In 2023, APO marks an anniversary for Rachmaninov – 150 years since his birth. His tone-poem depicts a soul being rowed across the sea to the land of death. Passionate music farewells the joys of life, but inevitably the piece ends with a ghostly lament under the inescapable rhythm of the oars.
It is quite a contrast to his much-loved piano-concerto-in-all-but-name, whose warm heart is the famous Eighteenth Variation. We’ll hear it played by Inon Barnatan, the ﬁrst Artist in Association at the New York Philharmonic.
Rachmaninov’s slightly older contemporary Glazunov straddled nationalism and a more internationalist music style; his irresistibly tuneful Fourth Symphony reaches a terriﬁcally exciting climax.