2016 BBC documentary "The Joy of Rachmaninoff": Tom Service takes a cinematic journey through Russia on the musical trail of Sergei Rachmaninoff.
New Rachmaninoff editions by Boosey & Hawkes and Henle
New Rachmaninoff editions by Boosey & Hawkes and Henle are among the first publishing activities since Rachmaninoff's music has come out of copyright.
In his book Rachmaninoff: Life, Works, Recordings, Max Harrison states that the virtuoso English pianist Cyril Smith once said that Rachmaninoff "could with his left hand stretch C–E-flat–G–C–G and the right could manage C (second finger)–E–G–C–E (thumb under)." Try it yourself. This is an amazing stretch!
Reconstructing Rachmaninoff's case
Around January 1900 Sergei Rachmaninoff went into hypnotherapy with Nikolai Vladimirovich Dahl. He had not composed large scores ever since the fiasco of his First Symphony and the therapy was mainly directed at overcoming this problem. Treatments occurred daily over a period that cannot have lasted longer than three months or so. The patient was cured. In gratitude Rachmaninoff dedicated his Second Piano Concerto to Dahl.
Recorded by Willem Mengelberg
Piano Concerto No. 3
Mengelberg's later inscription reads: 'Welt-Uraufführung mit den Componist in London Philharm. Society. 21 Jan 1912-13 (damals nur ¾ stunde probiert)' (Worldpremiere (sic!) with the composer in London Philharm. Society. (rehearsal at the time but 45 minutes)) The score also holds tempo markings for performances (and subsequent recording) by Walter Gieseking in ink. Gieseking provided these by letter, because there was a lack of rehearsal time.