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Phil Best | Rachmaninov: Morceaux de Fantaisie and Moments Musicaux

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Classical: Romantic Era Classical: Piano solo Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Rachmaninov: Morceaux de Fantaisie and Moments Musicaux

by Phil Best

Pianist, Phil Best, plays these exciting, powerful and darkly beautiful Rachmaninov pieces, full of irresistible surging melodies and dazzlingly virtuoso passages, in his own accessible, natural, storytelling way.
Genre: Classical: Romantic Era
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Morceaux de Fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 1, Elegie in E-Flat Minor
5:00 $0.99
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2. Morceaux de Fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 2, Prelude in C-Sharp Minor
4:17 $0.99
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3. Morceaux de Fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 3, Melodie in E Major
5:07 $0.99
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4. Morceaux de Fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 4, Polichinelle in F-Sharp Minor
3:56 $0.99
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5. Morceaux de Fantaisie, Op. 3: No. 5, Serenade in B-Flat Minor
3:45 $0.99
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6. Intermezzo (Improvisation)
4:06 $0.99
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7. 6 Moments Musicaux, Op. 16: No. 1 in B-Flat Minor, Andantino
6:09 $0.99
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8. 6 Moments Musicaux, Op. 16: No. 2 in E-Flat Minor, Allegretto
3:12 $0.99
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9. 6 Moments Musicaux, Op. 16: No. 3 in B Minor, Andante cantabile
6:16 $0.99
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10. 6 Moments Musicaux, Op. 16: No. 4 in E Minor, Presto
3:06 $0.99
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11. 6 Moments Musicaux, Op. 16: No. 5 in D-Flat Major, Adagio sostenuto
4:14 $0.99
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12. 6 Moments Musicaux, Op. 16: No. 6 in C Major, Maestoso
5:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Rachmaninov’s early piano works are dynamic and bold. His textures are unmistakable, as is his melodic and harmonic language. Such a strong, individual voice is extraordinary and although the style of his piano writing evolves and grows in so many ways throughout his life, these early pieces have a freedom and confidence of expression typical of his early works - such as we hear in the tremendous First Symphony - that goes straight into the soul of the listener.

The flavour is utterly Russian: dark and brooding with wonderful aching sweetness in those characteristic long melodic arcs. But it is the dark music of a truly original yet deeply Russian soul not merely that of a musician with precocious skills falling in line with the style of his predecessors. Although never considered to be modern, Rachmaninov’s post-romantic music is nonetheless undeniably innovative and fresh for its time and its influence is still heard clearly in today’s composers of film music. He is of course part of a lineage of great Russian Romantic composers - such as Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov - but Rachmaninov is worthy of being considered the next generation.

The richness of texture that these pieces display is remarkable, arguably unprecedented. Rachmaninov was writing for the virtuoso pianist who commands the modern piano as he did himself creating a complexity of layering that even Liszt had not imagined. But the texture, despite being thick, is never opaque. There is almost Bach-like counterpoint and sometimes a delicate intricacy, almost like a filigree, in the myriad notes that ripple across the glorious harmonic and melodic soundscapes.

His melodies are astonishing. It is impossible to explain why but there is something about the contours and intervals, the rise and fall of his long melodic lines which weave across broad yet intriguing harmonic shifts that fills the heart and soul with yearning. Yet it is a thrilling kind of melancholy. Heroic rather than self-pitying: the sense of longing in these pieces has tremendous drive and purpose. Rachmaninov’s music is always emotionally multi-faceted with many layers both in terms of the musical material and its emotional impact on the listener. These pieces seem to demand that we surrender completely in order to lose ourselves in the powerful, visceral currents of its passionate surges without resistance.

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