William Dart takes a personal journey through the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, starting off with the perhaps unfortunate fact that his melodies have been fodder for writers of pop songs. He points out Rachmaninov's insistence that his music is always Russian music despite living a good proportion of his life in the West.
He looks at the often dismissive attitude of critics and to Rachmaninov's admission that he felt out of step with the modernist tendencies in the early 20th Century.
Rachmaninov has the last laugh though - his music is still incredibly popular with audiences and performers for its excitement and harmonic sumptuousness. And oh! Those melodies!
Rachmaninov arr Cole: Prelude in C# minor – Nat King Cole Trio (Blue Note)
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor Op 18 – Zoltán Kocsis, San Francisco SO / de Waart (Philips)
Carmen: All By Myself – Céline Dion (Sony)
Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 – Maurice Peress (Music Masters Jazz)
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue – Ivan Davis, Cleveland Orch / Maazel (Decca)
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 4 – Stephen Hough, Dallas SO/Litton (Hyperion)
Rachmaninov: Blessed be the Lord, from All Night Vigil – Glinka Choir / Chernishenko (Weton-Wesgram)
Rachmaninov: The Raising of Lazarus Op 34/6 – Andrei Bondarenko (bar), Iain Burnside (pno) (Delphian)
Rachmaninov: Romance from String Quartet No 1 – Puertas Quartet (Atoll)
Rachmaninov: Prelude in G minor Op 23/5 – Steven Osborne (Hyperion)
Rachmaninov: Etude-tableau in D Op 39/9 – Alexander Melnikov (Harmonia Mundi)
Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3 in A minor Op 44 – RPO / Litton (Virgin)
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor Op 30 – Evgeny Kissin, Boston SO / Ozawa (RCA Victor)
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dance No 1 – 2010 NZSO National Youth Orchesta / Milanov (NZSO/RNZ)
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dance No 3 – Dallas SO / Mata (Pro Arte)