Rachmaninoff Concerto

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smitty1931
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Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by smitty1931 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:25 am

Have any of you posters heard the new recording of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 5? This is a version of his 2nd symphony rewritten as a piano concerto. As an avid fan of his music I find it an absolute delight. The arranger/composer Alexander Warenberg certainly captured Rachmaninoff's style. I am sure some purists will hate it, but give it a try. I think you will like it. Brilliant Classics 8900

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by stenka razin » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:40 am

smitty1931 wrote:Have any of you posters heard the new recording of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 5? This is a version of his 2nd symphony rewritten as a piano concerto. As an avid fan of his music I find it an absolute delight. The arranger/composer Alexander Warenberg certainly captured Rachmaninoff's style. I am sure some purists will hate it, but give it a try. I think you will like it. Brilliant Classics 8900
smitty, please check out this thread on the Rach #5. :idea:

http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/view ... erto+no.+5
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Lance » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:09 am

Smitty - first, welcome to CMG. Glad you found your way here. We hope you enjoy our company! And yes, I have very much enjoyed the Rach 5. I've seen, of course, good and bad reviews on it. Personally, I thought it a great idea. Somehow, I think maybe Rachmaninoff would have approved.
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by karlhenning » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:11 am

Welcome aboard, smitty!

Cheers,
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Febnyc » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:12 am

Yes, Smitty - I've the disc and have listened twice. I am not at all turned off by transcriptions and I love Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony. So it was a natural fit for me. Having said that, in this case the original is much better than the copy. No doubt the "Concerto V" is lovely and the piano part well integrated into the whole, but for me something was missing. I think the powerful swell of the main theme was lost between piano and orchestra, among other quibbles. However, it's a fascinating disc and I'll continue to enjoy it.

On this subject I'd like to recommend another transcription which recently has made it to CD: The Leo Weiner orchestral version of Liszt's B Minor Piano Sonata. The first part of the disc features a very young Liszt competition award-winning pianist called Olga Kozlova simply ripping through the Piano Sonata. This is a marvelous performance and one which should get more press.

Nevertheless, the highlight of the CD is the orchestrated version - almost true to the minute with the original. Once again, it would not be my first choice for the Liszt B Minor, but it's a blazing rendition of the solo piano work - fully and magnificently orchestrated.

http://tinyurl.com/6hc8fj

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Werner » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:17 am

One note: So far, no oe has mentioned the name of the soloist in the Rachmaninoff "Fifth" Concerto. Anyone we know?
Werner Isler

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Febnyc » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:21 am

Werner - my copy of the CD shows as the soloist one Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy.

No one I know.

Here's a David Hurwitz comment on the disc: http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11708
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Werner » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:21 am

Werner wrote:One note: So far, no oe has mentioned the name of the soloist in the Rachmaninoff "Fifth" Concerto. Anyone we know?
Checking further, I do note Lance's review as cited by Mel. Interesting review, Lance! And it does pay to look twice!
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by pizza » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:07 am

While we're on the subject of orchestral transcriptions of piano works, David Porter's reconstruction of Ives' Concord Concerto from the 2nd Piano Sonata is a tour de force of the genre. Alan Feinberg performs it in a fine recording with James Sinclair conducting the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland on Naxos 8.559175. Ives often recycled his works for inclusion in various forms other than their originals and I am certain that he would have fully approved.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Febnyc » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:11 am

As I opined on the first Rach V thread, a nice transcription to piano concerto is the one of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," by Lawrence Leonard. Perhaps this work lends itself better to such a transformation than the Rachmaninoff Second Symphony, but anyway it comes out a lot more satisfyingly for me.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by diegobueno » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:41 am

Somebody tell me again, what's the point of rewriting a symphony as a piano concerto?

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by karlhenning » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:42 am

diegobueno wrote:Somebody tell me again, what's the point of rewriting a symphony as a piano concerto?
Word.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by pizza » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:54 am

diegobueno wrote:Somebody tell me again, what's the point of rewriting a symphony as a piano concerto?
Didn't Brahms scrap what was originally intended to be a symphony and rewrite it into his First Piano Concerto?

