Rachmaninoff - Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

April 16, 2022

Victor Yampolsky conducts the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra in Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, Op. 45.

(00:24) (Non) allegro
(12:23) Andante con moto (Tempo di valse)
(22:49) Lento assai – Allegro vivace – Lento assai. Come prima – Allegro vivace

Program Note

Sergei Rachmaninoff ’s final original composition, completed in 1940, features a convergence of novel, modernistic touches in the orchestration with cherished, sentimental Romanticism. At the height of his fame when he composed the work, Rachmaninoff had a busy performing career as a pianist and conductor in the West and would never have an opportunity to return to his homeland. The Symphonic Dances carry a reflective and nostalgic quality as the late composer crafted the work during a summer stay in New Jersey and reminisced on the history of his homeland. References to music from across his career abound, as material borrowed from his First Symphony and occasional liturgical quotations find their way into the dances. Ultimately, Rachmaninoff uses each dance as a rhythmic framework to support his interwoven melodic material.

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