Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #2 Essay

Ashley Dones
Baker College
Oct 8,2017
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2
Last night I had the pleasure of attending one of the world’s famous composers Mr. Sergei Rachmaninoff and view his famous Piano Concerto # 2. The beautiful Anna Fedorova opened the piece as the soloist for the piano (Youtube,2017). The conductor of the piece does a marvelous job of queuing in the orchestra to accompany the solo piano opening. It is rather sensual and inviting. Creating a wave of deep emotions that fill the theater as the tempo begins to quickly speed up (Kamien,2015).

The first movement, perhaps the most famous, is just the beginning of a creative display of virtuosic piano playing built into a romantically reminiscent orchestra (Classic Cat. 2017). It rings in a central theme, creates a dark mood, and commences the concerto on good terms. What is perhaps most exciting about the first movement is the tension created in the middle of the piece that adds up to a highly climactic twist; hearing each of the instruments raise the emphasis on intensity, abrasiveness, and virtuosity while still maintaining control. (Classic Cat. 2017).This is just the first movement.
The second movement slows down the moderately quick paced tempo used in movement one and focuses on resting the listener’s mind and preparing it for the final part. It shows more of an expression of romanticism rather than the first movement’s more contemporary virtuosic theme (Classic Cat. 2017). This is an excellent balanced move by Rachmaninoff, continuing a traditional concerto prototype: moderate, slow, fast. One may have a better analyze of the composer’s romantic side of the concerto, seeing that the orchestra still has some liberty and dominance, not being overly restricted by the piano, which would normally be prominent. This is another great choice in creating a perfect balance and chemistry in this concerto. (Kamien,2015).

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Listening to the first two movements is only a small preview for the outstanding finale. There is hardly any possible way the audience could prepare for the final movement, which goes over the top with virtuosity and commences into something very, classically turbulent, although the orchestra seems to know just when to grab the audience’s attention and this is noticeable through the constant flurries of notes between the piano and the orchestra, snaking up and down the scales. (Kamien,2015).

I would highly recommend to anyone who has not seen this performance before. It has amazing sound quality and the atmosphere is absolutely breathing taking. “This might be one of the greatest masterpieces made by Rachmaninoff and possibly of the 20th century.” (Classic Cat. 2017).
Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor: description — Classic Cat. (2017). Retrieved from
Kamien,R.(2015).Music: An appreciation
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto no.2 op.18 – Anna Fedorova – Complete Live Concert – HD. (2017). Retrieved from


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