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 contains most teachings about how to transform some parts of it into tools to develop your technique, regardless which repertoire you actually play.
Professor: Ricardo Castro and student: Juan Francisco Martinez.
Recorded in Villa Sandra, Italy in October 2014.
A clear example of what could be a nice phrasing if you play alone, but that could turn into a real disaster with the orchestra. Watch it carefully.
History of the piece
Big successes often come from big failures
Rachmaninoff fell in a deep depression after the performing of his 1st symphony, which was derided by contemporary critics, and considered a flop by the audience. Prof. Nikolai Dahl, a Russian neurologist and psychiatrist, took care of him and 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 the keyboard. How to make it sound really Legato?
What to expect in the Masterclass
According to some chronicles based on what his students and collaborators testified, Rachmaninoff wrote only some notes for the 1st movement, then he composed the 2nd and 3rd movement, 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 technique of this piece:
1) Bell-like tollings to build tension
2) A 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 useful tips from Professor Ricardo Castro about how to take care of the parts and to transform them into tools to develop your technique, regardless which kind of repertoire you actually play.
One of the most outstanding talents of Maestro Castro is his skill in transforming artistic aims into technical steps, which bring the student to the achievement of his goals through a definite procedure made of technical skills. Which means that there are different ways to use our sensibility, and 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.