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Stephen Speicher

Piano Concerto No. 2

Rate this music   15 votes

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6 posts in this topic

I gave it a ten. When I was young and had an untrained ear, the PC2 was not immediately as enjoyable as it was upon repeated listening, so I encourage first-time listeners to give it some time.

An interesting question - can anyone suggest a favorite version? I've listened to probably 8 different recordings. My default favorite was the first CD I owned of it -the Ashkenazy/Concertgebow performance. I like it because it takes a leisurely pace, and is played with emotion. The acoustics of Rachmaninoff's own performances are a bit too much of a strain for my casual listening, but are fascinating.

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One of my favorite pieces of all time, all three parts, not just the first as for some people ;) Right now I don't have the CD cover, and thus can't tell the conductor/orchestra name of my current favorite recording, but I'll post it here when I can.

One of my most favorite moments in all of music is the sublime triumph at the end of part II in this Concerto -- intending to learn how to play it was a major reason for why I started up playing piano again, from long ago. One day soon, I'll recapture my old knowledge again, and I will be able to play it.

:D

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I love this work. It was the first recording of classical/romantic music I purchased---at age 19, and one of the first such pieces I had even heard. I sought it ought because of Ayn Rand's connection of it in The Fountainhead with a sense of youth and expectation. The recording I heard had Van Cliburn as pianist (this was back in 1966). I think The Chicago Symphony was the orchestra. I recently heard Philippe Entremont playing it, Leonard Bernstein conducting. I really like Entremont's strong, clear tone. The orchestra never drowns him (the piano) out.

No piece of music had ever affected me so deeply and so joyously. I love its strong opening movement, its truly thoughtful, self-examining second movement, and its deciding, strong, freely confident and triumphant last movement.

Needless to say, I sought out everything else composed by Rachmaninoff (whom I regarded as my personal treasure) and have been richly rewarded.

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This was the second of Rachmaninoff's works I thoroughly familiarized myself with. The first was Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Someone I was once very close to provided the best description of this piece of music. He said that the Rach 2 brought to mind the grand story of a man captaining a ship, fighting great battles, braving terrible storms, defying the gods, in order to reach the unknown, whilst keeping an eye out for a woman worthy of him.

Till today, anytime this begins to play, that's who I see...that man.

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This is my favorite song ever. This is the first song I've given a "10" rating to on the forum (I didn't notice that it was on here until just now). I don't have a favorite version yet, because I haven't yet heard a version that I think does it complete justice. I can let the whole song play in my head, and "hear" all the melodies and harmonies. The song is almost tragic in its majesty. Honestly, sometimes when I hear it, I just want to leap up and turn it off, and smash the stereo. I'm not sure why, exactly.

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