RACHMANINOFF PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 IN C MINOR, OP.18, 1ST MOV
CORNERSTONE LESSON RACHMANINOFF
One of Rachmaninoff's most enduringly popular pieces is his Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18. This Masterclass and cornerstone lesson also contain most teachings about transforming some parts of it into tools to develop your technique, regardless of which repertoire you play.
Professor: Ricardo Castro
Assistant: Juan Francisco Martinez
Recorded in Villa Sandra, Italy, October 2014
History of the piece
Big successes often come from significant failures.
Rachmaninoff fell into a deep depression after performing his 1st symphony, which contemporary critics derided and considered a flop by the audience. Prof. Nikolai Dahl, a Russian neurologist, and psychiatrist took care of him also used courses of hypnotherapy. In a couple of years, Rachmaninoff finally recovered from his clinical depression and writer's block, and so he dedicated this concerto to Prof. Dahl. The composition is considered today as one of Rachmaninoff's most enduringly popular pieces.
Right hand going from left to right all along with the keyboard. How to make it sound Legato?
What to expect in the Masterclass
According to some chronicles based on his students and collaborators' testimony, Rachmaninoff wrote only some notes for the 1st movement. He composed the 2nd and 3rd movements and finally focused on the structure of the 1st one. We cannot be entirely sure of that, but it would explain the variety of dynamics and techniques of this piece:
1) Bell-like tollings to build tension
2) The main theme in C minor
3) Rapid oscillating Arpeggios
4) Quick and virtuosic transition to the second theme in the relative key
5) Closing scaling Arpeggios
This lesson also contains many valuable tips from Professor Ricardo Castro about taking care of the parts and transforming them into tools to develop your technique, regardless of which kind of repertoire you play.
One of the most outstanding talents of Maestro Castro is his skill in transforming artistic aims into technical steps, which brings the student to the achievement of his goals through a definite procedure made of technical skills. This means that there are different ways to use our sensibility. One of them is to follow the lead of physical learning of a series of "How to"s, which regards the score, the playing, and the timing, having the emotional engagement as an aim.