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by karlhenning » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:05 am

pizza wrote:
diegobueno wrote:Somebody tell me again, what's the point of rewriting a symphony as a piano concerto?
Didn't Brahms scrap what was originally intended to be a symphony and rewrite it into his First Piano Concerto?
That intention notwithstanding, the first concerto did not exist previously as a completed symphony in Brahms's hand. Material which is by now forever included in a piano concerto, Brahms had written in short score (and composing at the piano) with a symphony in mind. The concerto, is a concerto, not a made-over symphony.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by pizza » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:19 am

From Wikipedia:

Brahms originally conceived the work as a sonata for two pianos. Seeking a grander and fuller sound, Brahms later orchestrated the work in an attempt to transform it into a four-movement symphony. However, he also found that unsatisfactory. Brahms ultimately decided that he had not sufficiently mastered the nuances of orchestral color to sustain a symphony, and instead relied on his skills as a pianist and composer for the piano to complete the work as a concerto. Brahms only retained the original material from the work's first movement; the remaining movements were discarded and two new ones were composed, yielding a work in the more usual three-movement concerto structure.

If this summary is correct, Brahms did complete a symphony but discarded the last three movements as unsatisfactory, retaining only the first for the piano concerto.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by karlhenning » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:28 am

pizza wrote:From Wikipedia:

Brahms originally conceived the work as a sonata for two pianos. Seeking a grander and fuller sound, Brahms later orchestrated the work in an attempt to transform it into a four-movement symphony. However, he also found that unsatisfactory. Brahms ultimately decided that he had not sufficiently mastered the nuances of orchestral color to sustain a symphony, and instead relied on his skills as a pianist and composer for the piano to complete the work as a concerto. Brahms only retained the original material from the work's first movement; the remaining movements were discarded and two new ones were composed, yielding a work in the more usual three-movement concerto structure.

If this summary is correct, Brahms did complete a symphony but discarded the last three movements as unsatisfactory, retaining only the first for the piano concerto.
Thanks. Actually, the phrasing "retained the original material from the work's first movement" leaves me in some doubt yet; I don't necessarily understand that to mean that he just took the movement from the symphony, changed the scoring, and thus we have the first movement of the concerto. This is how I should understand it if the phrasing were (e.g.) "retained the work's first movement."

I should revisit the score to the first piano concerto; if there is anything like a cadenza for the piano (which offhand I should think there to be), obviously that was not a part of the composition in an opening movement of a symphony. Nor would it quite seem like Brahms, compositionally, for him to just take the first movement of a symphony, and wedge in a piano cadenza (and a piano cadenza would be equally uncharacteristic in a sonata for two pianos).

Certainly there is some close relation among the various stages of the piece. I am doubtful that even in the case of the first movement, it is quite like the process here in question of the Rakhmaninov Second Symphony.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by diegobueno » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:29 am

pizza wrote:
diegobueno wrote:Somebody tell me again, what's the point of rewriting a symphony as a piano concerto?
Didn't Brahms scrap what was originally intended to be a symphony and rewrite it into his First Piano Concerto?
Likewise Tchaikovsky converted what was going to be a symphony in E flat into his Third Piano Concerto. This was their prerogative as composers. They ultimately felt that the material they had written would be more effective in concerto form, and they exercised their considerable compositional skills in crafting them into their final form. They didn't require the services of some hack to fill out their material with pianistic filigree.

It needs to be emphasized that turning a symphony into a concerto is not just a simple matter of arrangement. It requires comprehensive recomposition, the kind of work that requires the service of a real composer.

If Rachmaninoff ever felt his 2nd symphony required concertoization, he had 40 years to act on the impulse. He never did. His 2nd symphony is a perfectly wonderful piece on its own, so again I ask: what is the point in rewriting it as a piano concerto?

