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  • Writer's pictureSimon Rushby

Prelude in D major by Sergei Rachmaninoff

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

#listeneveryday 20 Nov 2020

The Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) is best known for his Piano Concerto No.2, famous in popular culture because of its use in the film Brief Encounter and as the inspiration for Eric Carmen's (and Celine Dion's) hit All By Myself, which itself featured in the film Bridget Jones's Diary.

If you delve a little deeper into Rachmaninoff's significant back catalogue you'll find a wealth of fantastic music, both for piano and for orchestra. He wrote a number of Preludes for piano - short pieces arranged in collections, just as Bach, Chopin and others had done before him.

The D major Prelude, number 4 in his opus 23 set and marked Andante Cantabile is Rachmaninoff at his most lyrical and poignant. It's a beautiful, bite-sized piece with a calm opening that builds to an intense climax before falling away again.

This performance is by Russian pianist Irina Lankova.

More to listen to

The slow movement of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.2 - mentioned above.

One of my favourite pieces of orchestral music by Rachmaninoff is the slow movement of his Symphony No.2 - especially when Simon Rattle conducts it.

Another famous tune from the guy - the 18th variation from his Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini.

A new #listeneveryday post is published every weekday! Comment below or tweet @SimonRushby with your suggestions for future music.

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