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Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto

Tom Service explores Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto, asking what is the secret of its continuing emotional appeal and also why critics disliked it such.

Tom Service examines one of the most famous concertos in the piano repertoire. What is the secret of its appeal? Why does it have such emotional impact? Why did the critics hate it, yet why is it such a classical favourite in the world of popular culture - from Mickey Mouse to Marilyn Monroe to Muse? And what did Rachmaninov have to go through to compose it? With pianist Lucy Parham.

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32 minutes

Music Played

  • Buddy Kaye

    Full Moon and Empty Arms

    Composer: Buddy Kaye. Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov. Performer: Frank Sinatra.
    • Greatest Hits: The Early Years, Vol. 2.
    • Columbia.
  • Muse

    Space Dementia

    • Origin of Symmetry.
    • Mushroom Records.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    5 Morceaux de fantaisie for piano (Op.3), no.2; Prelude in C sharp minor

    Performer: Nikolai Lugansky.
    • Rachmaninov: Preludes.
    • Erato.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Symphony No.1 in D minor

    Performer: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy.
    • Ashkenazy Rachmaninov Symphony NO 1.
    • Decca.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Fate op 21 no 1

    Performer: Sergei Petrovich Leiferkus. Performer: Howard Shelley.
    • Rachmaninov - Songs For Baritone.
    • Chandos.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18 (extract)

    Performer: Lucy Parham.
  • Richard Addinsell

    Warsaw concerto for piano and orchestra

    Performer: Jean‐Yves Thibaudet. Performer: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Performer: Hugh Wolff.
    • Warsaw concerto : romantic piano classics from the silver screen.
    • Decca.
  • John Adams

    Grand Pianola Music

    Performer: Alan Feinberg. Performer: Ursula Oppens. Performer: Solisti New York. Performer: Ransom Wilson.
    • John Adams - Grand Pianola Music.
    • EMI.
  • John Corigliano

    Kaleidoscope for two pianos

    Performer: Ursula Oppens. Performer: Jerome Lowenthal.
    • Winging It: Piano Music.
    • Cedille.
  • Martha Argerich & Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky

    Musique Populaire for two pianos

    • Oeuvres pour Piano.
    • Valois.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18

    Performer: Stephen Hough. Performer: Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Performer: Andrew Litton.
    • Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concs.
    • Hyperion.

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