There is something about this piano concerto that fuels my emotions no matter how many times I listen to it. Perhaps it’s the grandeur and passion of its dark haunting melodic lines or the stark contrast of beautiful colours between movements.
Or it could simply be the creative genius of Rachmaninoff who dedicated the success of this piano concerto to Russian physician Nikolai Dahl, who helped the composer recover from several years of deep clinical depression as a result of his “failed” first symphony composed immediately before this masterpiece.
I feel a sense of excitement as 10 June 2011 draws closer because a group of friends and I will head to the Sydney Opera House to listen to this masterpiece being played by Lang Lang, whose performances todate have dazzled worldwide audiences and is widely considered the pre-eminent concert pianist of the world at the moment.
The pianist’s synopsis of this piece includes – “makes you start dreaming”, “always under pressure”, “always not comfortable”, “beautiful, huge lines that shows the landscape of Russia and the Russian soul”.
The famous song of the 70s “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen borrows heavily from melodic motives of the second movement of this piano concerto where Carmen thought was in public domain. Eventual agreement with the Rachmaninoff estate meant later writing credits also acknowledged the composer in addition to Carmen. Growing up as a 70s kid helps as this beautiful song transports me back to my childhood.
Listen to more Rachmaninoff music.
More about the concert after 10 June 2011.
- Related post – Lang Lang plays Rachmaninoff in Sydney, June 2011