Rachmaninoff’s Fourth, the Original Version

The other day, I treated myself to the manuscript version of Rachmaninoff‘s fourth piano concerto, which I had never heard before.  This version, dated sometime in late August of 1926, is the original version of the piece that the composer premiered that year, before revising it twice to cement what we know now as his fourth concerto. Continue reading Rachmaninoff’s Fourth, the Original Version

Clarity in Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Concerto

Rachmaninoff’s fourth piano concerto is one of these works that, together with the third symphony and the Symphonic Dances, represents the last stage of the composer’s musical output. This was his least prolific period of composition, and as well the period that is vastly less popular with concert-goers. The concerto itself has neither the pianistic showmanship of the third nor the thematic inspiration of the second Continue reading Clarity in Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Concerto

San Francisco Symphony (March 5, 2010)

I bought my tickets for last night’s concert with the San Francisco Symphony last fall when I was under the spell of an almost child-like excitement over this season’s programming of popular masterworks.  In particular, the 2009-2010 season has seen the symphonies of Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Rachmaninoff, as well as a few other big names from the middle Romantic era. Continue reading San Francisco Symphony (March 5, 2010)