowing down in the r.h. octave semiquavers.

Un poco meno mosso: you could do more to bring out the "big tune" with better voicing of the r.h.

The rit.: Beautifully done in the first bar, but don't continue the rit through the next two. To my mind, that would be perfect!

I also caught a few interesting agogic accents in the performance, which I certainly don't mind, though some people are prone to complain about them.

I don't have a problem with you explaining interpretative ideas; on the contrary it shows that you've thought deeply about the piece (more deeply than I have, for sure, which makes me slightly loth to present a critique based on my rather superficial views of it)!

Thanks for an interestingly individual performance, which I enjoyed despite my reservations.


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Hi Andrew,
Thanks for listening and commenting; I really appreciate it! Regarding the rit in 7-8, it (though very subtle IMO) it is an attempt to acknowledge with reduced energy (both volume and speed) the diminuendo in bar 8 just as pretty much everybody does for the dim in bar 34. I didn't detect that I was slowing down my octaves in 17-20; I certainly do not want to. Regarding the B section voicing, honestly, I can't hear how you could think that the melody is not "front and center." I listened to it again and can't find much room to make it more prominent in the mileu. Maybe something got lost in the transmission somehow. Then "the rit." :) Well I don't need to speak anymore to it, :wink: I just need to be more convincing (hopefully) in my future rendition. I remain convinced from my analysis that the dim e rit should continue to the poco a poco accelerando ..., and that the question reduces to, "Where does that apply? At the begining of bar 52 or the beginning of the chromatic climb?"

I think playing iconic works is an interesting proposition; opinions are understandably quite engrained (that's why they're icons after all). For instance, take the 3rd Chopin Scherzo, Op.39 for example: everybody (?) accelerates the descending cascading ripples that answer each phrase in the chorale section (Meno mosso), but there is nothing in the score to suggest this practice. So four measures are played slower (relatively) and two are played faster (relatively), and this vascilation repeats several times with the tempo alternating depending solely on which music one is playing. I try to find a happy medium between the two.

Best wishes,
Eddy

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Last edited by musical-md on Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:30 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
musical-md wrote:
Thanks lady & gentlemen for your comments. (Warning: If you don't find discussing interpretation interesting, this post will likely be boring and too long.) Thus far, the vote regarding the ritardando prior to the transition back to the A material is 3:2 against. I will now explain my concept, though I will also admit that I may have the magnitude "wrong." First I claim total ignorance of how Rachmaninoff played it, but frankly think that that should only be a minor consideration (sorry David :( ). If we have a "holy grail" performance, then everyone might seek to do it the same. Second, I never studied these 3 preludes before so am learning them without any coaching from an artist-prof. But even when I was, beyond catching some missing voicing or phrasing issues, largely I was free to interpret as I saw fit. Many a great teacher (definitely Rosina Lhevinne) was known to say something to the effect of, "If you can substantiate your reason, then I will acknowledge your interpretation," or something similar. Ok, here we go:

So that we're on the same page, my score, published by Schirmer, is in fact a reproduction of the First Edition published in Moscow that one can see on IMSLP at http://imslp.org/wiki/10_Preludes,_Op.23_(Rachmaninoff,_Sergei).
1. On Page four, 3rd line, 1st bar, 3rd beat, there is "dim. e rit" Observe that there is no dashed line to indicate how far this extends.
2. Two beats later, (pg.4, 3rd line, 2nd bar, beat 1), is a dynamic of ppp and a base line that goes: D--F#,Bb,-G,-D--F#,Bb,-G,-D--.
3. At this last D, above the measure and extending almost half way above the next measure (a lot of text!) is "poco a poco accelerando e cresc. al Tempo I"
This now is the first critical component to my interpretation: I observed that I have heard this last two measures of music earlier. It is present in bars 5 to 1st beat and a half of bar 7 in a slightly different fashion, and then again a bit more differently on the last line of page 2, starting 3rd beat of measure 1 (i.e., 2.5 measures before start of B music). Analytically, these two earlier passages serve as a repose on the dominant just prior to something new happening! Note in particular that in measure 7, the new music begins on the 2nd half of beat 2 (marked p). I thought (and this is the part you will find brilliant or pointless) our passage in question should be the same, in that the dominant repose is the end of something, prior to the start of new music.
4. Returning to the bar discussed in #3 above, we can now see clearly that the dominant repose doesn't end until 1 and 1/2 beats into the measure, and that the new music (8th note dropping down to dotted quarter note) starts on 2nd half of beat 2, just as it had in bar 7!
5. Then the eureka moment for me (2nd critical component): looking at all that text above the bar that already extends almost halfway over the next bar, I concluded that such a positioning was considered the best manner of publishing the text, but that the intent was for it to correspond to the start of the "new music" begining with 2nd half of beat two! If the text had been aligned to indicate the start of same, it would have extended all the way to the end of the following measure.
6. Consequently, I carry the ritardando to the end of the dominant repose, and begin the poco a poco accelerando with the "new music."

