In previous posts I have argued that Rachmaninoff, the self-proclaimed musical conservative, was not only influenced by his more forward-looking contemporaries, but actually incorporated some of their modern harmonic devices in his music. Polytonality is the use of two different keys at once. The classic (but not earliest) example is from Stravinsky’s Petrushka: Although there… Continue reading Polytonality in Rachmaninoff
My previous blog entry on Rachmaninoff’s concertos may have raised some skepticism amongst those who consider the composer to be, whatever his other merits, a conservative in his musical language. Rachmaninoff himself helped foster this notion with quotes like “I am organically incapable of understanding modern music….” Yet a composer on personal terms with Prokofiev… Continue reading Harmonic Dissonance in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2
My blog is littered with uncompleted, overly-ambitious projects. Here is yet another one. Since I became musically conscious sometime during my childhood, I have been fond of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s music, in particular his piano concertos. I remember tape recording these pieces from my transistor radio, listening to old 78 RPM phonograph records I found in… Continue reading Blogging Project: Analyzing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concertos
I was certainly surprised to find on YouTube links to videos of a fifth piano concerto by Sergei Rachmaninoff. I quickly discovered (after listening for a few seconds) that this was an arrangement of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony for piano and orchestra. The arrangement is by pianist Alexander Warenberg (about whom I know nothing). Apparently the… Continue reading Rachmaninoff "Piano Concerto No. 5"
I was fortunate enough to attend the US premiere of Joseph Marx’s Eine Herbstsymphonie (“Autumn Symphony”) in New York City on December 7, 2008, performed by the American Symphony Orchestra. The work is regarded as Marx’s masterpiece, but aside from a performance in Austria a couple of years ago, had languished forgotten since its last… Continue reading Joseph Marx – Eine Herbstsymphonie