Have you heard the story about ...?

Any remarks or questions on the life of Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff can be posted here.
Daniel
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby Daniel » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:32 pm

opus23#10 wrote:Notice Rachmaninoff's pictures at the piano.
Opus23#10

Exactly my point. There are moments when your eyes are needed just for "fine tuning". At least that's how I feel.
However seeing Michelangeli or Horowitz executing huge leaps without looking at all at that far point on the keyboard makes me shiver.
And I also have to point out that I don't recall seeing anyone executing the big leaps which require hand crossing (and when the crossing hand has to play a chord, not just a single note) witout throwing at least a glance at the "landing zone".

StewH
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby StewH » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:11 pm

Horowitz, in the concerts I've seen him perform, both live and DVD, looks at the keyboard quite often.
StewH

Marianne
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby Marianne » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:00 pm

Have you ever seen this video?

youtube*com/watch?v=LfjD-DQ5REk

Look how Wilhelm Kempff plays Beethoven's Tempest Sonata mvt. 3
He hardly ever looks on the keyboard!!! :D

mikhailp
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby mikhailp » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:11 am

A Brilliant pianist and teacher once told me that I should spend some time and learn to play in the dark. He told me that when a person uses only their ears, they realize how much extra noise they make, that so much energy is spent pointlessly and it completely changes how one hears their music produce, and uses their hands accordingly. I usually do this when I already know the piece and have my muscles used to the leaps and movements, but surely perfecting this so that one may play just at the thought of a random passage or leap would change the way any person plays for the better.

As for Wilhelm Kepmff, he does indeed hardly look at the keyboard :)
Have you played this piece, Marianne?
Mikhail Pais
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Daniel
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby Daniel » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:52 am

mikhailp wrote:...He told me that when a person uses only their ears, they realize how much extra noise they make, that so much energy is spent pointlessly and it completely changes how one hears their music produce, and uses their hands accordingly.


Dinu Lipatti, a great Romanian pianist (who unfortunately died at the age of 33 killed by leukemia), was obsessed with eliminating as much mechanical noise as possible. He had developed his own technique of striking the keys, somehow gently touching them at first and then applying the required force - regardless of the tempo!
Try looking for his few recordings, especially Grieg's concerto and Chopin's 2nd.
Just before he died he was planning to record all Rachmaninoff's concertos...

DanNYC
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby DanNYC » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:16 pm

opus23#10 wrote:Marianne, it would not surprise me if the story was fabricated, especially if there is no record of them performing together at Carnegie Hall. I could imagine such a thing being true though, because of the intense concentration Rachmaninoff had when playing.
Opus23#10


I don't know if the story itself is true, but Kreisler and Rachmaninof did, in fact, perform together in Carnegie Hall. A few years ago during the summer, while walking past Carnegie on my way to Patelsons, the music store on 56th Street, I noticed that Carnegie Hall had replaced their usual posters and schedules with historical posters. One was of Heifetz; another one was an advertisement for an upcoming duo recital with Kreisler and Rachmaninoff. The year, I believe, was 1928 or 1929 and the program, which I remember clearly, consisted of the same three pieces that they recorded together: the Beethoven, Schubert, and Grieg sonatas.

Dan

opus23#10
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby opus23#10 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:16 pm

Dan, how remarkable that you saw those posters! What a performance that must have been!
Opus23#10

StewH
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby StewH » Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:45 pm

DanNYC wrote:I don't know if the story itself is true, but Kreisler and Rachmaninof did, in fact, perform together in Carnegie Hall. A few years ago during the summer, while walking past Carnegie on my way to Patelsons, the music store on 56th Street, I noticed that Carnegie Hall had replaced their usual posters and schedules with historical posters. One was of Heifetz; another one was an advertisement for an upcoming duo recital with Kreisler and Rachmaninoff. The year, I believe, was 1928 or 1929 and the program, which I remember clearly, consisted of the same three pieces that they recorded together: the Beethoven, Schubert, and Grieg sonatas.

Dan


Dan,

When this topic of Kreisler and Rachmaninoff concertizing together at Carnegie Hall first came up, both Op23#10 and I were unable to find any documentation to that effect, including searching B & L's definitive bio. But I will look again!
StewH

Marianne
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby Marianne » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:23 am

mikhailp, I've never played the 17th sonata, but the first and third parts are my favourite, as my mother played them when I was small, so they are kind of sacred for me...

It's a pity Dinu Lipatti didn't make a record of Rachmaninoff concerts. Did he make any record of Rachmaninoff at all?

I'll ask on our boards to search for information of Kreisler and Rachmaninoff in Carnegie Hall...

Lee
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby Lee » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:56 pm

There was a story that R. entered a restaurant or bar in New York City while someone was playing the Russian Rag on the piano. (The C#minor Prelude made into a rag time) When th e player looked up he saw the composer watching closely who then said, "Nice melody but the rhythm is all wrong".

When I was in college I was playing both the C# minor and the G minor (23 5) and getting ready for my senior recital. Knowing how much I liked Rachmaninoff my professor commented that his brother once saw R. on a train. THe brother asked, " Are you Mr. Rachmaninoff?" to which R. replied, "Yes". I was incredulous that this was all that was said in this conversation.

R. went to a party hosted by one of the Steinway daughters. In attendance were V. Horowitz and George Gershwin. Evidently GG sat at the piano and played a long string of his songs and R. was tired of it and told V.H. to play his foxtrot because it was better than anything GG wrote.

I went to Carnegie Hall and there on the wall was a note written by R. himself to Carnegie Hall with a few handwritten bars of R 3. I could have placed it under my coat and walked out but I couldn't do it.

Marianne
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Re: Have you heard the story about ...?

Postby Marianne » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:54 pm

What a collection!!!

This reminds me of the story that one girl wrote on Russian Rachmaninoff board - that her friends had a huge collection of scores left from their anchestors and they did let her read them and manage, may be chose some to be sold... And she did find among them one with the words written by Rachmaninoff: "To Sofia Vackman" . When she told about that she also added - only you can understand what it cost me not to keep them for myself but to show them to the owners! :D


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