Born in 1873 in Novgorod, S. Rachmaninov is considered one of the most important composers of the late Romantic era.
Already as a child his talent was recognized and at the age of four he was placed at the piano. At the age of twelve he finally began his studies in Moscow, where he discovered his passion for the piano and his love of composing.
He was awarded the “Great Gold Medal” for his final work, the one-act opera “Aleka”.
The performance of his first symphony, however, was a complete failure both among critics and audiences.
César Cui, the most famous critic of his time, wrote: “If there were a concert hall in hell and a composer was commissioned to write a symphony about the plagues of Egypt, this new work would ideally correspond to the commission …”.
Rachmaninov, who had already been prone to melancholy and depression, collapsed completely and fell into a severe mental crisis. Only the doctor and psychotherapist Nikolai Dahl was able to help him up again and encourage him to compose.
He also dedicated his second piano concerto to him, for me the most beautiful of his concerts, even more beautiful than the so famous third. It begins with enormously swelling bell chords in the piano, into which a powerful, sad melody flows.
Today I decided to a record of Arthur Rubinstein. From the very beginning you can marvel at all his skill and genius. Nowhere else have I experienced so much tension, so much urge forwards in the first chords as with him.
Half an hour of pure pleasure at the highest level!