The video game Gran Turismo 6 uses it as the intro theme. Rachmaninov (1873-1943) - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Rachmaninov admitted he was much influenced by both Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky. 43, composition for solo piano and orchestra by Sergey Rachmaninoff, premiered in 1934 in Baltimore, Maryland, with Rachmaninoff playing the solo part. Your email address will not be published. For each piece: 43 – Franck: Symphonic Variations; Rachmaninov / Fleisher, Szell", "Classical Net Review – Seraphim Reissues", "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op. 43 – Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos nos. A grueling performance schedule, periodic health problems and homesickness made composing increasingly difficult, and the less than enthusiastic reception of his Fourth Piano Concerto, his first composition in exile, only fed his doubts and self-criticism.
Helpful links in machine-readable formats. 43, (Russian: Рапсодия на тему Паганини, Rapsodiya na temu Paganini) is a concertante work written by Sergei Rachmaninoff.It is written for solo piano and symphony orchestra, closely resembling a piano concerto.The work was written at his Villa, the Villa Senar, in Switzerland, according to the score, from July 3 to August 18, 1934. Although Rachmaninoff's work is performed in one stretch without breaks, it can be divided into three sections, as shown above. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Geoffrey Norris reviews Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini … In his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Rachmaninoff composed a concertante work for solo piano and orchestra consisting of 24 variations on the theme. Check back soon for our next post, which details Rachmaninoff’s secret program for this concert hall staple.
The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is also one of the romantic period's greatest pieces. If you know any piece by 19 th – and 20 th -century Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, chances are it’s his hit concerto-like work for piano and orchestra, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. In it, Rachmaninoff explained how the Rhapsody could tell the story of Paganini, his deal with the devil and his doomed love for a woman. Then the music slows, and the seventh variation presents us with a new melody: the Dies Irae. Sergei Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is a concertante work (a large-scale work which uses both the symphonic and concerto forms throughout).It was composed in 1934, and is scored for solo piano and a full Romantic symphonic orchestra. The two themes are studied from a historical and musical perspective, and their contribution to the work's dramatic and musical design is analyzed. These variations contain a wide variety of moods and characters, from the heroism of the 14th variation to the tenderness of the 18th, the most famous part of the entire work. A few years later, the celebrated choreographer Michel Fokine approached Rachmaninoff hoping that the two could collaborate. The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. Rachmaninoff wrote the work at his summer home, the Villa Senar in Switzerland, according to the score, from 3 July to 18 August 1934. Rachmaninoff himself, a noted interpreter of his own works, played the piano part at the piece's premiere on 7 November 1934, at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore, Maryland, with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski. At last, “defeated,” Paganini “appears for the last time at the 23rd variation—the first 12 bars—after which, to the end, is the triumph of his conquerors.” This 23rd variation begins with the return of the original theme in the piano, which, after 12 bars, is abruptly cut off by the orchestra, which apes the theme with a sudden, jarring key change. In his ballet scenario, Rachmaninoff tells us “All variations on the Dies Irae would be for the evil spirit…The first appearance of the evil spirit is in the 7th variation, where at #19 there can be a dialogue with Paganini during his theme as it merges with the Dies Irae.” Here the music slows, and we hear the piano play a simple, chordal version of the dies irae, accompanied by bassoons and pizzicato cellos. –Calvin Dotsey. The whole composition takes about 22–24 minutes to perform. The piano next gravely intones the Dies Irae, the "day of wrath" plainchant from the medieval Mass of the Dead, while the orchestra accompanies with a slower version of the opening motif of the Paganini theme. Tempo matched to famous performer's recording. Rachmaninoff likely got the idea of having a variation before the theme from the finale of Beethoven's Eroica symphony. “The whole middle from the 11th variation to the 18th—these are the love episodes.”. Piano Accompaniment included. It is based on an inversion of the melody of Paganini's theme. Sure enough, Rachmaninoff explains: “Variations 8, 9, 10—progress of the evil spirit.”, “Variation 11 is the transition to the realm of love,” he continues. The piece is scored for piano and orchestra: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets in B♭, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, triangle, snare drum, cymbals, bass drum, glockenspiel, harp and strings. Your subscription means more than ever. His use of Paganini's Twenty-Fourth Caprice as inspiration is telling because both Liszt and Schumann had made arrangements of Paganini caprices for the purpose of piano studies. Upon the suggestion of his friend Benno Moiseiwitsch, Rachmaninoff broke his usual rule against drinking alcohol and had a glass of crème de menthe to steady his nerves, which he reputedly kept beneath the piano. Links and search tools for