Rachmaninoff as a pianist

<< Return to the events List

And now I propose to talk about Rachmaninov the pianist.

Sergey Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff is undoubtedly one of the best pianists - performers. He is unlikely to be surpassed by anyone in the sound realization of his compositions.

Although he personally said that the performance of the 3rd concerto was reserved for Horowitz. Who, indeed, plays this most difficult concerto just great.

Is it better than Rachmaninoff? I'm not sure. Horowitz was and still is one of the most famous pianists. Rachmaninoff was well aware of that.

And, no matter how famous he was, nobody can cancel marketing. And besides, he and Horowitz were good friends.

Richter's playing of the 2nd concerto is amazing. But I advise everyone to hear it played by Rachmaninoff!

Fantastic freedom in time, incredible depth of performance, vividness of musical images, phenomenal technique, sound..... I'm sure most pianists will agree with me here.

You can find the recordings I'm talking about on YouTube, as well as very interesting videos of Rachmaninoff himself with his family.

Rachmaninoff stories

I will tell just a couple of the many stories about Sergei Vasilyevich. They both have to do with his famous Prelude in C sharp minor ("The Bells").

The first story. Everyone loved this piece immensely. And Rachmaninoff was so "fed up" with this prelude and requests to perform it that he was furious when anyone played it in front of him.

Once Rachmaninoff had as a guest a very famous pianist of the time.
Josef Hoffmann, a close friend of Rachmaninoff, to whom, incidentally, Sergei Vasilyevich dedicated his 3rd Piano Concerto!

Rachmaninoff went for a walk, and his very small family gathered around the piano where Hoffman was sitting. Everyone wanted to hear Hoffman play Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C Minor, and they began to persuade him to "take a chance" while Sergei Vasilyevich was not in the house.

Hoffman succumbed to the persuasion and began playing the first octaves. He takes the octave A, then G#, but then Sergei Vasilyevich suddenly enters the room!

The famous pianist was not confused. He took the third cotava in C#, but with one left hand. And continued playing Frideric Chopin's "Fantasia - Impromptu":)

By the way, YouTube has Hoffman's rendition of this prelude. To be honest, I didn't like it much. Although he certainly plays it very well.

The next story goes like this. Everyone asked Rachmaninoff how he could compose such a brilliant work as the Prelude in C sharp minor. And at such a young age. What came over him and where he drew inspiration.

Sergei Vasilyevich's answer was no less brilliant than the prelude itself.

He told me that he had composed this prelude out of necessity. Exactly for 40 rubles.

Sincerely yours
Volodymyr Slakva, online piano teacher
You can also reach me on WhatsApp
Phone number: (+46) 0737820497
Email: slakva1983@gmail.com

<< Return to the events List