Wednesday Music: Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2

On Friday night, I watched a documentary about classical piano. It’s called Imagine Being a Concert Pianist and it was very interesting. The whole time I watched it, I kept of how little I really know about repertoire for the piano. My instrument is violin, so obviously I know violin repertoire the best. I’m also familiar with cello and viola repertoire since they’re so similar to violin. But piano is not something I’m familiar with. That’s probably why I didn’t realize exactly how popular Sergei Rachmaninov’s work is with performers. I’ve featured another of his piano concertos before, but not this one. Today’s piece is Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18. Here’s a bit about it.

  • Rachmaninov wrote this piece between 1900 and 1901. He was the soloist in the first performance given. It’s one of of his most popular pieces and is performed quite often.
  • Some people say it’s the greatest piano concerto ever written.
  • Rachmaninov wrote it after his first symphony was performed. Unfortunately, no one liked the first symphony, which made him severely depressed and unable to write music. It was only after going to a hypnotist that he managed to start writing music again. This is the result.


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2 thoughts on “Wednesday Music: Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2

  1. Oooh, I love that little tidbit about the hypnotist! Once I read a book about the life of Franz Liszt… seems like all those composers were (or at least our memories of them are) super, super-dramatic. Anyways, that was a nice spot of inspiration about not giving up on our creations 🙂


  2. Going to a hypnotist seemed to work magic!
    The second movement is hauntingly beautiful ; it seems to rise , almost stop and then fall again only to rise refreshed. Its played frquently on classic fm a barometer of popular classical music. It does just what moving music is supposed to do tears at the heartstrings.
    The Bruch no1 violin concerto has a similar slow movement and once again is tremendously popular.The violin seems to weep at all human folly.


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