Homework for you

Rachmaninov Etudes Tableaux Analysis Essay

Rating: 4.7/5.0 (15 Votes)

Category: Essay


Complete Preludes and Etudes-Tableaux by Sergei Rachmaninoff

Complete Preludes and Etudes-Tableaux

The 24 preludes and 17 etudes-tableaux of Serge Rachmaninoff include what are possibly his finest compositions for solo piano. Each of these masterly works is included in this complete collection, reproduced from recent, authoritative RussianMore The 24 preludes and 17 etudes-tableaux of Serge Rachmaninoff include what are possibly his finest compositions for solo piano. Each of these masterly works is included in this complete collection, reproduced from recent, authoritative Russian editions. They include: Prelude, Op. 3, No. 2; Ten Preludes, Op. 23; Thirteen Preludes, Op. 32; Eight Etudes-tableaux, Op. 33; Nine Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39. Among these are the enormously popular C-sharp minor prelude, Op. 3, No. 2; the G-minor prelude, Op. 23, No. 5; and the B-minor prelude, Op. 32, No. 10 — classics that have made Rachmaninoff one of the most performed and recorded modern composers.
Each of these works reflects Rachmaninoff's emotional intensity, his thrilling gifts as a melodist and his ability to crystallize perfectly a particular mood or sentiment. In their sonorous textures and rich embellishment, they reflect as well his sovereign command of keyboard technique and his spectacular gifts as a pianist (he was one of the very greatest pianists of the 20th century). This beautifully produced yet inexpensive edition will provide both amateur and professional pianists a lifetime of study and enjoyment, and will afford music lovers as well the deep pleasures of following, music in hand, live and recorded performances of these keyboard masterpieces. Less

Get a copy Friends’ Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up .

Community Reviews

Jean Christophe rated it it was amazing

over 1 year ago

Sepehr rakhshande rated it liked it

over 9 years ago

Ali rated it did not like it

over 9 years ago

Other articles

Etudes Tableaux, Op

Etudes Tableaux, Op. 39

Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote his Études-Tableaux, Op. 39, between 1916 and 1917, and published them in 1917. The Études Tableaux are two sets of piano pieces intended to evoke visual stimulae. Even though Rachmaninoff did not disclose the inspiration behind each piece in public, he shared them with Italian composer Ottorino Respighi when he orchestrated the Etudes in 1930. For his Op. 39 set, Rachmaninoff studied and analized the style of his contemporaries Scriabin and Prokofiev. Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote his Études-Tableaux, Op. 39, between 1916 and 1917, and published them in 1917. The Études Tableaux are two sets of piano pieces intended to evoke visual stimulae. Even though Rachmaninoff did not disclose the inspiration behind each piece in public, he shared them with Italian composer Ottorino Respighi when he orchestrated the Etudes in 1930. For his Op. 39 set, Rachmaninoff studied and analized the style of his contemporaries Scriabin and Prokofiev. less

This sheet contains the following parts:

Etudes Tableaux, Op. 39 - Complete Score

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day.

Popular Composers

Help Us Get More Free Music

If you enjoy the music here or want to support our efforts, please consider donating.

Tudes-Tableaux - The Full Wiki

Études-Tableaux: Wikis From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Études-tableaux ("study pictures") are two sets of piano études composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff. arranged under opus numbers 33 and 39.

These sets were supposed to be "picture pieces", though Rachmaninoff did not disclose what each piece suggests, stating, "I don't believe in the artist that discloses too much of his images. Let them paint for themselves what it most suggests." [ 1 ]

The Op. 33 etudes were originally meant to comprise nine etudes when Rachmaninoff wrote them at Ivanovka. The composer decided to publish only six of them in 1911. Numbers three and five were published posthumously and are often inserted among the six etudes; number four was transferred to Op. 39, where it appears as number six of that set. (As a consequence, many recordings omit it from Op. 33).

