Classical Music | Piano Music

Sergei Rachmaninov

Sonata No. 2 in b-flat minor, Op. 36  Play

Jingjing Wang Piano

Recorded on 12/26/2012, uploaded on 05/02/2013

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Piano Sonata No.2 in B-flat minor, Op.36, 1913 version SergeiRachmaninoff

Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Sonata in B flat minor, Op. 36, in its original form makes heavy technical demands on the performer and includes extended passages of virtuoso piano-writing. The first version, completed in 1913, offers a stormy first subject and a gentler second in a dotted rhythm that had already assumed importance in the Opus 32 Preludes. A brief linking passage introduces a central slow movement, integrated into the whole structure, and similarly linked to a final stormy Allegro molto in B flat major.

The first movement opens with a bold assertion of the key of B flat minor and a descending fragment of melody which will soon appear transformed into the major tonality. There is a transition using characteristic dotted rhythms, followed after a short cadenza by the second subject, a gentle D flat major theme in a dotted compound rhythm almost suggesting a siciliano. There is a tenderly descending modulation to open the second movement. A place is found in what follows for reminiscences of the first movement, with the descending melodic figure of its first subject and an allusion to the gentler secondary theme.     Jingjing Wang

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