‘Talk by Francis Maes’

3 Feb.'23
- 19:00

Why do we know Rachmaninov primarily as a composer of piano concertos?

In this (Dutch-spoken) lecture, Francis Maes explores why we know Rachmaninov mainly as the composer of the Second and Third Piano Concerto. Critics still disagree about the rest of his oeuvre: The Isle of Death or his choral symphony The Bells rather rarely make it to the stage. With his operas The Miserly Knight and Francesca da Rimini, it is easy to overcome a sense of loss, of great promise that is never fully realised.

Rachmaninov might have had it in him to become a successor to Tchaikovsky. Due to circumstances, his oeuvre fell more limited than that of his illustrious predecessor. Whereas Tchaikovsky practised all genres and left a versatile oeuvre, the harvest of Rachmaninov's talent remained rather limited in number and genres. In this respect, the two famous piano concertos form the indisputable part of his legacy.
​​​​​​​Francis Maes is Professor of Musicology at Ghent University. As author of the book A history of Russian Music: From Kamarinskaya to Babi Yar, which has since become a standard work, he is considered a specialist on Russian music. His most recent book, Een verhaal van het niet (A Story of the Not), is about Tchaikovsky's opera Yevgeny Onegin.

Classical music


2 → 5

Rachmaninov Festival

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