Now, you may not like this interpretation (and it may not be what the Rach does), but I think (I hope) you will conclude that it is a legitimate conclusion (based upon analysis). Having said all that, I do acknowledge again that the magnitude of my performace may not yet be correct. In particular, I took the bar and a half prior to the "dim e rit" too slowly, which only complicated this passage in question. That is something I will definitely be working on; that is, to arrive with a faster tempo so that I can keep the same contour of ritardando, but not the same magnitude of ritardando. If no one else plays it that way, I'm actually happy! I endevor to find the basis of my interpretation in the score itself (even if the composer didn't realize it was there!). Now let me say that, having your critiques, really helps me refine my interpretation, and I am grateful to be a part of PS and have your disperate input. As mentioned before, we have almost a virtual masterclass for ourselves here. :D

For having read this far :) I offer anyone wishing to learn this work a few "procedural technique" ideas for consideration:
In bar 1 play with LH, the octaves on G--Bb,D-Bb-G. Play EVERYTHING else with the RH!
In bar 14, play the rapid A,C,D thusly: A: LH octave + RH; C: Sacrifice middle-C and play single note in LH and RH; D: Play octave with RH and single note with LH. (This is a very Brahmsian way of playing this texture).
In Eb major fanfare of bar 17, RH 4th beat (octave starting on black key) sacrifice the G, as it was just sounded and is way too risky for any appreciable difference. In the three following similar passages (next 3 measures), don't delete any notes (no need to) and play full octaves in the RH (add the "missing notes")
In bar 21, beats" &-a-4" play the G of the bass clef with the RH; you can also add a G in the RH (same as just played) to play with the low Eb of the LH.
In bar 24, play full octaves in both hands (add notes one octave lower than written to the LH, and keep the full RH octave through the end of the measure, and down-beat of the next measure.

Thanks for reading.

Edit: Changed the salutation and score having just seen Monica's post


I do not want to sound boorish, Eddy, but music is music, not philosphy. Do you not agree that if one needs to give an extensive explaination why one plays this way and not that, only then to be appreciated, there must be something wrong? Can you imagine if every pianist had to read out a ten-minute speech before each concert in order to be "understood"? I am of the school that if the way one plays does not cut ice without having a tretease attached to it, it must be bunk.

Richard,
I appreciate your sentiment and there is some stregnth to your logic. But I really feel like I'm sitting in a beautiful intimate salon filled with all of us (that participate) in upholstered chairs and we take turns going to the piano to play for eachother and then can engage in sharing ideas. Having just performed the work, I hear you say, "Eddy, since we're among friends here I just want to ask you why in the world did you played it that way?" "Well, Richard let me tell you what I see when I examine the score ..." And like good opinionated (all musicians) and accomplished individuals we argue about it over coffee, wine or beer. Hopefully, we gain a bit from eachother for all the interaction; I know I have. BTW, music, as an art, is subject to aesthetics, a branch of philosophy. My approach to music is admittedly intellectual, but that is not to say it is bereft of emotion. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:13 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Anyway, I hope you'll give me this much: "It is well considered." :|

Absolutely. I have no problem with your general approach and attitude here.

musical-md wrote:
I'm curious if you, as a professional, do any of the "procedural technique" (or resource management) aspects that I listed for the first part of the piece? Also, there are some interpretive aspects that are also not usual (I think) in my performances of #4 and 6 that no one has mentioned yet. Certainly those works are less iconic than this one, but I wonder if you might give a listen to those, especially if they are in your rep?

They are the sort of changes that I might suggest to a student if they're not comfortable playing it exactly as written. But Rachmaninoff was a good enough pianist that we should at least hesitate before departing from his suggestions, even if the difference isn't audible. Essentially you're trying to reduce the amount of jumping around involved in playing this piece. But if you're capable of doing it, it's exhilarating to jump all over the place! Regarding the "missing notes" of the RH octaves: I believe Rachmaninoff's intention was to create a more legato feel there; you'll notice that his own performance uses less pedal than most modern performances.

