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.