by Paul Raworth Bennett
Feeling philharmonic (classically, at least) and yearning for a shamelessly emotional, musical catharsis?
Sergei Rachmaninoff – an undisputed master at filling people’s eyes with tears – was so utterly absorbed by his love affair with music that I wouldn’t be surprised if while deep in thought, he’d walk into more than his fair share of street lamps and other assorted hazards.
So tonight, at the end of your busy day, why don’t you indulge yourself in a 12-minute date with the 3rd Movement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #3 in D Minor (the “Rach 3”)?
Pour yourself a glass of wine… light a candle or two… ease yourself into a nice hot bubble bath or curl up on the couch… close your eyes (and keep ’em closed!)… and prepare to be swept away by this sweeping, vivid tapestry of everything from ephemeral, delicate nuances to awesome, roaring power.
This 50-year-old recording by Earl Wild is exactly that – WILD – accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic under the flawless conduction of Jascha Horenstein. It gripped me in more than a few places, especially about 5 and a half minutes in (Holy Toledo, Batman – where’s the Kleenex?!? this is, like, embarrassing…)
Aye, Sergei and Earl and Jascha… yours were lives of vibrant colour, and yours were lives lived very well!