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Aspects of a Late Style in Sergei Rachmaninoff's Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42: a Lecture Recital, together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of J. Brahms, L. v. Beethoven, F. Chopin, C. Debussy, Zoltan Kodaly, M. Moussorgsky, and S. Prokofiev

Description: This document identifies elements of a stylistic change which occurred in several of the pieces Rachmaninoff wrote during the last years of his life. These elements reflect a progressive trend in his music, which certainly maintained in spite of the change, its characteristic sound. The Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42 illustrate these new developments in their lean, angular unison sonorities, stripped of chordal padding and virtuosic display, in their percussive, staccato and incisive ostinato rhythmic figures, astringent chromatic harmony and modern air of detachment. The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 confirms this stylistic development in its remarkable similarity to the Corelli Variations. In the last twenty-six years of his life in exile from his homeland, making his way around the world as a concert pianist, Rachmaninoff wrote only six major works. Perhaps his increasing age, separation from homeland, and the musical revolutions surrounding him in the Western world produced this stylistic development.
Date: May 1989
Creator: Ruttle, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries