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 Post subject: Rachmaninoff Preludes
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:23 am 
I just have to bring Rachmaninoff up again, because he is awesome... Not to be closed minded trust me it is very important to have other composers in your repertoire as well... But man his preludes are awesome! Most are underrated though... People usually listen to G minor and C#minor but there's so much more... What do you think is an awesome prelude to your standards by Rachmaninoff? I really like no.2 in Bflat major and his D major G minor and his G major is just blissful :) but lately i've been listening to no.2 in B flat major! Isn't it impressive?!

What is your fav Rachmaninoff Prelude

Oh i also love his Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:22 am 
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I have listened a lot to his preludes and they are all wonderful compositions. At this moment, I like the B minor best. Probably because I know the story behind it (told by Benno Moiseiwitsch in "Art of the Piano").

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:50 pm 
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all his preludes are awesome and a great demanding have you seen the preludes on youtube played by lugansky he plays it awesome really

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:09 pm 
They are all wonderful, but C#minor is still my favourite.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:21 am 
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Quote:
I have listened a lot to his preludes and they are all wonderful compositions. At this moment, I like the B minor best. Probably because I know the story behind it (told by Benno Moiseiwitsch in "Art of the Piano").

I've seen that and I agree, the B minor prelude is quite a piece.

While it's hard to pin down an exact favorite, here are my top ones from the entire set of 24:

23/1 in F sharp minor
23/2 in B flat major (wickedly difficult, I find very few pianists can play this piece well)
23/3 in D minor
23/4 in D major
23/5 in G minor (maybe a bit overplayed, but I have always liked the central section of it)
23/6 in E flat major (this piece is like being in a dream)
23/7 in C minor
23/8 in A flat major (such an atypically happy and playful piece for Rachmaninoff)
23/9 in E flat minor (another one of the few pieces I find totally difficult)
32/1 in C major
32/5 in G major
32/6 in F minor
32/12 in G sharp minor (a favorite of many, I'd like to play this someday)

Here's a nearly flawless video of Lugansky playing No. 7 and No. 5 from Op. 23 (as well as an awesome performance of Moment Musical No. 4): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iYhP5m3M4E

I'm probably going to get a lot of flak for saying this, but I personally have never really cared much for the C sharp minor prelude (op. 3) and don't really understand much of the fascination that surrounds it. Even Rachmaninoff himself found the constant stream of requests from audiences to play it bothersome, and I read somewhere that he'd even make up excuses not to play it, playfully telling the audience that he'd conveniently "forgotten it" (what a character!). While I agree that it's probably one of the few pieces that launched him into fame as a composer, in my opinion he wrote volumes of way better material that make that piece seem almost trivial.

The reason I really like 32/1 and 32/6 are because the style in which these pieces are written foreshadows that of his etudes, which I think are some of his most amazing piano works.

Among my favorites from his etudes are:

33/2 in C major
33/4 in D minor (this is seriously such a cool piece, I'd really love to play it someday)
33/5 in E flat minor (I nicknamed this one the "whirlwind etude," as it reminds me of Chopin's "winter wind" etude)
33/6 in E flat major
33/7 in G minor (very sad, deep)
33/9 in C sharp minor
39/1 in C minor
39/3 in F sharp minor (I love this piece!)
39/4 in B minor (Rachmaninoff himself loved playing this piece)
39/5 in E flat minor (My piano teacher is teaching one of her students this piece now, it's beautiful)
39/8 in D minor

Sorry if it's too off-topic, but I kinda have a thing for Rach's music. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:02 am 
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From a stricly technical standpoint, I like the second prelude in b-flat; it does for the left hand what Chopin's first etude does for the right. Or something similar.

Pete


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:16 am 
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toki wrote:
I'm probably going to get a lot of flak for saying this, but I personally have never really cared much for the C sharp minor prelude (op. 3) and don't really understand much of the fascination that surrounds it. Even Rachmaninoff himself found the constant stream of requests from audiences to play it bothersome, and I read somewhere that he'd even make up excuses not to play it, playfully telling the audience that he'd conveniently "forgotten it" (what a character!). While I agree that it's probably one of the few pieces that launched him into fame as a composer, in my opinion he wrote volumes of way better material that make that piece seem almost trivial.

I totally agree. Seldom is a composer's most well-known piece among his best (Fur Elise, Turkish March, Clair de Lune, grrr...). Why this one is so hugely popular I don't quite understand either, and I sympathize with Sergei getting sick of the popular request. I guess it's so populat mostly because it is one of the very few Rachmaninio pieces that are well in in reach of the amateur, and admittedly it is very effective because it sounds so much more difficult than it actually is.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:13 pm 
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I agree with you. The C-sharp Minor prelude is nice, but it isn't incredible. When compared to his Sonata no. 2 in B-flat Minor, largely underappreciated Morceaux de Salon, or even the rest of the Morceaux de Fantasie it isn't that great. His Russian Rhapsody for Two Pianos is also quite incredible but not that famous.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:27 pm 
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It is my belief that Rachmaninov took some time find his true unique voice. His early works, while never less than execellent, lack that special quality that makes his mature work stand out from all the other competent piano music of the Russian silver era. This holds for the op.3 set as well as the Moments Musicaux (though many would not agree on that, I suspect).

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:37 am 
I agree i do not see anything special in the prelude in C# minor. Although i could play it, and it's quite nice i just don't like playing it in front of an audience. It's like me playing Für Eloise in front of an audience. Not as a technical type of view but just as an overrated piece. Rachmaninoff like every other composer had great pieces that are underrated, and should be recognized. It's great to know that classical music is still alive. That's why i come to this forum. The common people i see walking around in my school, you might mention Rachmaninoff to then and they'll have absolutely no clue of what you are talking about. This forum is great!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:24 am 
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The Db (Op. 32) prelude is my personal favorite. It's so calm, yet majestic at the bigginning and so powerful towards the end. I think this piece (along with the Etude Op. 39-5) contains all of Rachmaninoff!

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