I don't know numbers 4 and 6 so well, but I'll see if I can make time to listen to them over the next few days.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:49 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Hi Andrew,
Thanks for listening and commenting; I really appreciate it! ... Regarding the B section voicing, honestly, I can't hear how you could think that the melody is not "front and center." I listened to it again and can't find much room to make it more prominent in the mileu. Maybe something got lost in the transmission somehow. Then "the rit." :) Well I don't need to speak anymore to it, :wink: I just need to be more convincing (hopefully) in my future rendition. I remain convinced from my analysis that the dim e rit should continue to the poco a poco accelerando ..., and that the question reduces to, "Where does that apply? At the begining of bar 52 or the beginning of the chromatic climb?"


I relistened to the B section, and you're right. The projection of the melody is a lot better than I had first thought. Re the rit, your initial point a few posts above, about the duration of the rit and lack of dashed line is pertinent. I would personally view the rit and the dim as pertaining only to the half-bar they are above (the dim lasting as far as the ppp but only that far), but there is clearly an ambiguity over the rit and thus it is open to interpretation. As are semantic arguments over differences between ritenuto and ritardando :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:54 am 
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I appreciate your sentiment and there is some stregnth to your logic. But I really feel like I'm sitting in a beautiful intimate salon filled with all of us (that participate) in upholstered chairs and we take turns going to the piano to play for eachother and then can engage in sharing ideas. Having just performed the work, I hear you say, "Eddy, since we're among friends here I just want to ask you why in the world did you played it that way?" "Well, Richard let me tell you what I see when I examine the score ..." And like good opinionated (all musicians) and accomplished individuals we argue about it over coffee, wine or beer. Hopefully, we gain a bit from eachother for all the interaction; I know I have. BTW, music, as an art, is subject to aesthetics, a branch of philosophy. My approach to music is admittedly intellectual, but that is not to say it is bereft of emotion. :)[/quote]

Indeed, if this is, as you say, among friends and you are trying to reach a consensus on how to perform these pieces before people who do not know you and maybe do not even care for you (the general public, that is), it is valid, but I feel that your friends should say, "Eddy! What a bright idea that was!" for you to know your interpretation is to be released to the world.

I speak as one wo has had his interpretations classified as bunk at times, even by members of PS. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:59 am 
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Richard, there's no need for you to quote 1000+ words of text each time you reply to something.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:48 pm 
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I did not mean to. I pressed the wrong button.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Quote:
As are semantic arguments over differences between ritenuto and ritardando :wink:
-- Andrew

This item has perplexed me for years--ritardando meaning a gradual slackening in speed while ritenuto calls for immediately holding back the speed. I suspect that there have been times when composers, perhaps through sheer carelessness, have written "rit." in their scores for either or both, as there is no rule engraved in stone that a rit. shall always signify ritardando, while ritenuto shall always be spelled out in full to avoid any confusion. Few pianists will be inclined to do a detailed analysis every time they routinely encounter a rit. in a score to make a judgment call as to the justification of one or the other. They will likely rely more on performance practices. As a result, my sense is that an ambiguity has enveloped the two terms making them interchangeable equivalents in the minds of many pianists. Thus one school holds to differentiation, while another school sees them as synonymous. Language changes over time, and musical terms might not be immune from that phenomenon. Seems like a detail, but then again when it comes to interpretation....

I don't wish to hijack Eddy's thread (again :lol: ), but wanted to share that thought briefly.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:01 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
This item has perplexed me for years--ritardando meaning a gradual slackening in speed while ritenuto calls for immediately holding back the speed.

The sudden/gradual distinction is the traditional English translation of the terms, but it's not the literal Italian meaning, and I think it's just plain wrong.

Ritardando=slow down; ritenuto=hold (check an Italian dictionary).

The difference is that if a passage is getting calmer, then it's natural to slow down, so it's called ritardando; if you're slowing down to create tension, i.e. holding back the natural momentum of the flow, then it's called ritenuto. Most of the time you should be able to tell for yourself whether it's calm or tense, so it's OK for the composer to write "rit" and let the performer work it out. Whether you slow gradually or suddenly is an entirely different matter, nothing to do with which word is used.

(Bonus question: what does allegro mean? And how about andante? ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:10 am 
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Alexander wrote:
(Bonus question: what does allegro mean? And how about andante?

Allegro translated via Google Translate means "cheerful". Hmmm...that's interesting!
But more interesting is that Andante does not translate to anything! Wow!!
Well, I have always thought it meant "a walking tempo." But everybody walks at a different pace. I'm a pretty fast walker....

