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Discussion in 'Useful resources' started by richard66, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Rach 2 is sometimes frivolously known as the Nose concerto (trying playing the opening, using the nose for the lower F!)
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think that for normal, hands, with some practice (and pain :wink: ) these chords are manageable without rolling.
     
  3. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    The chords are no problem. It's the low F that might be played by the nose to avoid releasing the chords :roll:

    Edit: BTW. Since the LH chord is more difficult than the RH chord, I release the RH chord to play the low F with m.d. How about others?
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Er... right. I stand corrected. I was thinking of the chords because I've told my duo partner (who plays the solo part, I the orchestral part) to practice so he doesn't need to roll the chords, which IMO sounds bad.

    I don't see the problem though. The chords are held by the sustain pedal, no ?
     
  5. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Or the damp[f]er pedal, depending on how much purity of sound you want. I would use the damp[f]er (R) pedal, not the sustain (C) pedal.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Those are the same :!: You probably thought I meant the sostenuto pedal. They're easy to confuse.
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes, and I could have used Sostenuto (Italian for sustain) for more clarity.
     
  8. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    If your partner's hands aren't big enough to stretch the chords, then practicing isn't likely to make a difference.

    For what it's worth, I have a recording of Rachmaninoff himself playing this concerto, and he breaks those chords (not exactly rolled, but with the bottom note played separately before the others).

    We seem to have wandered off topic again...
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I don't agree with that. My experience is that you can achieve a lot with gradually accustoming the hands to cruel stretches and finding your way around the front of the keys. I can take chords now that I could not a couple of years ago. It might not work for everybody though.

    As we always do. Shame on the moderators for not keeping the topics on topic :lol:
     
  10. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Richard, (This is my 3rd and last attempt to post the following) I had misunderstood you. No, I certainly could not tell whether a pianist is using one or two hands in a performance of a one-hand work. What I had meant, was that I believe it would be possible to tell if the work was composed for one hand only.


    Edit: more specifically, "recording" for "performance."
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It has worked, Eddy!

    So it follows that if not seen a pianist can and should use both hands in order to achieve best results.

    I see it this way, when at a concert:

    A pianist comes on stage. He only has his left hand or maybe he has injured his right one: it is in a cast. He plays. He gives the best he can and the audience loves it. :)

    Another pianist comes on stage. He has both hands and has not injured any of them. He plays with one hand. :shock: Why that? Is he showing off? Is he making fun of the audience? Would not a one armed pianist take offense, the same as if a one-legged man were to see me (now that my ankle is almost mended and I definitvely do not need them anymore) using crutches? This pianist is deliberately reducing his technical assets while the pianist with one hand is multiplying his.

    Does this make sense?

    It reminds me of Khvorostovsky: When he was younger he tried to sing with a pop band, but he soon gave up, when he realised that he had to give his worst and even so he was doing better than the best musician of the band doing his best.
     
  12. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Richard, I am talking about works composed for LH alone. Are you?
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I did not notice this post before. Yes you're right, I did it again....
    As an admin, I can edit other people's postings. So I get two buttons 'Edit' and 'Quote'. They're small and close to one another, and sometimes I click the wrong one. It would not be the first time :roll:
     
  14. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes, Eddy, I am talking about works written for the left hand.
     
  15. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Well Richard, maybe it just depends upon the audience having knowledge of the fact that the work was composed for LH alone, and why it was so, that warrants the performance. Which raises an interesting question. It is easy enough for us today to appreciate works inspired by the misfortune of Wittgenstein or the temporary disability of Scriabin, but what must people have thought when Brahms comes out with the Chaconne arranged for LH alone? Why would he do this? :?: That truely is sort of circus-like, don't you think? I would rather hope it was a sort of Gradus ad Parnasus for the existing LH training material.
     
  16. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Yes, I find what Wittgenstein did was admirable and what great works we have as a result! Have you heard Bortkiewicz's concerto for the left hand? Now, there you have a most impressive achievement and what difference if there is only one hand? I doubt I could play it with both.

    Leon Fleischer followed the example, which just shows that an arm injury does not mean the end of a careet.

    I read somewhere that Brahms had written a work for Clara Schumann, who had just injured her right hand closing a drawer, but I do not think this one was it.
     
  17. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Nope. But I like his concerto No.1 very much!
     
  18. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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  19. hanysz

    hanysz Member

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    I see it as like an artist drawing something in black and shades of grey, not using all the colours available to them, or maybe a poet writing a sonnet. To choose a limited set of technical resources then explore what can be achieved within those constraints is sometimes a beautiful thing.

    I can't remeber which writer used the phrase "the expressive power of technical difficulty"--possibly Charles Rosen writing about the Chopin studies?

    To get back to my favourite Bach-Brahms chaconne. Bach's original pushes the boundary of what's possible on a violin. As well as sounding beautiful, it's formidably difficult. Part of the magic of a live performance is seeing a human struggling to achieve the near-impossible. Busoni's transcription, transplanting the same work to a piano played with two hands, strikes me as a little bit too slick. I'm not saying it's exactly easy, and certainly it still sounds beautiful, but the sense of struggle is lost. What makes Brahms's version so special, even when played with one hand by a two-handed pianist, is that it preserves this aspect of the chaconne trying to express something a little beyond the technical resources available. To me there's nothing circus-like about it (although I have great respect for the talent and hard work of good circus performers).

    At least, that is my taste. I don't expect everyone to agree :)
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is very true. I played through this Chaconne again yesterday (still on my todo list) and yes, the playing with one hand does add something really special that would not be there when played by two hands. Brahms does not seek virtuosity or difficulty here, only to achieve maximum impact and expression with restricted (rather than limited ?) means. Maybe this is the best and only way to transcribe a violin solo piece - not saying a bad word about Rachmaninov's gorgeous Partita reworking of course :D
     

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