Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was born in 1873 in Russia during the late romantic period of music. Died in 1943 in USA. He wrote a lot of late romantic pieces but a lot of early 20th century pieces as well. He was a virtuoso pianist and he did a lot of performing, composing and conducting during his 70 year life. He was greatly influenced by tchaikovsky who was his idol.
We listened to:
Rachmaninoff plays prelude in C sharp Minor
Rachmaninoff - Etude-tableau Op 33 No 1 in F minor
Who is Henle? In 1948 Gunbther Henle started G. Henle Publishers. It’s a family business and currently Felix Henle runs the company who is the grandson of Gunther Henle. His goal was to publish music as close to the original intention of the composer as possible and it’s called urtext
Henle urtext are known all over the world by classical musicians. Their brand is the biggest and most reputable, standing out with high quality and precision. That is - these editions will last you for many years (of course if your dog doesn’t eat them) they are as if the original Beethoven himself would have written this. Except readable!! ISN’T THAT WONDERFUL?! No meddling has been done, everything has been kept within the composer’s original intentions.
Their quality is the best you’ll find. Solid, strong binding, the ink is beautiful but it does cost a bit more than you’ll probably be comfortable spending on books.
What is an urtext? the definition is “the earliest or original version of the text”
In any good urtext edition they will list the sources in the front or the back of the book in a section called “preface”. They nail the accuracy by using the original composers manuscript, a first printed version, a second printed version, the composers notes or notes of his peers and any other person.
Henle website: https://www.henle.de/en/
Homework: Listen to these “easiest” Rachmaninoff pieces and write down at least one you want to learn in the future. Set it as a goal :). 2nd part of the homework is to listen to Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Concerto (Do it, it’s cool) - Rachmaninov : Concerto pour piano n°3 (Daniil Trifonov / Myung-Whun Chung) - YouTube
This Liszt is for those pieces with whom you really connect to and find special - so I will insist that you start a notebook, or a piece of paper that you will fill up slowly but surely over time.
Rachmaninoff “easiest” repertoire:
(Note that Rachmaninoff’s repertoire is not easy to any extent and you need to have a lot of piano experience prior, many years)
Preludes - Op 32 No 11 (grade 10 RCM) (Henle 5)
Op 23 No 1 (Henle 5/6)
Op 3 No 2 (Henle 6, grade 10 RCM)
Op 23 No 4 (RCM ARCT) (Henle 6)
Op 23 No 6 (RCM ARCT) (DipABRSM) (Henle 6)
Op 23 No 10 (Grade 10) (Henle 6)
Op 32 No 7 (Henle 6)
Op 32 No 12 (RCM ARCT) (DipABRSM) (Henle 6/7)
Etudes - Op 33 No 8 (7/8 Henle) (RCM Grade 10)
Op 33 No 1 (Henle 6)
Op 33 No 5 (Henle 6/7)
Morceaux de Fantasie - Elegie (No.1) (RCM 10)
Prelude in C# Minor (No.2) (RCM 10)
Melodie (No.3) (RCM 10)
Serenade (No.5) (RCM 10)
Polichinelle (No.4) (RCM ARCT)
Miscellaneous Pieces - Daisies, Op.38 No.3 (ABRSM 8)
Variations on a Theme of Corelli Op 42 (LRCM) (Henle 8)
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op 43 (L) (L stands for Licentiate, which is basically the highest level there is in RCM, I don’t know why I included this but yeah)