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:31 am 
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Hi Alexander,

Thanks for chiming in on ritardando and ritenuto. I believe that calm versus tension is a useful way to look at any rit. situation. That's a good distinction.

Extra bonus: Andantino. -tino is a diminutive form in Italian which makes perfect sense that it would be a slower tempo than andante. Should we then abide by the Baroque and Viennese Classical notions of considering it slightly slower than andante, or the Transitional and Romantic Age concept that it is really a bit faster than andante? And within the romantic piano literature, would the mood of a piece have no bearing on the nature of andantino? :)

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:07 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Alexander wrote:
(Bonus question: what does allegro mean? And how about andante?

Allegro translated via Google Translate means "cheerful". Hmmm...that's interesting!
But more interesting is that Andante does not translate to anything! Wow!!
Well, I have always thought it meant "a walking tempo." But everybody walks at a different pace. I'm a pretty fast walker....


If you notice Bach seems aware that Allegro means cheerful. In his Toccata in G (does anyone else except me play it?) "allegro e Presto". Presto nowadays means early, but i olden times (Remember Figaro saying, "Presto, presto il biglietto!") it meant fast. So here you have "cheerful and fast". Allegro really ought to be a mood and not a speed indication."

Odd andante is, because the present participle of the verb "to go", "andare" is andante, but that verbal form is almost obsolete.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:14 am 
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hanysz wrote:
Ritardando=slow down; ritenuto=hold (check an Italian dictionary).

That is good to know. I never realized there was a difference. :roll:

Now, my burning question is, when a composer just writes rit. (and many do), what does he want us to do?

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:06 pm 
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techneut wrote:

Now, my burning question is, when a composer just writes rit. (and many do), what does he want us to do?


Alexander talked about that a few posts up.

©Richard, I have never heard that presto means early. :?

Andante...maybe it's like the way I cook pasta sometimes... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Andante literally means "going" (although as Richard points out it's an unusual form of the verb, which is why Google wouldn't translate it). Therefore piu andante=going more=faster, and andantino=a little bit going=slower than andante. But this is misunderstood so often that when Beethoven wrote meno andante (in opus 109, last movement, variation 4), he felt the need to add an explanatory note to make it clear that he wanted it slower not faster! A number of 19th century composers use andantino incorrectly when they mean to indicate a tempo slightly faster than andante.

So Monica (pianolady) wins the bonus prize, and David get the extra bonus. Hmm, I didn't get around to asking for someone to donate prizes...

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:42 pm 
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Hi Alexander,

I'm glad you mentioned Beethoven. He once wrote (I paraphrase) that he got very frustrated encountering andantino in the works of other composers, due to the inconsistency of interpretation at that time. So musicians have been struggling with that for a good long time now. As for myself, I have always abided by the earlier definition (a little slower than andante), so your comment on it is reaffirming. Thanks!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:45 pm 
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Take it from me, Monica: I am a specialist in the Italian language:

http://www.italian-language-study.com/m ... /speed.htm

If you wonder who wrote this:

http://www.italian-language-study.com/about-me.htm

8)

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He is doing his best."
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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:07 pm 
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hanysz wrote:
So Monica (pianolady) wins the bonus prize, and David get the extra bonus. Hmm, I didn't get around to asking for someone to donate prizes...

Well....I'll take a new car. haha

@Richard - okay, I believe you. I've just never heard presto referenced with other ideas besides musical. Except when I'm turning a frog into a handsome prince. You know, presto-chango! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:40 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Take it from me, Monica: I am a specialist in the Italian language:

http://www.italian-language-study.com/m ... /speed.htm

If you wonder who wrote this:

http://www.italian-language-study.com/about-me.htm

8)

Well what do you know? Richard is a polyglot. I knew there was some je ne sais quoi about him :wink: I tip my hat to you sir.
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:08 pm 
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Thank you, Eddy, though I really do not deserve it coming form you, considering my shabby treatment of you at times! It just shows the generosity of your soul and the bigness of your heart.

By the way, I have listened to this prelude (I made my remark before listening, as I wanted to comment not on this performance, but about programme notes in general). I do prefer the way Rachmaninov plays (for the ritardando). Also, in section b, you start quite well on the countermelody (or motive, whatever you choose to call it) on the left hand, but I would add a bt more emphasis on the third note (as Rachmninov does clearly on the recording on YouTube), as I find it tends to disappear.

