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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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 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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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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 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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