Sergey Rachmaninov

Suite No. 2 for 2 pianos in C major, Op. 17

    Description by Steven Coburn

    Rachmaninov composed his second Suite for two pianos, Op. 17 at about the same as his Second Piano Concerto, and it is stylistically similar. The work is full of lush, lyrical melodies, florid and complex passagework, and Rachmaninov's characteristic driving rhythm. Rachmaninov's total command and mastery of the pianistic idiom permeates the entire Suite. It is one of his most successful masterpieces, completely effective on every level. A chordal and energetic March opens the Suite. It is in a simple three-part form (\ABA) with a brief coda. In the following movement, a swirling and hypnotic waltz, the rhythmic impulse is complemented by rapid and complex figurations that create a breathless quality. The middle section is richly lyrical, yet retains the underlying rhythmic drive. The third movement is an Romance. This title, so often found in Rachmaninov's early works, is here utterly descriptive of the movement's emotional qualities. A romantically lush melody rises out of an arpeggiated accompaniment, passes through a longing central section in the minor key, and eventually rises to an ecstatic climax. Closing the Suite is a Tarantelle. Based on the characteristic Italian folk dance, this movement elevates the genre to nearly orchestral proportions. Driving rhythms and powerful climaxes are contrasted with interludes of delicate passagework that ultimately build to the effective and virtuosic coda.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Introduction in C major
    2. Valse in G major
    3. Romance in A flat major
    4. Tarantella in C minor

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Azica Records ACD 71312
    2015 DG Deutsche Grammophon B002364402
    2015 Chandos CHAN 10882
    2015 Warner Classics 825646235940
    2014 Broken Audio BRAU 1157
    2014 Melodiya MELCD 1002210
    2014 Decca
    2014 Decca 4786765
    2013 Piano Classics PCL 0058
    2013 Apex
    2013 Fondamenta FON 1302011
    2013 Warner Classics
    2013 Decca 4785093
    2012 Piano 21 P 21045
    2011 Decca
    2011 Decca 4782746
    2011 Musical Concepts MC198
    2010 Philips 4110342
    2010 TwoPianists 103903
    2010 STC2 0129
    2009 Hyperion 55337
    2008 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2008 Warner Classics
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099920762
    2008 Mirare 070
    2007 MSR Classics 1227
    2007 Centaur Records 2822
    2007 Zig Zag Territoires ZZT061105
    2007 Philips 4758520
    2006 Romeo Entertainment 72524
    2006 Music Park / Music Park Inc. 001
    2006 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0946358472
    2006 Decca / Philips
    2006 Naxos 8557062
    2005 Apex 4620362
    2005 Hyperion CDH55209
    2005 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 5027
    2003 Harmonia Mundi HMX290 1301/2
    2001 Philips 464732
    2001 Capriccio Records 49295
    2001 Sony Classical 61767
    2000 Orchard 7949
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 Philips 456736
    1999 Praga PR250131
    1999 Praga 250131
    1998 Arte Nova Classics 51638
    1998 Dutton Laboratories CDCLP4004
    1997 London
    1997 London 455234
    1997 Harmonia Mundi HMT790 1301
    1996 Thorofon 2297
    1996 EMI Music Distribution 569386-2
    1995 Philips
    1995 Philips 446557
    1995 Decca
    1995 London 444845
    1995 Citadel Records CTD88101
    1995 Melodiya 25173
    1994 Hyperion 66654
    1992 Teldec 74717
    1990 Hyperion CDA66375
    1989 Harmonia Mundi 901301
    Gasparo Records 313
    Vox 8162
    Paula Records 46
    Capriccio Records 49297
    Rene Gailly 87092
    Rene Gailly 87072
    Triton 17018
    Philips 411034
    Russian Compact Disc (RCD) 16260
    Melodiya 25172