The second concerto has a wealth of melodies and is one of the most beautiful compositions ever written, in my opinion. Its musical architecture, its effortless unfolding, its sincerity makes it the favorite among many discerning listeners..
While the beautiful melody so effortlessly unfolded, it struck a chord deep within myself that I had some personal connection with the piece.
Then I remembered I once played the concerto's closing theme in the last piano recital in which I ever participated, when I was about 15. After that, I gave up piano lessons, a decision I have lived to regret.
I still have the sheet music. Note the price: 40 cents!
But my association with the concerto doesn't end there. When I was a college sophomore, my Music Appreciation class professor informed students they could be exempt from the class final exam by performing before the class -- either singing or playing a musical instrument.
I was game! I'll play the Rachmaninoff Second, I naively thought. Never mind it had been years since I'd even touched a piano. But since the announcement came at the beginning of the quarter, I had weeks to prepare.
I dug out the sheet music and several time each week I'd stay on campus after classes to practice in the music room. It was tough going, but persistence paid off.
On the day I was to perform in front of about 50 fellow students, I was as nervous as a mouse in a barn full of cats.
But play it I did. I wasn't altogether happy with my performance, and I once "messed up" but quickly recovered.
There was the requisite amount of polite applause after I was finished. But hey, I got an A in the class so it ended well.
If you aren't that familiar with the Rachmaninoff 2nd Concerto, do visit You Tube and listen to the complete piece. I think you'll love.
The song "All by Myself," a ballad written and performed by Eric Carmen in 1975, is based on the second movement of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto. The song also was covered by Celine Dione in 2008.
Life is full of associations with music? What are some of yours?