Friday, February 24, 2012
Here "It" is! Rachmaninoff is rolling in his grave over this one...
For those of you who have read my Snow White poem I posted, this is what I referenced, Prelude in C sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff. This piece is spell~binding and haunting, making you belief something wicked is whispering in your ear as you sleep. It's the prelude for the set of five pieces titled Morceaux de Fantasie (Op. 3) and first performed on September 20, 1892. (It's classified as Romantic, not "Oh, that's so romantic!" more as in genre Romantic. Big R.)
This piece was written at the early age of nineteen, by Rachmaninoff and the story goes (note: I was told this by my music theory teacher) was that one day he was struck by a sudden inspiration and wrote it all down in a day as it poured out of his head. Another part of the story involves the Devil himself to have whispered it to the young Russian composer, as dark and foreboding as the piece is, many believed it. (But again, it's the story told by my music theory teacher.)
That didn't stop it from becoming one of the most popular pieces at the time. One would simply have to walk down a conservatory hall and hear it playing from several practice rooms, or hear it played in nearly any concert hall. At his own concerts it was always asked to be played as an encore piece and he would tease the audience saying he "forgot" how to play it or "Do I really have too?"
It is said he had grown to hate the piece, and only refer to the prelude as "it", not only because of it's high demand, but because of the some names it received from the publishers. Some of them are The Burning of Moscow and The Day of Judgement. To add insult to injury, any time the publishers brought it out under another name to the public he never received another rubel for it. So after all that, and a total of 40 rubel publishing fee, I can't say I'd blame the guy.
I chose this recording of it because it is an actual recording of Rachmaninoff playing "It." This particular recording is on a piano roll but he did electric recordings as well. I'm excited we get to hear it exactly how he intended which needless to say doesn't happen very often with music like this. I also like this YouTube version because we can see the music note by note, although it's done by a shaky hand.
So after a little interesting history lesson (hopefully you find it interesting) on Rachmaninoff's "It" Prelude, I hope I've inspired you to have a little Romantic music appreciation added to your Loli. Tell me what you think.