Rachmaninoff Concerto #2
PASSION is a necessary ingredient in music! And when I hear a performance that is flat, and that does not connect with the audience, the reason is frequently that there is no passion on the part of the performer(s).
The opposite is true in the video below where pianist Stephen Hough is performing this masterpiece by Rachmaninoff. Just think about what a “warhorse” this is! From its inception, every pianist has played this concerto and tried to make some fresh, new, meaningful statement about this music. All one has to do is to listen to Mr. Hough to notice HIS passion about this music! And it is that quality that reigns – in the listener to experience something new and special!
The opening movement begins with the famous series of chords on the piano that build tension, eventually climaxing in the introduction of the main theme. In this first section, the orchestra carries the melody while the piano makes an accompaniment composed of arpeggios. After the statement of the long first theme, a quicker transition follows until the more lyrical second theme, is presented.
Below is a video of Stephen Hough, Talking about Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto:
And here is Rachmaninoff, himself, performing his own concerto #2 back in 1929:
Stephen Hough, Rachmaninoff, Concerto, Passion