Rachmaninov Études Tableaux, Op 39


For our readers we would like to offer some issues on a work not so much known in our country, but highly appreciated by world critics and by those who get to know music.

The Music critic specialized in piano music and lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Bruce Morrison, said that “these are the best achievement of Russian piano culture.”

Rahmaninov was a distinguished Russian composer, conductor and pianist who lived between the 19th and 20th centuries and wrote a great deal of piano works and orchestra music as well as operatic  music. A friend and admirer of Tchaikovsky, with whom he met at the salon of his lecturer Nikolay Zverev in Moscow, had a great influence on the renowned composer. To the well-known Russian pianist of our time Boris Berezovsky “Rahmaninov is the Russian Bach, his music is rich in magic and conceptual complexity.”

The work we are going to present is one of the  Rahmaninov’s last creative period works. In fact he started Etudes Tableaux  several years earlier which were published under op 33 and op 39. So they are two compilations pen by Rahmaninov.

The Etude op 33 is a total of 8 ones, and Rahmaninov has not specified what inspired him for their composition. But in there it lies the inspiration from Chopin’s, of which the author was a great admirer, there the wonderful lyrical melody of the author, his melancholy, the high pianistic technique that characterized him even as a brilliant pianist, his pianist virtuosity. , etc.

The Etudes op 30 summarizes 9 of them. Some of them (5 sets) were selected by the author and then orchestrated by Italian composer Otorino Respigi for orchestral composition and performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Rahmaninov  named these Etude with the advice of Respighi.

Here they are:

1 – La foire (Op. 33, n. 6)

2 – La mer et les mouettes (Op. 39, n. 2)

3 – La chaperon rouge et le loup (Op. 39, n. 6)

4 – Marche funèbre (Op. 39, n. 7)

5 – Marche (Op. 39, n. 9)


Listen to the second compilation of Rahmaninov’s Tableaux  etiquette in this video.




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