Piano for 6 hands
After stumbling upon a Rachmaninov six-hand piano piece, one member at Piano Society wondered if other members who live far away from each other could play an ensemble piece of music by recording separate tracks and then joining the tracks together with an editing program. Things to consider were the overall sound of the different pianos, tuning, acoustics in different rooms, if the metronomes used by the performers matched each other’s, and of course synchronization. Deciding that it would be an interesting experiment, players Alfonso Bertazzi - from Italy, Andreas Pfaul – from Germany, and Monica Alianello – from the United States went ahead and made arrangements as to how they would make their recordings.
There are two pieces in the set; a Romance and a Valse. Starting with the Romance, Andreas recorded his part first, but only to a certain bar. Monica downloaded his file and listened with headphones as she recorded her part from beginning to end. The two files were pasted together, and Alfonso listened to the resulting track as he next recorded his part.
As it turned out, recording the music was the easy part, but putting it together was hard, as Andreas can attest to. He put in many hours fiddling with his music editing program – doing things like synchronizing the tracks, adjusting the balance, tweaking the volume, etc… After much back and forth discussions between the three participants and also other members on the forum, Andreas finally succeeded in producing a quality recording.
We had fun making the Rachmaninov – Romance and Valse for Piano Six-Hands recordings and hope visitors to Piano Society will enjoy listening to the two pieces.
In 1890-91 Rachmaninov wrote two pieces for piano six hands and dedicated them to the three Skalon sisters, distant cousins by marriage. Both the pieces are in A major. The short but energetic Valse is built on a theme by Natalia Skalon. The serene Romance sports a charming introduction later used by the Composer in his Second Piano Concerto.
Played by Monica Alianello, Alfonso Bertazzi, and Andreas Pfaul