43, composition for solo piano and orchestra by Sergey Rachmaninoff, premiered in 1934 in Baltimore, Maryland, with Rachmaninoff playing the solo part. In his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Rachmaninoff composed a concertante work for solo piano and orchestra consisting of 24 variations on the theme. Taking the Rhapsody by chapters, this is what we hear: The first five variations are increasingly excited, after which the sixth is more relaxed and even allows time for a couple of mini-cadenzas. He has moved far from where he started, in mood and also in key.
The piano next gravely intones the Dies Irae, the "day of wrath" plainchant from the medieval Mass of the Dead, while the orchestra accompanies with a slower version of the opening motif of the Paganini theme. , In 1939, Michel Fokine wrote to Rachmaninoff from Auckland, New Zealand, where he was touring, seeking the composer's approval to use Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for his ballet Paganini, which he had almost finished choreographing. Variation 7, rather slower, introduces a new theme, the Dies irae from the Gregorian Mass for the Dead, a melody that haunts so much Romantic music from the Berlioz Symphonie fantastique and which Rachmanino was particularly fond of quoting. How do you leave such a dream? Rachmaninoff’s Variation 19 begins the nal chapter, saturated in Paganiniana and spooky Dies irae atmosphere. 24 is a set of eleven variations. ", The 24th variation is more playful in tone than most of the other variations, ending with a glissando sweep of the keyboard, before quoting the original theme in the last bar. Corrections? As in Variation. Audiences everywhere instantly took to the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and it quickly became an indispensable repertory piece. Very likely Rachmanino got the idea of variations before a theme from the finale of Beethoven’s Eroica. Variation 9 with its dazzling left-hand pizzicatos. Taking the, by chapters, this is what we hear: The first five variations, are increasingly excited, after which the sixth is more relaxed and even allows time for a couple of mini-cadenzas. Unlike Brahms, he has no notion of sticking to the phrase structure and measure count of the theme. It is based on an inversion of the melody of Paganini's theme. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Interpretations of Music: Lessons for Life. Rachmaninoff himself, a noted interpreter of his own works, played the piano part at the piece's premiere on 7 November 1934, at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore, Maryland, with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski. Moreover, variation form, which is what we have here, though disguised by the title, , is an unobtrusively effective corset, useful because control of large designs had never been the most highly developed among Rachmaninoff’s, three years earlier had no doubt been profitable preparation for the, Turning to Paganini’s Caprice No. 24, Rachmaninoff was following in the footsteps of Schumann, Liszt, and, more particularly, Brahms. In 1934, having already completed four piano concerti, Rachmaninoff began a new concerto-like piece consisting of 24 variations on Paganini’s well-known violin theme.  Due to the speed and the large leaps on the piano, the 24th and last variation of the rhapsody presents considerable technical difficulty for the pianist. The pop song "If I Had You" by The Korgis uses the melody fragment from the 18th variation. What is this about? Although Rachmaninoff's work is performed in one stretch without breaks, it can be divided into three sections, as shown above. The composition of the Variations on a Theme by Corelli three years earlier had no doubt been profitable preparation for the Rhapsody. Actually Variation 18 is three variations in one, for Rachmaninoff gives us three different continuations of a single beginning, the scoring getting warmer as he goes. The first performance was given on 7 November 1934 in Baltimore, Maryland, with the composer as soloist and Leopold Stokowski conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. These correspond to the three movements of a concerto: up to variation 10 corresponds to the first movement, variations 11 to 18 are the equivalent of a slow movement, and the remaining variations make a finale. 16) in a gentler tempo and scored almost as chamber music. The Caprice No. 43 – Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos nos. Moreover, variation form, which is what we have here, though disguised by the title Rhapsody, is an unobtrusively effective corset, useful because control of large designs had never been the most highly developed among Rachmaninoff’s remarkable gifts. Updates?
