The Music of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Late Period

Alexander I. Demchenko


Sergei Rachmaninoff’s late style, from the mid-1920s to the early 1940s, became a period of the composer’s to the radical change of his living and artistic processes, which manifested itself in a number of cases in his contact with the folkloristic trend of the early 20th century (as demonstrated in “Three Russian Songs”) and neoclassicism (carried out according to a single structural model in his “Variations on a Theme of Corelli” and “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”). Out of this emerged that late metamorphosis of Rachmaninoff’s style which, notwithstanding all of its moderate and classical stylistic attributes, fits very well within the contours of contemporary music; this also applies to the poetic characteristics and the emotional-lyrical saturation, typical of the composer, which were modified from the positions of a rationally conscious perception of the world (various diverse facets of this can be found in the Fourth Piano Concerto, the Third Symphony and the “Symphonic Dances”).

Keywords: Sergei Rachmaninoff’s late period of creativity, Rachmaninoff and the creative processes of the 20th century

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