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Rachmaninov - Etudes-Tableaux in a minor, Op 39, No 2

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by StuKautsch, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Odd that we did not already have a recording of this, but it gave me an opportunity since I have not performed Rachmaninov since 1969 and have never recorded a piece of his. (My wife loves this number, so my practice did not get restricted in any way, either. :) )

    Piano: Petroff 5'10", lid open
    Zoom H-2 mic/recorder
    Audacity reverb setting 30%

    I hope the tags are right. The current offerings in this opus and opus 33 are old and do not have many tags.


    Rachmaninov - Etude-Tableaux in A minor, Op 39, No 2
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    You've been busy, Stu! :) Great job here!! Only one or two tiny things....I think a little more reverb would be nice. But that's subjective, I know. The other thing I hesitate to tell you because it's something that probably bothers only me, but it sounds like your mic is too close to you.
    But again, very nice playing. I've put it on the site.
     
  3. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks, Monica. As far as being busy, this is the last in this 'cycle': I generally pick some pieces, work on them for several months, get the piano tuned and then hope I can get the recordings done while the instrument is still in tune. I made it this time, but the humidity has been really low here - in the 20's - while the temperature is high enough to prevent the furnace (with its humidifier) from going on very often. So the tuning will slip pretty soon.

    I'll try the mic farther away; I've usually recorded with the lid down or on short stick, and probably should have adjusted a little when I put the lid all the way up for these. As for reverb, this was as high as I've gone with Audacity's new reverb feature, and I felt like I was being adventurous! But it did come out a little dry. I'll have to bump it up a notch next time and see how that works.

    Have you heard Ashkenazy's recording of this? True magic. Wish I could make a piano sound like that.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    No, I have not. I'm going to bed pretty sooon, but I will search out that recording tomorrow.
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Stu,

    Those of us who live in the north lands have a huge challenge in coping with incredibly low humidity, a piano taking on a "winter voice", and tunings slipping flat quite quickly.

    I think you play this Etude-Tableau very well. Supposedly (and I forget where I read this), the composer's program for the piece is about the sea and seagulls. This is not the only instance where Rachmaninoff depicted birds. In his Prelude Op. 32 in G, he depicts a bird soaring and gliding in the high air currents.

    This etude features a melody that is sometimes fragmentary and set against a bass that sometimes sounds like an ostinato. And it's all polyrhythms too with crossovers of the arms at times. You bring out the lyrical but oftentimes restless and searching moods. I imagine (having read through parts of it before) that given the things I've mentioned here, the emphasis is on keeping it all cohesive. I believe you succeed very well at that too.

    Excellent playing.

    David
     
  6. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I enjoyed this - restless, dark and brooding. Good consistency too of the central rhythmic motif. A worthy addition to the site!
     

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