This time a short Prelude…
The eerie piece I posted last week, also by Rachmaninov, was from very early in his career. There is something unique about music in Eb Minor because there are six flats, and it is a nightmare to notate. Great composers wrote in such keys because they are extremely comfortable for the hands, but they are very difficult to read.
This short piece is also in Eb Minor. I wish I could find one performance that is not so fast, but Ashkenazy is an incredible player.
The last Romantic giant of the piano…
There is an emphasis on speed by most modern players that drives me absolutely mad, as if something great can’t be played a bit slower and yet be as effective or more effective.
I keep coming back to Rachmaninov, (Apr. 1, 1873 – Mar. 28, 1943), because he died just five years before I was born, and if he had lived 20 more years I might have heard him play, at least on new recordings. I have very strong feelings about his music. Not only was he without doubt one of the greatest composers for the piano, his style, the sound of his music remains incredibly popular right to this very moment.
There has not been one great genius from the time of his death to carry on this kind of great music. It is not because of his style – his music is still played everywhere. There has simply been no one following him with the same monumental gift. I continue to hope that eventually someone new will rediscover the lyricism and absolute mastery of piano composition that he had.