The Early Years of Rachmaninoff

« previous episode | next episode »

Thursday, April 24, 2014

This week the Great Russian Piano Tradition explores the first half of the musical life of Sergei Rachmaninoff. He was a composer of greatness and is one of the towering figures in the history of the piano.

His playing astounded many, his musical memory and sight-reading abilities were second to none and he left a body of work that's often performed to this day. Host David Dubal focuses on Rachmaninoff’s very strict musical education, his struggle with writer’s block and the compositions that poured out of him during his youth.

Program playlist:

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Prelude in C sharp minor, Op 3 No 2
Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op 1: Mvt. 3
Bryon Janis, piano; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Fritz Reiner, conductor
Sony Classical

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Prelude: Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Op. 17
Lyubov Bruk and Mark Taimanov, piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Prelude in B minor, Op. 32 No. 10
Alexis Weissenberg, piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Moment musical in E flat minor, Op. 16 No. 16
Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Pagaini, Op. 43: Variation XVIII: Andante cantabile
Van Cliburn, piano; Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra; Kiril Kondrashin, conductor
RCA Victor

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Etude-Tableau in C, Op. 33 No. 2
Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Etude-Tableau in E-flat, Op. 33 No. 7
Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op. 32 No. 1 in C
Sviatoslav Richter, piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op. 23 No. 7 in C minor
Sviatoslav Richter, piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Sonata No. 2, Op. 36: Mvt 3
Vladimir Horowitz, piano

Comments [3]

Lena Miremonde

Although about the grand Russian Tradition, it also portrays the supremacy of the piano as the instrument of classical music's Golden Age in the 20'th century.
As with all his programs, this magnificent series speaks of David Dubal's own artistry as a Renaissance Man who continues to bring us such fascinating and beautiful broadcasts. With heartfelt gratitude, we continue to listen…

May. 04 2014 12:46 AM
Dan F from Pleasantville, NY

Just a minor correction: the cemetery where Rachmaninoff is buried is Kensico, in Valhalla, not Kenisco.

May. 01 2014 09:05 PM
GCL from Astoria

This selection, as with all in the series are all good examples of the best Russia had to offer in the way of the piano. However David given that you're a pianist yourself, what about contributing to the list by playing selected compositions? They can be as simple as you choose, or as complicated. Or if you aren't already doing so, you can spend time breaking down selected works on your favorite instrument.

Apr. 24 2014 12:49 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.