Just a few days ago there was an anniversary of Sergey Rachmaninoff’s 1st performance of his Prelude in C-sharp-Minor (Op.3, No.2). There was plenty said about this fantastic music that long time ago had become one of the greatest treasury of pianisic culture. Today I would like to share with you my most beloved performance of this work where the ingeniously composed peace of music faced the equally ingenious performance.
Below you may find a soundfile with Josef Hofmann performs “C-sharp-Minor” in April of 1918. This performance is sort of Mecca of what possible to do on a Piano. The Hormann’s aristocratic sonority with that unimaginable amount of semantic punctuation within each single note, his superbly soft but insultingly articulate dynamic “oscillations”, his fantastic tonal shadings and his half-tones “teasing”, his asynchronic and “leaky” rhythm when he opens his expressions in a direct “violation” of “rules” of timing and logic… all of this make this recording no less then iconic (pretty much as most of what he recorded before 1920)
Ironically but the force of the Hoffman paling is so powerfully that it even go through the barbarian MP3 file…
The Audio File (to listen)
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche