Rachmaninov – 2 suites pour 2 pianos


The two suites Rachmaninov wrote for two pianos, played by the formidable duo of the sisters Labèque. Although these works are combined here, that combination is incidental: the only reason being that the form is the same. In the musical development of the composer they are a different period.

The first was can be considered a work of youth. It premiered in Moscow 1893, and was dedicated to the composer Tchaikovsky, greatly admired by Rachmaninov. The parts of this suite are depictions of four poems, written by different poets.

The second signifies the end of an unproductive period. After negative reviews of his first symphony, Rachmaninov had an immense psychological collapse. For four years he lost all creativity. Even though the bad reception of his work caused him grief until the end of his life, the second suite was the first work that emerged after that dreadful period.

An interesting footnote: Rachmaninov played this suite at a party together with Horowitz in the early Forties.

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