all of the collections and resources available from UNT. The ensuing variations become increasingly demonic, with one featuring the strings playing col legno (with the wood of the bow), an especially creepy effect. Support our Home for the Holidays campaign by making your gift today! One of Rachmaninoff’s beloved works is Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini—a collection of 24 variations on an original theme by Paganini—which the NJSO will perform from Nov 30–Dec 3. Un poco più vivo (Alla breve), Variation 24: A tempo un poco meno mosso (A minor →, This page was last edited on 8 December 2020, at 06:48. Fokine wanted to make a minor change to the score, involving the reuse of 12 earlier measures as a more theatrically effective introduction to the 18th Variation, which he wanted to play in the key of A major, rather than D♭ major. All variations are in A minor except where noted. “Variation 19 is the triumph of Paganini’s art, his diabolic pizzicato.” Indeed, Rachmaninoff marked the pianist’s pointillistic passagework “quasi pizzicato,” suggesting that he had this idea in mind when composing. The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. While these sources mention comparisons between two or more selected pieces, the following dissertations explore analytic and/or pedagogical aspects of a specific composition: We then hear the theme presented in the violins as the piano takes up the simplified notes of the first variation. The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. Thus, it is entirely possible that the Paganini story could be merely a metaphor for something else. The piece is a set of variations on Niccolò Paganini ’s Caprice No. This chord (enharmonic to F♯ø7) is followed by an A♭7 (sub6) chord (V7sub6) which leads to the tonic D♭-major chord at rehearsal number 51. A Baroque Christmas: Q&A with Guest Vocalist Morris Robinson. 3, Eroica (his “Heroic” Symphony), a theme and variations that begins in much the same way. 43, (Russian: Рапсодия на тему Паганини, Rapsodiya na temu Paganini) is a concertante work written by Sergei Rachmaninoff.It is written for solo piano and symphony orchestra, closely resembling a piano concerto.The work was written at Villa Senar, according to the score, from July 3 to August 18, 1934. Get tickets and more info at houstonsymphony.org. Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43, and provides detailed analyses of these two compositions. It is impossible to determine how much of this scenario was in Rachmaninoff’s mind as he wrote the piece and how much he invented after the fact, but for a composer who was notoriously reticent about his sources of inspiration, it is a fascinating document nevertheless. This caprice is a set of variations on that theme. The piece is one of several by Rachmaninoff to quote the Dies Irae plainchant melody. Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini, op. “Variation 12—the minuet—is the first appearance of the woman…” Variation 11 begins softly with tremolo strings accompanying quasi-improvised and highly chromatic passages in the piano. Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, CD review. This dissertation on Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op.43 is divided into four parts: 1) historical background and the state of the sources, 2) analysis, 3) semantic issues related to analysis (discourse), and 4) performance and analysis. In the following variations, the tension increases as the soloist executes ever more astonishing feats of virtuosity. The ballet was a success, which pleased Rachmaninoff, and he wrote his Symphonic Dances in 1940 with Fokine in mind. Paganini himself claimed that his talent came from God, but his gaunt appearance, unusual name (Paganini means “little pagan” in Italian) and infamous womanizing did not help his case in the eyes of the public. 43 – Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. The Rhapsody begins with a short introduction that unexpectedly leads not to the theme, but to the first variation: a pared-down outline of Paganini’s melody: This unconventional beginning was likely inspired by the finale of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, No. It starts with a quick and striking theme, memorable for its drama and elemental sound. Rachmaninoff, Stokowski, and the Philadelphia Orchestra made the first recording, on 24 December 1934, at RCA Victor's Trinity Church Studio in Camden, New Jersey. He also wondered why Niccolò Paganini had been turned into a guitar player in Fokine's scenario, but did not object. There, during the summer of 1934, the 61 year-old composer was once again struck with inspiration, and “working literally from morn to night” completed a masterpiece that would at last equal the success of his earlier works. Ever self-critical, Rachmaninoff modestly ended his note with “You’re not laughing at me? Pianist Anna Fedorova and AVROTROS Klassiek are a golden duo: recordings of her previous concerts are one of the most popular ones on our channel. Shortly before the world première performance, Rachmaninoff – a sufferer of performance anxiety – confessed trepidation over his ability to play it. What that something else might be, however, is best left to the listener to decide. The public response was so overwhelming that Rachmaninoff was taken aback, saying “It somehow looks suspicious that the Rhapsody has had such an immediate success with everybody.” He had nothing to fear however; the Rhapsody has been a cornerstone of the repertoire ever since. Interestingly, Rachmaninoff says, “And it also seems to me that at the conclusion of the play the several personages [representing] the evil spirit should be caricatures, absolute caricatures, of Paganini himself.” The rhapsody ends with a grotesque parody of