performed by the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin under Riccardo Chailly; Martha Argerich, piano
There’s so. much. to. say. about this piece that I almost don’t want to try. There are so many theses, recordings, liner notes, program notes, concert talks and everything else about this piece that it would be ludicrous for me to think I have anything else to add but my own opinion and feelings of the piece, so that's pretty much all I'm going to share, aside from some basics. For the technical bits (as technical as we'll get), please watch Nikolai Lugansky's introduction above about the main themes in the piece and how all three movements are really quite unified in their use and treatment of the basic ideas in the work. If you read nothing else below, watch the above introduction a few times, and listen to the concerto as a scavenger hunt of sorts for the themes Lugansky presented in all their various appearances and forms.
Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto was used to commemorate our one-year anniversary back in October. This piece marks our 100th music post, and I figured this piece was as good as any for a centennial. In short, my real concerted study of music began with piano lessons and an effort to come to understand and be familiar with as much of the piano repertoire as possible. On the (one of my first if not the very) first piano lesson, I asked my piano teacher for some recommendations for what I should begin to be familiar with, what every music student or aficionado knows and loves and should be familiar with. I'd already started listening to lots of Chopin's works for piano. She wrote down "Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos 2 and 3" but emphasized especially the third. I went home and checked it out. All 40-plus minutes of it washed over me a few times, and it felt like homework the first few go-rounds, but I was kind of just blown away by the magnitude of the work, not necessarily in its length, but its content.
Lugansky above talks about some of the main themes that show up, the things you should listen for and identify in the piece, but each of them struck me as so beautiful that it seemed like this one piece of music in three movements covered so much ground... only with more listenings do you