This is, by the way, one of those pieces I started 25 years ago and still have not mastered. I do, however, strive for the above-mentioned effect. Maybe I even manage.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
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Last edited by richard66 on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:11 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
@Richard - okay, I believe you. I've just never heard presto referenced with other ideas besides musical. Except when I'm turning a frog into a handsome prince. You know, presto-chango! :lol:


Just a little bit of self-promotion... Actually, I promote the PS there also. I have also mentioned the PS in a Russian social network in which I am participating as part of my work:

http://my.mail.ru/mail/richardwillmer/

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:05 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Quote:
I never realized there was a difference.


I strongly believe you're not alone. I suspect that many accomplished pianists have taken ritenuto and ritardando as synonyms and have generally leaned toward ritardando, a gradual slowing of the tempo in usage. The the more immediate "holding back" of ritenuto was always more baffling to me as a definition. But I think that Alexander's explanation of ritardando being applied in a calm context while retenuto's holding back--a slowing to actually help build tension for what is to follow--is right on the money. Today I was driving to a luncheon and had the radio on. During the whole trip to a neighboring city, I listened to Miklos Rosza's "Spellbound Concerto", a pops piece for piano and orchestra based on themes from Rosza's film music for Alfred Hitchcock's movie. I detected at least three ritenutos in there. One, for example, following a long episode, built tremendous tension leading to the big reprise of the main theme. It was unmistakable! Now that I've heard it and identified the sound, I can better employ it in the future in my own playing. It also occurred to me that "cresc. and rit." which equates to allargando needs to be reexamined in the moment as well. I'll never look at "rit." again without that connection to context. One thing about Piano Society--everyone can always learn something new here. :)

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:03 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Please give me your thoughts on the sound of this one.


Hi Eddy !

Mamma mia, what a ferocious music and what a terrific performance :!:
But the sound is not in accordance with the music. It is too thin. I prefer my mastering here attached. But, as usual, your mileage may vary... :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:36 am 
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Didier wrote:
musical-md wrote:
Please give me your thoughts on the sound of this one.


Hi Eddy !

Mamma mia, what a ferocious music and what a terrific performance :!:
But the sound is not in accordance with the music. It is too thin. I prefer my mastering here attached. But, as usual, your mileage may vary... :wink:


Hello Didier,
It sounds like you upgraded my venue! Tell me, what did you do? I am your student :)

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:46 am 
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I removed noise, equalized (look before in white and after in red on the attached picture) and added reverb. I also applied the Redline Preamp plugin that gives a subtle touch of tube electronics flavour.


Attachments:
Capture-1.jpg
Capture-1.jpg [ 157.84 KiB | Viewed 2031 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:45 pm 
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Do you know if Pro Tools LE (ver 8+) can do this (if you have experience with this sw)? I really like this spectral view. It shows very nicely how the bass was pumped just a bit and the treble reduced.
Eddy

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:50 pm 
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I only know that Pro Tools is a professional standard. Hence there is no doubt that this rather basic processing could be achieved by means of Pro Tools (although it is not the best choice for an amateur in my opinion because of the obligation of using hardware from the same manufacturer and specific format for the plugins).


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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:54 am 
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Hi Eddy,

You have done a technically amazing job with this piece. My only suggestion is that perhaps you play with a bit more pedal and give it a darker sound, except for the middle part.
The middle part has beautiful voicing and the playing is passionate.

The return to the beginning section is paced in a suspenseful and effective manner

The recap seems to have a bit of a thicker sound. I think you should try for that sound from the start of the piece. It sounds as though the notes are glued together,
more theatrical in a way.

It could also be that from the middle section on you play with greater use of the big muscles and put more weight into the keys. That coupled with thicker pedaling makes a truly remarquable sound.

Keep up the great work.

Thank you.
Kaila

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 Post subject: Re: Rachmaninov Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:36 pm 
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musicrecovery wrote:
Hi Eddy,

You have done a technically amazing job with this piece. My only suggestion is that perhaps you play with a bit more pedal and give it a darker sound, except for the middle part.
The middle part has beautiful voicing and the playing is passionate.

The return to the beginning section is paced in a suspenseful and effective manner

The recap seems to have a bit of a thicker sound. I think you should try for that sound from the start of the piece. It sounds as though the notes are glued together,
more theatrical in a way.

It could also be that from the middle section on you play with greater use of the big muscles and put more weight into the keys. That coupled with thicker pedaling makes a truly remarquable sound.

Keep up the great work.

Thank you.
Kaila

Hi Kaila,
I think we both must share a bigger, more powerful view of this piece, than the lighter version that the composer plays. Thanks for your reply. I still have work to do here.
Eddy

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