Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Rach 3.

I say thank goodness for the DVR.   Of course, being a huge football fan, I will be able to DVR tonight's playoff NFL game, as the fetching Mrs B and I go to Jones Hall to hear the great Houston Symphony. What is good is I will get to see all of my Houston Texans game [win] against the Cincinnati Bengals before we must leave.

Remember what I have said in previous classical weekend posts that whenever Mrs B and I go to the symphony, you will get to hear, [part of] what we hear.  So, as we are really in for a treat, you are too.

The program for tonight is Wagner: Prelude to Die Meistersinger von N├╝rnberg; Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3; Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances.  

Russian Romantic composer , Sergei Rachmaninoff is one of my favorite composers. In a couple of weeks we will get to hear my favorite composition by him, his second piano concerto.  That concerto contains oh, so many beautiful melodies.

Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto, while not containing all of the beautiful melodies of the second, is an exciting concerto. It is great.  This concerto requires extreme virtuosity from the soloist.  It has been said that this is one of the most difficult piano concertos ever to play.  The first movement starts out with a simple but haunting theme. It turns to complex piano artistry, returning to the original theme in the recapitulation.  The concerto is in the dramatic key of D minor.

The final third movement while played in D minor does end in an exciting, triumphant, majestic way in the D Major key.   Today I would like you to hear both the first movement with it's signature theme, and the very exciting third movement finale of the concerto, in which you will see brilliant virtuosity displayed by the soloist.  If you were at the concert live you will see while you might have jumped out of your seat in applause following the brilliant ending

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #3 in D minor, movement 1 Allegro ma non tanto:

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Movement 3 [finale] of Piano Concerto #3, Alla breve,
D minor to D Major

bridge between 2nd and 3rd movement. 3rd movement starts at 33 second mark.:


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Big Mike! I've always been a Rachmaninoff fan... especially of Concerto No 2, which I prefer to 3. I had the remarkable fortune of hearing it live in Central Park in 1970 with the NY Philharmonic and Van Cliburn as soloist. Later bought the sheet music, and learned to play the first dozen chords. Given a challenge, I might even be able to play that today. Poorly.

I hope you and your lovely wife have as good an evening as my date and I had that night!


Big Mike said...

Thanks big Dave...I agree with you, I love the concerto #2 the best. In two weeks that will be playing at the Houston Symphony and we will be there. :)