Rachmaninov composed this work in 1900, and played the first complete performance on November 9, 1901, with Alexandre Siloti conducting the Moscow Philharmonic Society.
He suffered a shattering career crisis in the 1897 massacre of his First Symphony in St. Petersburg, by its first conductor, Glazunov, who was reportedly disablingly drunk -- a fiasco the critics en masse, led by César Cui, laid at the composer's feet like an animal carcass. The audience -- ever mindful that Rachmaninov had been expelled in 1885 from the local temple of musical instruction -- listened stonily, glad for the failure of a young lion schooled elsewhere (in Moscow, he completed the Conservatory course in 1891, and graduated a year later with highest possible grades). Because of the failure of the Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninov began to drink immoderately. Believing himself unfit to compose, he tried concentrating on parallel courses as a concert soloist and opera conductor, but embroiled himself in a love affair that ended very badly. By the end of 1899, he was an alcoholic whose hands shook, imperiling his keyboard career. Between January and April 1900, Sergey Vassilyevich saw Dr. Dahl, a Moscow specialist in "neuropsychotherapy," daily, and was urged under hypnosis to compose the new piano concerto that a London impresario was asking for. Trance therapy roused the composer from his lethargy; indeed, he worked with great facility on an excellent new concerto -- the Second, in C minor, Op. 18 -- dedicated to Dr. Dahl in gratitude. Never again in the remaining four decades of his life was Rachmaninov immobilized by depression, despite several convulsive changes of fortune. " - AMG.
This is an RCA "Shaded Dog" Living Stereo recording from 1958. The RCA "Dogs" are considered to be of true Audiophile quality. This recording is no exception.
This is a true 1st pressing with 1S/1S as part of it's Matrix.
The record is Exc++.
The jacket is NM.
The LP plays Mint.
Stunning sound! The Piano is 'alive' and playing right in front of you. Every key stroke is crystal clear. The dynamics and tonality are exceptional. A great pressing and performance.
Very little surface noise - mostly very low-level 'crackles' (only on quiet passages) and about 8 audible 'ticks'.
Each record is washed on a VPI cleaning machine using a proprietary 3-5 agent process which is determined by the needs of the individual record. Each record is then listened to 100% to insure that the posted description is exactly what you can expect to get.
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