Rachmaninoff Interview (part 3 of 3)

TEN IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES OF BEAUTIFUL PIANO PLAYING

The following text is taken from an interview with Sergei Vassily Rachmaninoff, Supervisor General of the Imperial Conservatories of Russia.  Originally published in THE ETUDE (March 1910), the it has been reformatted and corrected for grammatical errors.
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VIII. REAL MUSICAL UNDERSTANDING

I am told that some teachers lay a great deal of stress upon the necessity for the pupil learning the source of the composer’s inspiration. This is interesting, of course, and may help to stimulate a dull imagination. However, I am convinced that it would be far better for the student to depend more upon his real musical understanding.

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Rachmaninoff Interview (part 2 of 3)

TEN IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES OF BEAUTIFUL PIANO PLAYING

The following text is taken from an interview with Sergei Vassily Rachmaninoff, Supervisor General of the Imperial Conservatories of Russia.  Originally published in THE ETUDE (March 1910), the it has been reformatted and corrected for grammatical errors.
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IV. REGULATING THE TEMPO

If a fine musical feeling, or sensitiveness, must control the execution of the phrases, the regulation of the tempo demands a kind of musical ability no less exacting. Although in most cases the tempo of a given composition is now indicated by means of the metronomic markings, the judgment of the player must be brought frequently into requisition. He cannot follow the tempo marks blindly, although it is usually unsafe for
him to stray very far from these all-important musical sign-posts.

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Rachmaninoff Interview (part 1 of 3)

TEN IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES OF BEAUTIFUL PIANO PLAYING

The following text is taken from an interview with Sergei Vassily Rachmaninoff, Supervisor General of the Imperial Conservatories of Russia.  Originally published in THE ETUDE (March 1910), the it has been reformatted and corrected for grammatical errors.

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I. FORMING THE PROPER CONCEPTION OF A PIECE

It is a seemingly impossible task to define the number of attributes of really excellent piano playing. By selecting ten important characteristics, however, and considering them carefully one at a time, the student may learn much that will give him food for thought. After all, one can never tell in print what can be communicated by the living teacher.

In undertaking the study of a new composition it is highly important to gain a conception of the work as a whole. One must comprehend the main design of the composer. Naturally, there are technical difficulties which must be worked out, measure by measure, but unless the student can form some idea of the work in its larger proportions his finished performance may resemble a kind of musical patchwork. Behind every composition is the architectural plan of the composer. The student should endeavor, first of all, to discover this plan, and then he should build in the manner in which the composer would have had him build.

Continue reading “Rachmaninoff Interview (part 1 of 3)” »