Friday, June 11, 2021

Rachmnaninov Festival (Part 3 of 4)


This montage from our Podcast Vault revisits a post from August 9, 2013. It can be found in our archives at


All week, our daily podcasts revisited our Rachmaninov Festival first shared during the summer of 2013. The Podcast Vault selection is the third in that four-part set, featuring the Third piano concerto and the Symphonic Dances. The two works, discussed at length in the original commentary, come at two very different times in Rachmaninov’s career – the concerto at the height of the Russian phase of his career, the other as a late (and rare) composition in the American phase.

The concerto has been featured in other shares – in addition to this “live concert” performance by Evegny Kissin, we can point to Van Cliburn in a 2017 montage discussing the concerto’s early performance as a summit meeting between Rachmaninov and Gustav Mahler, and a vinyl share last year from a Melodiya North-American issue featuring Andrei Gavrilov. The Symphonic Dances were also part of a Vinyl share in late 2017. Previn’s performance today is on point, though the vinyl performance led by Svetlanov has more “Russian bite”.

All of these performances are available in our Archive []

As a bonus track, I chose one of Rachmaninov’s tone poems. The Rock (or The Crag) is an early composition from the summer of 1893, dedicated to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The inspiration has a few likely storylines; a couplet from a poem by Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov, and a story by Anton Chekhov titled "Along the Way", in which a young girl meets an older man during a stormy, overnight stop at a roadside inn on Christmas Eve.

The YouTube clip features the Berlin Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel

I think you will (still) love this music too.

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