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Thread: Help needed! How should I play these notes?

  1. #1
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    Default Help needed! How should I play these notes?

    Hello
    From time to time I encounter these notes on the sheet but I am not very sure how they should be played (piano)
    Untitled.png

    Take the leftmost one as example. For the right hand, the (G, A#) and (E octave) are separated on the sheet. Do I play (G,A#) then (E octave) very quickly, or the 4 notes altogether? Listening to recordings it sounds to be all 4 notes at once. Are they separated on the score because the notes are of different duration

    I'm sorry if it's a really obvious question. I received close to none formal training and don't know how to describe and google for it.
    Any help is greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by rice; Feb-02-2020 at 09:04.

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    They are played together. The reason for the notation is to clarify that the octave crotchets are the theme and the inner minims are harmonic and yes, there is a distinction between them because the rhythm of the tune does not match the harmonic flow.

    Playing on the piano, one should give more weight to the crotchet octaves to make the theme 'sing'.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Feb-02-2020 at 10:39.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    They are played together. The reason for the notation is to clarify that the octave crotchets are the theme and the inner minims are harmonic and yes, there is a distinction between them because the rhythm of the tune does not match the harmonic flow.

    Playing on the piano, one should give more weight to the crotchet octaves to make the theme 'sing'.
    Thank you so much for the elaborate answer!
    Last edited by rice; Feb-02-2020 at 11:28.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, this looks like a passage from Rachmaninoff, who was known for his superior fingering technique that enabled him to bring out counterpoint crystal-clear. For those not gifted with gigantic hands, the pedal can be used lightly to stress the sustained inner voices. But not so much, so as to muddy up the counterpoint! But yes, a good basic approach would be to sing out the octave melody and don't worry so much about the inner voice. It will "take care of itself", so to speak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, this looks like a passage from Rachmaninoff, who was known for his superior fingering technique that enabled him to bring out counterpoint crystal-clear. For those not gifted with gigantic hands, the pedal can be used lightly to stress the sustained inner voices. But not so much, so as to muddy up the counterpoint! But yes, a good basic approach would be to sing out the octave melody and don't worry so much about the inner voice. It will "take care of itself", so to speak.
    It's from Bortkiewicz's piano sonata no.2. His compositions do have some resemblance to Rachmaninoff's. (from my extremely limited experience learning both their 2nd piano sonatas)
    Thanks for the tip! As a clumsy amateur I wish I'd be able to make use of the advice

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