  • No. 1 in F minor
This piece is a study on alternating hands and syncopations. The piece shifts unsteadily throughout in time signature from 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, and 3/2. Some find parallels between this piece and Chopin 's Etude Op. 25 No. 4. jestingly saying that Rachmaninoff played it while writing this etude. [ 2 ]
  • No. 2 in C major
  • No. 3 in C minor
  • No. 4 in A minor
  • No. 5 in D minor
  • No. 6 (published as No. 3) in E-flat minor
  • No. 7 (4) in E-flat major
Nicknamed "Scene at the Fair" as confessed by Rachmaninoff himself to Respighi [ 1 ]. the piece conjures a playful and vibrant atmosphere, with its blaring fanfare opening thirds and wild alternating chords. The middle section poses a great pianistic problem with huge leaps of the hand that lead to chordal actions, which at points are 10th chords, rendering playing the figures at the correct tempo much more difficult. The piece requires strength, precision, endurance, rhythmic control, and dynamic and tonal balance. [ 1 ]
  • No. 8 (5) in G minor
A melancholy piece whose sixteenth note accompaniment interweaves between hands. The main difficulty of the piece is facilitating smooth alterations with the hands without affecting the fluency of the melody.
  • No. 9 (6) in C-sharp minor
A big, loud piece with prevalent patterns of leaps in the left hand, creating a huge roar. The piece has grand dissonances but also contains a gorgeous romantic interlude.

Published in 1917, this is the last substantial composition written by Rachmaninoff while still in Russia and shows a marked departure from his previous work. Rachmaninoff had been listening keenly to his contemporaries Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Prokofiev. and had studied Scriabin's works to prepare a memorial recital in which Rachmaninoff himself played in Scriabin's honor. Though he was roundly criticized for his overly-analytical approach in his playing and overall lack of capturing the free-flying spirit that Scriabin had summoned so well in his own pianism, the compositional seeds resulting from his studying Scriabin's work had been planted. A melodic angularity and harmonic pungency appeared in these etudes as well as in his Op. 38 songs, which were written concurrently. Those who think Rachmaninoff lost his way as a composer after he left Russia in 1917 would do well to hear or study these pieces. They show he was experimenting restlessly well before the Bolshevik revolution, and illustrate how his observation of musical trends around him helped mold and shape his future work.

  • No. 1 in C minor
This agitated, passionate étude exploits some of the piano's resources almost unrelentingly, demanding a tireless right hand, an often daringly syncopated left hand and considerable dexterity to illuminate inner voices. Technically, the music is in an almost continual climax. [ 3 ] It bears a resemblance to Chopin's Prelude in E flat minor.
  • No. 2 in A minor
Also known as "The Sea and the Seagulls". Though technically simple, the work contains many musical textures that make it a difficult study in touch. This melancholy piece requires much restraint from the performer to project the sedate mood of this etude. A sensitive performance is required to keep the performance from being monotonous. The technical workings of the etude is the 2 over 3 timing, the crossing hands, and large span of the arpeggiated figures for the left hand. The ending is tragic and poetic.
  • No. 3 in F-sharp minor
  • No. 4 in B minor
  • No. 5 in E-flat minor
  • No. 6 in A minor
This aggressive and daunting piece opens with threatening chromatic octave runs low on the keyboard, answered by quick, chattering treble figures that eventually transform themselves into a march. The music grows hectic and, having reached presto. sounds nearly out of control. The effect of the piece is seemingly mysterious yet fully unified. [ 4 ] Referred to as "Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf" [ 5 ]. the piece ends with the chromatic runs sounding as though the wolf swallowed Red Riding Hood whole. [ 6 ] This piece was originally the fourth etude of the Op. 33 set. Since it exhibits all the pianistic, rhythmic and harmonic features that characterize the Op, 39 set, we can assume Rachmaninoff revised this piece extensively before including it here. [ 4 ]
  • No. 7 in C minor
  • No. 8 in D minor
This piece is a lyrical and musical study of double notes. It requires precise pedaling, flexible and independent figures, and agility. The piece has very long, defined legato melodic lines that are contrasted by a staccato middle section. [ 1 ]
  • No. 9 in D major

Problems listening to this file? See media help.


In 1929, conductor and music publisher Serge Koussevitsky asked whether Rachmaninoff would select a group of études tableaux for Italian composer Ottorino Respighi to orchestrate. The commissioned orchestrations would be published by Koussevitsky's firm and Koussevitsky would conduct their premiere with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Rachmaninoff responded favorably, selecting five etudes from Opp. 33 and 39. Respighi rearranged the order of etudes, but was otherwise faithful to the composer's intent. He gave each etude a distinct title from the programmatic clues Rachmaninoff had given him: [ 7 ]

  1. La Mer et Les Mouettes (The Sea and the Seagulls) (Op. 39 No. 2)
  2. La Foire (The Fair) (Op. 33 No. 7)
  3. Marche Funebre (Funeral March) (Op. 39 No. 7)
  4. La Chaperon Rouge et Le Loupe (Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf) (Op. 39 No. 6)
  5. Marche (March) (Op. 39 No. 9)
References External links

Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No

Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No.2 & Etudes-Tableaux [1993]

Because Rachmaninoff's music mirrors the Russian culture, I have often noted that no one plays Rachmaninoff like a Russian. Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Etudes-Tableaux, played by the Russian Evgeny Kissin, is unparalleled in mastery, beauty, and power. The album begins with one of the most sensitive interpretations of Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto that I have heard (on par with Vladimir Ashkenazy's, a fellow Russian). Kissin understands the flow of the piece from beginning to end. As a result, he builds the tension by accentuating the rich chord progressions that fill the piece. He then resolves that tension with the precision of a story-teller and the sensitivity of a master artist. Though the music stretches the ability of even the greatest pianists, Kissin plays through the difficulty in order to paint a landscape of musical progression. He hears and invites his audience to hear the intricate sub-plots that recur all throughout the work. Perhaps Rachmaninoff's most famous composition is married with a true master artist.

The album ends with six powerful Etudes-Tableaux. Once again, Kissin hears and emphasizes both the predominant theme as well as the innumerable sub-themes, often overlooked by lesser musicians. My favorite is Etude-Tableau No. 5 in E-flat minor. This extremely difficult piece builds tension through increased dissonance until a lofty climax. That dissonance almost becomes unpleasant to the ears, creating an atmosphere of extreme melancholy. I imagine that tension mirroring the inner turmoil that an individual experiences through a difficult time of life. But when that tension and internal cacophony can get no greater and the person is at the point of breaking, grace comes! The beauty of the resolution is far more beautiful against such a dark backdrop. And any person who has been through difficulties can fully enter into the emotion of the music. And anybody who is currently experiencing pain and suffering can take hope, even from this music, that resolution will come. ---Joseph W. Hyink, amazon.com

This was the first recording that I'd heard of Kissin's playing. Once I was over the amazement to the fact that he was a mere 16 years old when he recorded this, only then could I critique the performance and interpretation of these wonderful and extremely difficult works. That said - the true gems on this recording are the Etudes-Tableaux. Technically and interpretively excellent, he does wonderfully at expressing Rachmaninoffs picturesque miniatures. I've not yet heard a better recording of the #1 Etude in C-minor.To top off. the piano that he is playing on is exceptional; same quality of the pianos played by Rachmaninoff and Horowitz from the 1940's(back when Steinway "made them like they used to").The concerto leaves much to be desired.Kissin's playing is good but I don't care for some of the tempos that they use and the sound quality (mixing) is definetely lacking - particularly where the piano is concerned; too much echo.Buy this CD for the Etudes; these are among Rachmaninoff's finest works for solo piano and young Mr. Kissin does an enjoyable rendition of them; one that I think even Rachmaninoff himself could be pleased with. ---atv, amazon.com

Last Updated (Friday, 08 November 2013 13:52)

Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableau: Allegro Moderato Op

Rachmaninoff: Etude-Tableau: Allegro Moderato Op. 39 No. 9 in D Major

What customers say about pianostreet.com:

"All of my students are members of Pianostreet and many of my teacher colleagues have joined as well.
It is an excellent resource for students and teachers alike and there is very rarely any need to visit another website or music store in search of sheet music."

"As a frequent user of pianostreet.com I find it easy to navigate, great value for money and very professional. The pieces are all well-graded and the audio is really useful, especially for pieces not heard before. I have recommended the site to many of my friends who play the piano. Keep up the good work."

"Wonderful service! [. ] I have no reservation in recommending it as a �must� to all pianists, both teachers and students, amateur and professional."
Read full review >>

Dr. Robert J Keane, pianist

"I was in Poland the past summer to give 2 concerts. At the last minute they requested some Chopin, which I had not brought with me. So, I google-searched for classical downloads and found your site. I was able to print out excellent editions of the pieces I needed within minutes. To find the scores locally would have been inpossible as it was a smaller town, the nearest music store 45 minutes away."

"Piano Street has been a wonderful tool to me as both a pianist and a piano teacher. I can browse the collection for pieces I want to play and/or have my students play. The difficulty rating system that Piano Street uses enables me to search by difficulty level for pieces at my students' various playing levels. It is helpful that many of the scores include an audio clip of the piece being played. I have recommended to my advanced students that they also join Piano Street since getting sheet music from there is a much less expensive alternative to ordering and paying for the music.

Steve D. Allen, Ph.D.
Owner/Piano Teacher, Allen Music Studio
Houston, Texas
Read full letter >>