Rachmaninoff, Sergei; Gabriela Montero, Composer, Pianist / Concerto No. 2; Montero Op. 1 Ex Patria, And Three Improvisations

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2015-07-06 Pull Date: 2015-09-07 Charts: Classical/Experimental
Week Ending: Sep 6 Jul 26
Airplays: 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Sep 03, 2015: Clean Copper Radio
Montero, Ex Patria (In Memoriam), Op. 1 (13:22)
2. Jul 22, 2015: 7-22-2015
Piano Concerto No. 2. 3. Allegro Scherzando (11:37)

Album Review
Larry Koran
Reviewed 2015-06-25
Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) composed this work, his most popular, in 1900-1901, dedicating it to the psychiatrist/musician, Dr. Nikolai Dahl, who cured the 3-year despondency that followed the unsuccessful premier of his First Symphony (unsuccessful in part because the conductor, composer Alexander Glazunov, was drunk). The Concerto contains unforgettable tunes and dazzling pianistic effects. The 1st mvmt begins with eight, bell-tolling crescendo chords before the strings announce the sumptuous 1st theme. Orchestral silence allows the piano solo to introduce the grandly melodic 2nd theme. The 2nd mvmt is a nocturne, with an atmosphere of enchantment and reverie, in unabashed Romantic style. The 3rd mvmt’s 1st theme is agitated, martial; the 2nd theme became “Full Moon and Empty Arms.” After this theme’s third presentation, the piano has the last word - an outburst of glittering bravura. G. Montero’s Op. 1, Ex Patria is a lament for her native Venezuela’s descent into lawlessness, corruption and chaos. The opening chord grabs attention, fleeting innocent motifs follow, then ominous calm, a brutalized percussive interruption, mournful rhapsody, and an finale in chromatic decay. Improv. #1 is a sweet, melancholic, Bachian prelude; Improv. #2 a rhapsody a la Rachmaninoff; Improv. # 3 a lovely, quiet Spanish ballade a la Isaac Albéniz.

Track Listing
1. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 In C Minor, Op. 18. 1 Moderato (11:37)   4. Montero, Ex Patria (In Memoriam), Op. 1 (13:22)
2. Piano Concerto No. 2. 2. Adagio Sostenuto (11:36)   5. Montero: Improvisation No. 1 (5:25)
3. Piano Concerto No. 2. 3. Allegro Scherzando (11:37)   6. Montero: Improvisation No. 2 (7:06)
  7. Montero: Improvisation No. 3 (3:42)