April 1st: Happy Birthday Rachmaninoff!

S. Rachmaninoff, Symphony no. 2 (3rd Movement)

Today, we celebrate the 146th bithday of the Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff! We will be listening to the 3rd movement of his 2nd symphony.

This piece is a wonderful example of Rachmaninoff’s iconic ability to build and develop music to a climactic moment. A favourite moment of mine is the buildup beginning from 6:38 - the buildup so exciting and climax so satisfying, one is not sure if one wants the music to continue, or to reach its peak! Romantic, passionate, and beautiful, enjoy one of Rachmaninoff’s most well known works and let your heart melt away.


  1. What are some words you would use to describe this music?

  2. How does it make you feel and why?

I’ve also included a bonus video by Nahre Sol titled, “How to Sound Like Rachmaninoff”, for those of you who are curious to hear more which features a Happy Birthday in the style of Rachmaninoff as well. You may recall her work from the Mary Had a Little Lamb listening activity from last year where she plays the well known tune in the style of various different classical composers. Nahre Sol also did a video, “How to Sound Like Chopin”, also with a Happy Birthday, which is included as well.