I love Rachmaninoff. When I started collecting music that would lend itself to ballet classes (many moons ago), I fell in love with his compositions. I like the way his works sound light but full. Does that make any sense? Probably not. 22 year old dancer Jes was particularly fond of Rachmaninoff’s Arabesque #1, which sounds like a fairy tinkling across the piano and floating off into space.
So when this cd came across my workspace last year, I exclaimed, “oooh!” and requested it be mine. When a classical composer is long gone, and other musicians start playing his* works, I think there is something special to be gained from hearing the original composer fiddling around with the stuff he wrote.
The first piece on this album is Liebesleid and Rachmaninoff attacks it with such force and attention that I literally stood up straighter in my chair. Listening to a musician who has completely mastery over the instrument they are playing is just stunning. That can’t be faked. Hours of practice and failure are behind that kind of performance. And the hard-won confidence to play something that took you hours of time and effort to be able to get just right is…just that…hard won.
And I get to sit with my ear pressed up against the recording room for a paltry $2 thanks to Half Price Books. 😀
*the masculine pronoun is used here simply because the majority of classical composers who are dead are probably men, in my assumption 😉