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by pizza » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:24 am

diegobueno wrote:If Rachmaninoff ever felt his 2nd symphony required concertoization, he had 40 years to act on the impulse. He never did. His 2nd symphony is a perfectly wonderful piece on its own, so again I ask: what is the point in rewriting it as a piano concerto?
Not having heard the concerto, I'm in no position to speculate. Could be it's a dud, but based upon some of the reviews here, it seems at least worth a listen. I would like Heck to weigh in on the matter since he has often criticized the orchestration of the 2nd Symphony as being too thick, or words to that effect. Perhaps rewriting it as a piano concerto provided a leaner texture. Of course, it could just be an excuse to provide a pianist with yet another virtuoso showcase.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Febnyc » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:11 am

Gosh! To think - someone had the audacity to give a different interpretation/structure to a musical composition. Well, it's been going on for years. And what's wrong with the idea anyway?

Stokowski transcribed lots of Bach music, for example - and these re-workings, besides being enormously entertaining, had the added value of introducing new listeners to the Bach originals. There is a brilliant orchestral arrangement of of Bach's Goldberg Variations, by Sitkovetsky. Mahler, himself, if I am not mistaken, did some "retouching" of Schumann. Liszt transcribed Beethoven's symphonies for piano solo. Arcadi Volodos performs Feinberg's transcription of the scherzo from Tchaikovsky's Sixth in one of the most amazing piano performances I've heard on disc. And, somewhere on my shelves lies a CD of piano transcriptions of Strauss waltzes, played by Janice Weber. Wonderful!

So, often, for me, the transcriptions are as interesting as the originals. Actually, I'd rather listen to Stokowski's orchestral version of Bach's great Toccata and Fugue than the original organ solo.

I don't see anything wrong with the Rachmaninoff "Fifth" Concerto - it doesn't measure up to the original, but that's OK with me. I enjoy listening anyway - if nothing else, its shortcomings emphasize to me why I like the Second Symphony so much.

(And PS - The concerto version does, indeed, have a leaner texture.)

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by GK » Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:14 am

Let's not forget that Mozart, needing some quick cash, rewrote his oboe concerto for flute. I prefer the flute version to the oboe one.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by diegobueno » Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:09 am

GK wrote:Let's not forget that Mozart, needing some quick cash, rewrote his oboe concerto for flute. I prefer the flute version to the oboe one.
And just how is this relevant?

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by diegobueno » Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:39 am

Febnyc wrote:Gosh! To think - someone had the audacity to give a different interpretation/structure to a musical composition. Well, it's been going on for years. And what's wrong with the idea anyway?

Stokowski transcribed lots of Bach music, for example - and these re-workings, besides being enormously entertaining, had the added value of introducing new listeners to the Bach originals. There is a brilliant orchestral arrangement of of Bach's Goldberg Variations, by Sitkovetsky. Mahler, himself, if I am not mistaken, did some "retouching" of Schumann. Liszt transcribed Beethoven's symphonies for piano solo. Arcadi Volodos performs Feinberg's transcription of the scherzo from Tchaikovsky's Sixth in one of the most amazing piano performances I've heard on disc. And, somewhere on my shelves lies a CD of piano transcriptions of Strauss waltzes, played by Janice Weber. Wonderful![/b]
But this is all totally irrelevant, although I agree that novelty can be fun. I hope you apply the same sense of exploration and fun to listening to new music as you do to new versions of old music.

But the problem is, these things you mention are all arrangements, works which preserve the form and sequence of events of the original works and transfer them to different instrumental forces. This "Rach 5" is no such thing. Indeed, the original medium of performance, ie the orchestra, is still there (although apparently even the orchesetration has been tampered with in order to make it "leaner"). The solo piano is the big addition here, and since the symphony contains nothing in the way of Rach's lumbering arpeggio-saturated solo piano writing, that all had to be invented from scratch. In order to make it a piano concerto, themes which were stated once would have to be stated twice, once as an orchestral tutti, and then as a soloistic rumination in the piano. All sorts of pianistic filigree would have to be invented by Mr. Hackarranger and laid over whatever remained of Rach's ideas, space would have to be made for cadenzas. The scherzo was removed and little bits of it worked into the other movements. Whereas the symphony has the advantage of being 100% Rachmaninoff, the concerto is maybe 75% Rach and 25% Hackarranger.

