Rachmaninoff plays Tchaikovsky Lullaby Op. 16

Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

A Russian 19th century composer.   He is known today by lovers of classical music for works such as his Romeo and Juliet Overture, Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto no.1 in b flat minor, his six symphonies, the Waltz of the Flowers, and the music to the ballet Swan Lake.

Tchaikovsky wrote wonderful lyrical melodies and his music is often melancholy.

Here is a lullaby written for the piano played by the famous Russian pianist and composer Sergei Rachmaninoff (the composer’s name is sometimes spelt with a v, but he preferred to spell it with two Fs).  As a pianist, Rachmaninoff was renowned for his precision, rhythmic drive, legato (smooth playing), and the clarity of texture.  Being a composer himself, Rachmaninoff had a real knack for figuring out what the composer was trying to say in his music. He learned a piece of music by deconstructing it note by note in order to figure out the phrasing of the melody (the contour of the melody) and how the piece fit together as a whole.

Here is a recording of a Tchaikovsky Lullaby transcribed by Sergei Rachmaninoff, and played by Rachamaninoff himself.  Note that the recording quality is very good (Rachmaninoff lived from 1873-1943).  Rachmaninoff made normal recordings and also recorded piano rolls.  I think that this particular recording is a piano roll because the  sound quality is extremely good and does not contain any pops or background noise.  Enjoy!


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