Remember the other day, when you said that you needed some more Rachmaninov in your life? Well, I live to serve!
The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is one of Rachmaninov’s most enduring works, and it’s easy to hear why, with its masterful piano writing and its amazing invention on wringing a great deal of originality from a single tune. The work is a mainstay on concert programs throughout the world, and just about everybody has heard the amazing 18th Variation, which is actually an inversion of the main Paganini tune: Rachmaninov literally turns the melody upside down, and so doing, gives us one of the enduring lyric passages in all classical music.
But there’s so much more to this amazing work than just that 18th Variation! So here it is, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.