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LAFFITTE with THE WIRELESS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, conducted by Sir LANDON RONALD MANY of the modern Russian Composers have shown themselves to possess the spirit of pioneers. Rachmaninov is not one of these. His music is not very progressive ; he does little to extend the bounds of musical expression. But what he composes is well written and attractive, and hence it gives pleasure to large numbers of people. The Second Pianoforte Concerto first appeared twenty-three years ago. There are three Movements, as follows :- 1. At a moderate speed. Some opening chords for the pianist alone, beginning very softly, and gradually becoming louder, lead straight into the First Main Tune of the Movement, a broad, impassioned one given to Strings and Clarinet (the Piano meanwhile accompanies, with rapid, harp-like passages). This continues for some time. and then works up to a climax, and stops dead, the Viola and Clarinet just keeping things going for a bar or two by a softly-played phrase that leads into the Second Main Tune of the Movement, a song-like, rhapsodical passage, given out as a Piano Solo, with occasional orchestral trimmings. The chief material of the Movement has now been heard, and all that follows grows out of it. 2. Slow and sustained. Here the Stringed instruments wear their mutes throughout, so producing a silvery tone.
After a few bars of very quiet Introduction, the Piano is heard alone, and then, whilst it continues, there creep in little solo passages for Flute and for Clarinet. A few moments later the Piano takes over these bits of tune. and the Clarinet with the First Violins (plucked, instead of bowed) takes over the accompaniment formerly played by the Piano. Much in this style the Movement continues.
In one place, towards the end, a brilliant Cadenza (or showy flourish) 'offers the Pianist an opportunity. 3. Quick and playful. This opens with quiet, detached chords in the Orchestra, which gradually get louder and lead into another Cadenza by the Pianist. A few more bars of Orchestra, and then the Pianist takes over again, this time giving out, near the top of the keyboard (the Orchestra taking a rest meanwhile) the First Main Tune of the Move- ment, a florid, light-handed one. This is then repeated (in a shortened form) with a light orchestral accompaniment.
The passage works'up to an impressive climax, answered by the Piano alone, and there enters the Second Main Tune, played by the Oboe, in its lower range, with the Viola doubling it (soft Horn chords and plucked 'Cellos and Double-basses as accompaniment).
This is the musical material of the Movement, and having noted it and so attained a sub-conscious intimacy with it, the listener will readily' follow the rest of the music.


Conducted By:
Sir Landon Ronald

2LO London

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