Feb. 4-Feb. 10: Rachmaninoff Concerto no. 2

S. Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto no. 2, III. Allegro Scherzando (Excerpt)

As you heard at the recital this weekend, we performed an excerpt of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no. 2 on two pianos.  However, a concerto is written for soloist and orchestra.  As you can imagine, the sound of a full orchestra is very different from a piano.  Listen to the same excerpt from Saturday played by the incredible world class pianist, Evgeny Kissin.  Notice the differences as all the instruments of the orchestra come together to create a magical sound world.



  • Which version do you prefer (2 piano vs orchestra/piano) and why?
  • There is a beautiful melody played multiple times in this excerpt.  The first time (32:58-33:53), it is played by the piano with the orchestra accompanying.  The second time (36:20-37:24), the theme is played by the orchestra with piano accompanying.  Which one did you like more and why?
  • What do you imagine when listening to this melody?  Is it different with the piano playing it vs the orchestra?