In other words, you think you're getting a new Rachmaninoff concerto, but you're not. You're getting a new composition by Mr. Hackarranger based on Rach's ideas. In the same way that the Schoenberg String Quartet Concerto is not a work by Handel, this new concerto is not a work by Rachmaninoff. The Schoenberg is of interest because Schoenberg is a major creative figure in his own right* and brings his own fascinating musical personality to the table. Perhaps the same can be said for Mr. Hackarranger; perhaps his ideas are equal in strength and originality and personality to Rachmaninoff's, in which case I would have to salute him. Somehow, though, I seriously doubt it.

And why does a symphony need to be a concerto, anyway? What is gained by this recomposition (except for leaner orchestration, though no one except Heck seems to be bothered by Rach's own orchestration)? Do all these cascades of arpeggios and pianistic filler add in any way to the expressive content of the music, or do we just have this image of Rachmaninoff as a composer of piano concertos cemented in our brain and we won't accept anything he has to say unless there's a piano up in front of the orchestra? What's next? The Symphony no. 3 Piano Concerto? The Symphonic Dances Piano Concerto? The All Night Vigil Piano Concerto?



* (though my own personal assessment of the Schoenberg String Quartet Concerto is that it's an odd beast that sounds neither like Handel nor Schoenberg

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by SaulChanukah » Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:55 am

diegobueno wrote:Somebody tell me again, what's the point of rewriting a symphony as a piano concerto?
You get to hear the ideas and the phrases of the symphony more clearly. Sometimes these phrases get to be swallowed up by the grand-scale sound of the symphony.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by maestrob » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:00 am

diegobueno:

Schoenberg also reorchestrated the first piano quartet of Brahms into a mishmosh with clanking cymbals and other overblown orchestration: it sounds quite un-Brahmsian to my ears, sort of Busoni grafted onto Brahms, if you catch my drift.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by diegobueno » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:08 am

maestrob wrote:diegobueno:

Schoenberg also reorchestrated the first piano quartet of Brahms into a mishmosh with clanking cymbals and other overblown orchestration: it sounds quite un-Brahmsian to my ears, sort of Busoni grafted onto Brahms, if you catch my drift.
It reminds me of Mahler, actually. But at least there, he limited himself to merely arranging Brahms' music to a different instrumental medium. He did not add any passages of his own or take away passages from Brahms.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Febnyc » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:32 am

diegobueno wrote: But this is all totally irrelevant, although I agree that novelty can be fun. I hope you apply the same sense of exploration and fun to listening to new music as you do to new versions of old music.

But the problem is, these things you mention are all arrangements, works which preserve the form and sequence of events of the original works and transfer them to different instrumental forces. This "Rach 5" is no such thing. Indeed, the original medium of performance, ie the orchestra, is still there (although apparently even the orchesetration has been tampered with in order to make it "leaner"). The solo piano is the big addition here, and since the symphony contains nothing in the way of Rach's lumbering arpeggio-saturated solo piano writing, that all had to be invented from scratch. In order to make it a piano concerto, themes which were stated once would have to be stated twice, once as an orchestral tutti, and then as a soloistic rumination in the piano. All sorts of pianistic filigree would have to be invented by Mr. Hackarranger and laid over whatever remained of Rach's ideas, space would have to be made for cadenzas. The scherzo was removed and little bits of it worked into the other movements. Whereas the symphony has the advantage of being 100% Rachmaninoff, the concerto is maybe 75% Rach and 25% Hackarranger.

In other words, you think you're getting a new Rachmaninoff concerto, but you're not. You're getting a new composition by Mr. Hackarranger based on Rach's ideas. In the same way that the Schoenberg String Quartet Concerto is not a work by Handel, this new concerto is not a work by Rachmaninoff. The Schoenberg is of interest because Schoenberg is a major creative figure in his own right* and brings his own fascinating musical personality to the table. Perhaps the same can be said for Mr. Hackarranger; perhaps his ideas are equal in strength and originality and personality to Rachmaninoff's, in which case I would have to salute him. Somehow, though, I seriously doubt it.

