Do we know if Rachmaninoff's plans for the opera ESMERELDA were ever developed? Are there any sketches or completed scenes? I like ALEKO, but it's rather sombre and caught-up in the Russian pseudo-patriotic style of its time (the political atmosphere of the day rather dictated this requirement). It would be nice to know what Rachmaninof imagined possible for The Hunchback?
Just a question - has anyone heard Rachmaninov's recordings of his piano concertos with the Philladelphia Orchestra? They are really exiting! I used to think that Rachmaninov was a writer of pop classical, but now I am starting to see him as one of the great composers.
Yes. I possess his rendition of his first and fourth piano concertos with Philadelphia orchestra under Eugene Ormandy - the historical RCA edition along with his Paganini variations. It is truly a gem in my collection!
Rachmaninov is one of my very favourite composers.
Just a few words to add - he had to leave Russia, because he was of noble origin, and the revolution had started. He was very homesick and depressed, although he had a tremedous success in America. His house in Calfornia was almost a replica of his house in Russia, he employed only russian servants, invited russian guests and maintained a russian lifestyle (as much as this is possible in California). Rachmaninov was naturally out of favour with the communist regime in Moscow, nevertheless, after Germany attacked the Soviets in 1941 he donated all his honorars for performing concerts to the Red Army.
just discovered a fantastic video on youtube, the 2. concert, Herbert von Karajan and Alexis Weissenberg!
I love Rachmaninoff's "Romeo and Juliet". I hope to receive my new Rachmaninoff CD next week.
Sorry, many composers composed about Romeo and Juliette but as far as I know not Rachmaninov.
Dargomizhsky composed Esmeralda (Victor Hugo), not Rachmaninov.
He composed nice operas though but all of them very short. I bought 3 months ago an opera never published before, very interesting, Mona Vanna.