Rachmaninoff’s “Elegie” is personally one of the most emotional pieces I have ever played, to the point where I found it incredibly difficult to play unless I was in an overwhelming emotional state. In a way, my active emotions would act as a direct link to my rendition of the piece, allowing for the melodic lines and gentle phrases to be better interpreted. The opening of this work is perhaps the most crucial moment; the first note of the main theme must be played at a perfect velocity to establish precedent for the rest of the theme. As you transition into the climactic middle section, the heaviness and intensity of it acts as an outlet for emotions. Ending with a recapitulation of the first theme and another climactic ending, the second half of the Elegie combines both intensities and creates an assertive, powerful ending.

As you take a look at the photo, you will notice that it is just a pastel color. From the moment I first heard this piece and needed to play it, this was the color I not only saw, but felt like an emotion.

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Dr. Marcia Bosits
Dr. Marcia Bosits(@marcia-bosits)
26 days ago

Picture This artwork is a block of pastel color. You did describe it as representing the piece for you in a general, emotional way.However, some of us might find that a uniform, unvarying palette lacks the intensity and climatic aspects of the Rachmaninoff piece you are presenting. Intro You gave a valid description of the structure of the piece as it relates to its musical contour. We do become interested in a musical work from the first note we hear, but I think velocity is less important than sound quality. Your listeners/viewers can appreciate your relationship to the piece, especially when you go beyond writing about your emotional state of mind and include terms such as intensity, climax, tone, etc. which convey elements connected to the essence of music. Performance You demonstrate fluidity and a sense of phrasing – your use of a flexible wrist helps you create melodic contour. Rubato is used in a stylistically appropriate manner. This piece has a vocal quality in its melodic material. Be careful that you don’t “squeeze” or compress triplets and other rhythmic groupings. Instead, think of these notes as filling out the melodic line and giving it continuity. Your ending is effective.… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Dr. Marcia Bosits
Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
1 month ago

I’m so glad you’re sharing this particular piece with the world, Alex. As you said, it is seething with emotions, and has quite an impact on the listener as well as the performer. Your performance is impeccable, and it’s a delight to hear you play. I thought you got the first note of the theme just right. The piano is such a challenging instrument to play, with the notes decaying as soon as they are played. Your understanding of the instrument is vital for this outstanding performance. Your range of dynamics and expression, from soft gentle reflective moments to the crashing of more intense emotions, indicate a young man who is able to feel deeply, and express those feelings in very meaningful ways. I’m intrigued by the pastel color you selected for your picture. What emotion(s) does it represent to you? I don’t have synesthesia like Messiaen or Scriabin, but if I were asked to select a color for this piece it would probably be a dark burgundy with moments of coppery red. Isn’t it interesting how all our senses can be engaged, and in different ways? Congratulations on another wonderful presentation. Hope you’re enjoying the exciting new world of… Read more »

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

Hello, Alex. I love the intense emotions you draw me in while looking at and listening to your performance. Lovely presentation. Well done. 

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Lola Mestas
Lola Mestas(@lola-mestas)
1 month ago

I love the feeling you put into the piece.

Myles Spencer
Myles Spencer(@myles-spencer)
26 days ago

Alex,
I have been a fan of yours since your performance of the Lark ascending in the last contest. You play so beautifully, and it is always so refreshing to hear. Your music has a sound that is not crafted in the practice room or in knowledge of technique, though these things amplify it and polish it to make it shine, but is only born out of a deep passion and love for music. This sound enraptures you and causes you to hang onto every note until the end of the performance.
I thoroughly enjoyed your performance, and I would love to hear you perform in person one day; I still have your lark ascending performance floating in my mind!
Please, keep making beautiful music.
Bravo!

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