And why does a symphony need to be a concerto, anyway? What is gained by this recomposition (except for leaner orchestration, though no one except Heck seems to be bothered by Rach's own orchestration)? Do all these cascades of arpeggios and pianistic filler add in any way to the expressive content of the music, or do we just have this image of Rachmaninoff as a composer of piano concertos cemented in our brain and we won't accept anything he has to say unless there's a piano up in front of the orchestra? What's next? The Symphony no. 3 Piano Concerto? The Symphonic Dances Piano Concerto? The All Night Vigil Piano Concerto?

* (though my own personal assessment of the Schoenberg String Quartet Concerto is that it's an odd beast that sounds neither like Handel nor Schoenberg
Thanks for the interesting response.

Irrelevant or not in your world, I am happy to say that, your disparagement of him notwithstanding, I'm quite ready to hear Mr Hackarranger's version (or Mr Addinsell's - or Leonard Pennario's) take on Rachmaninoff. It does no harm; no music scores were sacrificed to make the product; it piques my interest; and, finally, often forces me to realize how masterful is the original work itself!

You should give a listen to the piano concerto version of Pictures at an Exhibition. Uh, oh - now I'll launch another paragraph of invective. Well, it's worth mentioning, anyway. Now I will duck for cover.

And, by the way, I love the Schoenberg orchestration of the Brahms Piano Quartet. And also Rubbra's version of the Handel Variations. And Busoni's brilliant takes on Bach. And...

I guess I'm doomed to be an inveterate lowlife and artless listener, unappreciative of the finer points of music. I'll just wallow in my insensitivity.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Febnyc » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:37 am

I'm curious, Señor Bueno - what is your opinion of Liszt's many paraphrases on opera themes? Where do these "transcriptions" fit in your catalog? Are they arrangements or they tampered-with reconstructions? And are you satisfied to listen to them? Is Liszt a cousin of Mr Hackarranger? Or does he get a pass because of his own genius?

Thanks in advance, Mark, for your thoughts.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by karlhenning » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:45 am

Febnyc wrote:I'm curious, Señor Bueno - what is your opinion of Liszt's many paraphrases on opera themes? Where do these "transcriptions" fit in your catalog? Are they arrangements or they tampered-with reconstructions? And are you satisfied to listen to them? Is Liszt a cousin of Mr Hackarranger? Or does he get a pass because of his own genius?
I'm not Mark, but I'll offer my own opinion.

1. Liszt earns the license, partly thanks to his native genius.

2. Liszt earns the license, partly because in his time, he was performing a service to audiences; there were no cd's, radios or cassettes in his day, and his piano arrangements made music available to a wider audience via his extensive recitals.

3. I am quite satisfied to listen to Liszt's paraphrases; and honestly, it is a satisfaction which (e.g.) Stoki's Bach transcriptions do not afford me.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by karlhenning » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:47 am

Incidentally, I turned pages for an organist who played the Toccata & Fugue in D Minor as a postlude last Sunday. There is a thrill in witnessing an organist negotiate this piece at the console, which is entirely missing from any orchestral transcription.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Febnyc » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:24 am

And, Mark - have you heard the orchestral transcription of Liszt's B Minor Sonata, done by Leo Weiner? It is completely true to the original; there appears to be neither a note deducted nor added. If you missed this one, give it a try. The work comes across powerfully, and it was configured by a composer with credentials, in this case.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by diegobueno » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:26 pm

Febnyc wrote:
Irrelevant or not in your world, I am happy to say that, your disparagement of him notwithstanding, I'm quite ready to hear Mr Hackarranger's version (or Mr Addinsell's - or Leonard Pennario's) take on Rachmaninoff. It does no harm; no music scores were sacrificed to make the product; it piques my interest; and, finally, often forces me to realize how masterful is the original work itself!

You should give a listen to the piano concerto version of Pictures at an Exhibition. Uh, oh - now I'll launch another paragraph of invective. Well, it's worth mentioning, anyway. Now I will duck for cover.