43 – Van Cliburn in Moscow", "Piano Concerto No.2; Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini / Yuja Wang, Abbado, Mahler Chamber Orchestra de RACHMANINOV, SERGEI, CD chez melomaan – Ref:116514833", "Rachmaninov Variations / Daniil Trifonov, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Philadelphia Orchestra", Rachmaninoff's Works for Piano and Orchestra, International Music Score Library Project, Music written in all major and/or minor keys, List of compositions by Sergei Rachmaninoff, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rhapsody_on_a_Theme_of_Paganini&oldid=986765704, Articles containing Russian-language text, Articles with International Music Score Library Project links, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Variation 7: Meno mosso, a tempo moderato, Variation 15: Più vivo scherzando (F major), Variation 22: Marziale. Unlike Brahms, he has no notion of sticking to the phrase structure and measure count of the theme. 43 – Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. ), the theme itself, Variations 2 through 24, and the coda. 43 – Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2/Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini", "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op.
Very likely Rachmanino got the idea of variations before a theme from the finale of Beethoven’s, The theme proper, when it appears, is assigned—again with a nice sense, measures of a Rachmaninoff concerto that anyone can play!) Rachmaninoff in his concerto and Brahms in his symphony do it by, gentle transition, Brahms’s being wonderfully subtle as well; Beethoven does it, with a joke.
About 1805, while part of the musical household of Princess Elisa Baciocchi, just installed by her brother Napoleon Bonaparte as ruler of the former Republic of Lucca, Paganini codified his evolving technical resources in his Opus 1, but not until 1820. piano is amused to pretend that it really believes this to be the right key. 43 (Remastered 1999)", "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. Un poco più vivo (Alla breve), Variation 24: A tempo un poco meno mosso (A minor →, This page was last edited on 2 November 2020, at 21:49. Kat.-Nr. Variation 17 is another transition, but a strange and dark one, with little suggestion of Paganini. As this variation nears, its close it begins to assume a hint of flesh. Variation 7, rather slower, introduces a new theme, the Dies irae from the Gregorian Mass for the Dead, a melody that haunts so much Romantic music from the, which Rachmanino was particularly fond of quoting. How do you leave such, a dream? particularly concerned to explore everything that is sinister about Paganini and the Dies irae; his imagination and skill in orchestration play a large role here. 24, Rachmaninoff was following in the, footsteps of Schumann, Liszt, and, more particularly, Brahms. 1 in their contexts. 43, composition for solo piano and orchestra by Sergey Rachmaninoff, premiered in 1934 in Baltimore, Maryland, with Rachmaninoff playing the solo part. Sabine Weiss (2) Photography By. The best-known of Rachmaninoff’s variations is the lyrical 18th, which presents a melodic inversion of Paganini’s theme, meaning that rising steps are transformed into equivalent falling steps and vice versa. , The slow 18th variation is by far the best known, and it is often included on classical music compilations without the rest of the work. The piece is scored for piano and orchestra: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets in B♭, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, triangle, snare drum, cymbals, bass drum, glockenspiel, harp and strings. Among connoisseurs and professionals it is probably the most admired of Rachmaninoff’s works. Versionen (12) Finden Sie Ihre Version . The premiere was given in Baltimore by the Philadelphia Orchestra with Rachmaninoff as soloist and Leopold Stokowski conducting (Stokowski would later become music director of the Houston Symphony in 1955). Rachmaninoff wrote the work at his summer home, the Villa Senar in Switzerland, according to the score, from 3 July to 18 August 1934. She serves on the music faculty of Metropolitan State University of Denver and gives pre-performance talks for Opera Colorado and the Colorado Symphony... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. . What is this about?  Variations II to VI recombine elements of the theme. The orchestra is not amused at all, but it takes two firm interventions to get things back on the proper harmonic course. Rachmaninoff’s Variation 19 begins the nal chapter, saturated in, Paganiniana and spooky Dies irae atmosphere. While the piano being, chastened by the funeral atmosphere, violins being irrepressibly and slyly frivolous.
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