the triumphant Dies Irae for full orchestra. The last chapter presents a discussion of two recordings of the Rhapsody by Rachmaninoff and Moiseiwitsch made in 1934 and 1938 respectively. Rachmaninoff was born on ", The 24th variation is more playful in tone than most of the other variations, ending with a glissando sweep of the keyboard, before quoting the original theme in the last bar. The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is also one of the romantic period's greatest pieces. The pop song "If I Had You" by The Korgis uses the melody fragment from the 18th variation. This led to Rachmaninoff nicknaming the twenty-fourth the "Crème de Menthe Variation". This famous variation is in D♭-major. • Rachmaninoff's Works for Piano and Orchestra An analysis of Rachmaninoff's works for piano and orchestra, including the Piano Concertos and the Paganini Rhapsody Like Brahms and Liszt before him, Rachmaninoff had been inspired by a simple tune by the early nineteenth-century violin virtuoso, Niccolò Paganini. 43 (Remastered 1999)", "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op. This document explores the use of the theme from Paganini's 24 th Caprice and the Dies Irae in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. Since this work was first published after 1924 with the prescribed copyright notice, it is unlikely that this work is public domain in the USA. Sergei Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Variation 18) Context. The last of Paganini's 24 Caprices for violin has been the subject of many sets of variations, including the composer's own set of 12, Brahms' brilliant Paganini Variations for piano, those by twentieth century composers Lutoslawski, Blacher, Lloyd-Webber, and others. In his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Rachmaninoff composed a concertante work for solo piano and orchestra consisting of 24 variations on the theme. Having lost nearly everything in the revolution, he was determined to restore his family to its former standard of living as quickly as possible, which meant giving up composing in favor of pursuing a career as a touring piano virtuoso. Orchestral Accompaniment of Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. After Rachmaninoff fled Russia in 1917, he composed only six original pieces during the remaining twenty-five years of his life. Rachmaninoff wrote the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini between 3 July and 18 August 1934. The English premiere on 7 March 1935 at Manchester Free Trade Hall also featured Rachmaninoff with The Hallé under Nikolai Malko. At this point, Rachmaninoff tells us, “Paganini himself makes his first appearance…” The following variations offer the piano soloists many opportunities for virtuoso display, reflecting Paganini’s own legendary skill. In response, Rachmaninoff suggested the Rhapsody, and provided the outline of a scenario for the ballet. , After a brief introduction, the first variation is played before the theme. Fokine wanted to make a minor change to the score, involving the reuse of 12 earlier measures as a more theatrically effective introduction to the 18th Variation, which he wanted to play in the key of A major, rather than DTemplate:Music major. Abstract. Rachmaninoff himself recognized the appeal of this variation, saying "This one, is for my agent. Emerging as a solo for piano alone after a dark and mysterious variation, this love theme is in fact closely derived from an inversion of Paganini’s original melody. 24): Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 1 & 2; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini", "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op. 2; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini", "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory, "International Music Score Library Project – Rachmaninoff:Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43", "Rachmaninov – Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini notes", "A Guide to Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini", https://imslp.org/wiki/Rhapsody_on_a_Theme_of_Paganini,_Op.43_(Rachmaninoff,_Sergei), https://www.roh.org.uk/news/rachmaninoffs-dark-side-can-great-artistry-exist-without-the-agony-of-perfectionism, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c33q87s03h4, "DANCE - Is There a Ballet In Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances? Rachmaninoff finally found some stability when he was able to build a home for his family on the shores of Lake Lucerne in the 1930s. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 3, eroica (his “heroic” symphony), a theme and variations that begins in … Ever since Berlioz had used it in the “Witches Sabbath” movement of his Symphonie fantastique, it had become a symbol of death and demonic forces in music. These correspond to the three movements of a concerto: up to variation 10 corresponds to the first movement, variations 11 to 18 are the equivalent of a slow movement, and the remaining variations make a finale. Even during his life, a legend that he had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his preternatural abilities became so widespread that the Catholic Church refused him burial service upon his death. I'm trying to analyze that first chord in measure 660. The rhapsody begins with a short introduction that unexpectedly leads not to the theme, but to the first variation: a pared down outline of paganini’s melody: this unconventional beginning was likely inspired by the finale of beethoven’s symphony no. He composed his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in July and August 1934 and gave the first performance in Baltimore on November 7 that year with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Leopold Stokowski.