And, by the way, I love the Schoenberg orchestration of the Brahms Piano Quartet. And also Rubbra's version of the Handel Variations. And Busoni's brilliant takes on Bach. And...

I guess I'm doomed to be an inveterate lowlife and artless listener, unappreciative of the finer points of music. I'll just wallow in my insensitivity.
Well you can start by being sensitive to the different levels there are of mucking up someone else's music. :)

No, really, as all these examples show, there are many different levels. The reason I called your examples irrelevant is that they simply are not at the same level of mucking around (hereby known as the MAI, Mucking Around Index).

First of all there's Mozart arranging his Oboe Concerto for flute. No big deal. Composers are allowed to muck around with their own music all they want. MAI = 0. Or Richard Addinsell writing the Warsaw Concerto. This is all Addinsell's work. He did not take any actual Rachmaninoff composition, just the style, which is open to anyone to use. It may not be very original to copy someone else's style, but it doesn't fall under the heading of "mucking around". MAI = 0

Mahler touching up Schumann's orchestration is a fairly uninvasive procedure, for example. You still have the same Schumann symphony for the same forces that Schumann wrote for, and mostly the same notes that Schumann wrote. This is a Level One MAI.

Arrangements potentially could have a wide range of MAI readings, but good ones would score on the low side. A viola playing the solo part in a violin concerto, for instance, might warrant a MAI = 2 rating (darker sound, some notes being taken down an octave, but otherwise the same). A flute playing the solo part instead of a violin concerto might warrant an MAI of 3. But an accordian or musical saw playing the solo part in the Brahms Violin Concerto, on the other hand is more like MAI = 3 to the 100th power. An orchestration of a piano work would invovle, let's say, an MAI rating in the double digits* Leo Weiner's Liszt Sonata orchestration, or Rubbra's Brahms Handel Variations being very respectful to the originals, could get an MAI of 10 or 11 or so. Schoenberg's Brahms Quartet orchestration, which is faithful to the notes, but very fanciful in its choice of instruments (I love the fast 16th notes given to the trombones in the last movement) might rate somewhere in the 20s.

When we get to Liszt operatic paraphrases, we're moving quite a bit farther along in the way of mucking about. You get Rossini's or Bellini's famous tunes strung together with a lot of flashy passagework. I'm not a big fan of this kind of piece, but if Liszt is the one doing the paraphrasing there's bound to be something of interest. Because, of course, the more one mucks, the more it is up to the mucker to supply the musical interest.

There's a whole genre of 20th century composition that consists of taking older music and completely messing around** with it. Stravinsky's Pulcinella or Schoenberg's String Quartet Concerto have extremely high MAI indexes, and of course in Berio's Sinfonia the MAI index is completely off the charts. In all of these cases, the mucker gets full compositional credit.

* I hope you understand by now that my attempt to quantify the various levels is not intended terribly seriously

** Scholars have long debated the relationship between messing around and mucking around. Some say the two terms are synonymous, others take the position that mucking around carries a far greater weight. The issue was finally put to rest with the universal adoption of the MAI standards as issued by the International Committee on Messing and Mucking in 1997.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by pizza » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:38 am

diegobueno wrote:** Scholars have long debated the relationship between messing around and mucking around. Some say the two terms are synonymous, others take the position that mucking around carries a far greater weight. The issue was finally put to rest with the universal adoption of the MAI standards as issued by the International Committee on Messing and Mucking in 1997.
So who were the last of the truly great muck/messers? Or is it mess/muckers? Do direct quotes count? Shostakovich for his Symphony 15? Ives for his Concord Sonata? What about Respighi for his La Boutique Fantasque? And how about Ravel and Stokowski for their orchestral versions of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition? And how can we forget Earl Wild's Gershwin Fantasy? The lis(z)t must be endless! :wink:

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by diegobueno » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:34 am

pizza wrote: So who were the last of the truly great muck/messers?
Sextus Muckmesser is the villain of Ardrich Nerwag's Die Meisterbäter von Nurnburg, a comic opera made entirely out of Leitmotive from other composers' operas.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by karlhenning » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:42 am

pizza wrote:And how can we forget Earl Wild's Gershwin Fantasy?
One cannot forget what one does not know; that sounds like fun, to be sure.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by absinthe » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:04 pm

Febnyc wrote:And, Mark - have you heard the orchestral transcription of Liszt's B Minor Sonata, done by Leo Weiner? It is completely true to the original; there appears to be neither a note deducted nor added. If you missed this one, give it a try. The work comes across powerfully, and it was configured by a composer with credentials, in this case.
What the f*** is up with this site. I signed in and got timed out for spending about 5 mins on a post. Shi'ite!

I was trying to say: I haven't heard this orchestration but it would probably come over as a different work. That Sonata is so utterly pianistic and bravura, dependent so often on the sonorities and timbral effects of the piano. For example the opening bars or the hammered chords following those horrid two-handed octave arpegii - heaven help someone orchestrating them literally, they'd be mud. But they work on the piano. Expand the chords out to make an orchestration feasible and they lose that acerbic impact, that darkly triumphal sound... But I could pick a hundred parts of that score that would be orchestrable but cease to be Liszt's H moll Sonata.

I'll keep a watch for it on the radio and be as open-minded as I can. Can't raise any basic objection as Liszt did enough rearranging (with brilliant effect - just listen to his Beethoven's 9th) just the quesiton of whether it would actually work without transforming into something else.

I did hear an arrangement of Tchaikowsky's 1812 Overture for a recorder quartet and cap-gun, so I suppose anything can be done really!

(still editing) - ok, done now.
Last edited by absinthe on Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Sylph » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:06 pm

absinthe wrote:What the f*** is up with this site. I signed in and got timed out for spending about 5 mins on a post. Shi'ite!

[My, my! :mrgreen:

Have you ever tried using Notepad for typing your posts and then using Copy / Paste.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:12 pm

Hey Smitty, welcome to our little virtual village...post often and ask questions, we love answering questions...
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by absinthe » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:16 pm

Sylph wrote:
[My, my! :mrgreen:

Have you ever tried using Notepad for typing your posts and then using Copy / Paste.
But isn't this "message body" supposed to be THE notepad? Kinell!!! I mean, Holy Mackerel...it allows you to type in up to 100,000 characters and that's a friggin novella and a half...

Surely it doesn't expect you to post that lot in 5 minutes...especially not when complaining of these people pillorying Liszt's music....

Quick...pass the jam....

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:38 pm

Time to buy a Mac methinks... :wink:
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by absinthe » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:40 pm

pizza wrote: And how can we forget Earl Wild's Gershwin Fantasy? The lis(z)t must be endless! :wink:
Did you mean his Fantasy on Porgy and Bess or the Gershwin Studies? I can't even believe they're playable - at first I thought Earl Wild was doing a Zez Confrey who "edited" his piano rolls to include impossible doublings etc. But no, I have the music of the Fantasy here and it's seriously demanding. I learned (or almost learned) the "Summertime" section (page 4). For being a very beautiful arrangement (certainly draws more than glances in the Candlelight Room) it's still full of hugely difficult stuff. A very beautiful work and it'd take a lifetime for most people to play it like Earl Wild does.

Nice one.
:)

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by absinthe » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:42 pm

Chalkperson wrote:Time to buy a Mac methinks... :wink:
Well, I already have a dirty old one but use it for something quite different. I got arrested, last time....




:lol:

Sylph

Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Sylph » Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:37 pm

Chalkperson wrote:Time to buy a Mac methinks... :wink:
What does Mac have to do with absinthe's problems?

And, BTW, absinthe, I need that trumpet reply!! :mrgreen:

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:55 pm

Sylph wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:Time to buy a Mac methinks... :wink:
What does Mac have to do with absinthe's problems?

And, BTW, absinthe, I need that trumpet reply!! :mrgreen:
Nothing except that it gives me a chance to plug Mac's, I have about fifteen, I love my Mac, it loves me too... :wink:
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Sylph » Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:59 pm

I am not surprised, Mac's are a must for your profession.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Lance » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:46 pm

I spoke with our CMG techie sometime ago after we installed new software, and I lost a long, well-thought-out response to something. I could never replicate it again, so I never bothered at all.

