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20th century

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Solo repertoire

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Rachmaninoff Sergei

Aitken, Robert

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Yun, Isang

Vocalise for Flute and Piano

Vocalise for Flute and Piano

By Rachmaninoff Sergei

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Vocalise for flute and piano was written in 1915 as part of his 14 Romances (Op. 34). Originally written for high voice (soprano or tenor) with piano accompaniment, the Vocalise was dedicated to soprano singer Antonina Nezhdanova. Even since there are numerous arrangements for various of instruments and ensembles. Besides flute and piano version there’s Charles Gerhardt’s arrangement for flute and orchestra and James Guthrie’s version for alto flute and piano.  

Seiya Ueno

Takuyia Uchikado (piano). 2017, Denon Recording

Vocalise

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Rachmaninoff Sergei

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor,
considered one of the greatest representatives of Romanticism in Russian music.
Born in a Russian aristocrat family he studied piano with Nikolai Zverev and composition with Sergei Taneyev and Anton Arensky at the Moscow Conservatory. During his final year at the conservatory, he composed several works, including the one-act opera Aleko which premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre with the famous Feodor Chaliapin in the title role. Upon graduation, he acquired a free-artist diploma which led to his constant struggle to earn money.
After the disastrous premiere of his Symphony No 1 (Op. 13) in 1897, he fell into three years long depression during which he mostly played piano and conducted, slowly gaining ground after his successful debut in London. After receiving professional help from physician and amateur musician Nikolai Dahl he composed his 2nd Piano concerto (dedicated to Dahl) which premiered in 1901 with great success. In 1904 he was appointed as a conductor with the Bolshoi Theatre. In 1906 he relocated to Dresden to be able to tour as a pianist and conductor throughout the world. One of the highlights of that period was the US premiere of his 3rd Piano Concerto with the New York Symphony orchestra, led by Gustav Mahler. After the Revolution in Russia, his family permanently left Russia and settled in New York in 1918, where Rachmaninoff mostly performed as a concert pianist. In 1920 he signed a recording contract with RCA that helped him to strengthen his financial independence.

During the 1930s he often visited Europe and built a summer residence Villa Senar (named after the initials of Sergei and his wife Natalia: SE+NA+R) on lake Lucern in Switzerland where he completed his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Symphony No 3. Upon return to the US, he finished his Symphonic Dances (Op. 45) and recorded most of his latest works.
Rachmaninoff’s musical style initially was influenced by Tchaikovsky but gradually shaped up, forming his individuality, characterized by broadly lyrical melodies.