We are SUPPOSED to have, I believe, TWO HOURS, before you're kicked off the site for no activity (i.e., writing a long post, walking away, coming back to finish up and pressing submit, only to learn it's gone). Sometimes, too, I have hit the go-back arrow and have fortunately retrieved the lost work of art! If the two-hour thing is not working, I will be in touch with our techie again. It was formerly one hour, as I recall. Please keep me posted on this if you experience problems.

Please keep me posted. After I lost the post referred to above, I began writing longer ones in word, then copying and pasting. That works very well, too, but don't delete your Word file until you KNOW that your post definitely appears on CMG.
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:20 pm

You have to manually click the arrow to go back now with the new software, and Command Z on a Mac does not revert to what you typed and just changed either any more, less errors/mistakes that way...
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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by slofstra » Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:25 pm

First, here's a tip on preserving your posts on a PC. I do this whenever I write more than a couple of sentences. First type control-A. This selects the entire post. Then type control-C. This saves the entire post into a buffer. Two key strokes, and your post is safe. Try it right now. Nothing much should happen visibly but your typing has been saved.

BUT, let's say that you hit submit and something happens and you lose your post. Well, just type control-V and bring the entire post back.

So try this. Make a new post, type some gobbledeegook, press control-A, then control-C. Now delete your entire post, so the box is empty. Type control-V and your entire post is back.
You can also use this technique to copy your post into Notepad or Word.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by slofstra » Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:37 pm

Couple of thoughts.

From diegobueno I get the point that this should not be called Rachmaninoff's PC 5, but Hackett's * PC # 1 based on Rachmaninoff's Symphony # 2. Seems to me that Rach invoked the name of Paginini in the same way. He just borrowed far less of Paginini than Hackett * did of him.

My main question is why did Hackett * use Symphony No.2 because it's Symphony No. 1 that would much better lend itself to adding a piano line, in my view. This has to be one of the more boring symphonies ever written, although No.2, while a great deal better, still leads me to think that Rachmaninoff was not a first rank symphonist. And I do love his concerto's, his choral work and his shorter orchestral pieces. And I will grant that the symphonies are lush, and may do better in a live setting.

* Not his real name.

A footnote. Having lately listened to Mahler's touch-up of Schumann 2 and 4, I much prefer the more homogeneous original.

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by absinthe » Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:20 am

Although I'm generally against messing around at any level with a composer's work (aside from same composer doing the messing) I remember that one of the entry requirements for my LRAM was arranging a Chopin Mazurka for something unlikely like a brass sextet or something. Quite a challenge. So I suppose it's part of a budding composer's tool-kit and many composers try to get their names in the lime lights by rearranging the work of more famous composers, sometimes with good effect, sometimes bad and quite unnecessary. I'd never have heard of Cerha but for his tinkering with Berg's work.
slofstra wrote:First, here's a tip on preserving your posts on a PC. I do this whenever I write more than a couple of sentences. First type control-A. This selects the entire post. Then type control-C. This saves the entire post into a buffer. Two key strokes, and your post is safe. Try it right now. Nothing much should happen visibly but your typing has been saved.
I usually do but sometimes forget. I didn't expect to get timed out after just a few minutes though!

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Re: Rachmaninoff Concerto

Post by Seán » Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:55 pm

smitty1931 wrote:Have any of you posters heard the new recording of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 5? This is a version of his 2nd symphony rewritten as a piano concerto. As an avid fan of his music I find it an absolute delight. The arranger/composer Alexander Warenberg certainly captured Rachmaninoff's style. I am sure some purists will hate it, but give it a try. I think you will like it. Brilliant Classics 8900
Hello Smitty and welcome to the Forum. I saw that disc in Tower today. I thought that I had read a comment on it previously, wasn't sure if it was favourable and didn't buy it. :roll: I will have to get it next time I go shopping for CDs.
Seán

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