November 10, 2023

Rachmaninoff Reflections

Inon Barnatan presents an album of Rachmaninoff's most piano cherished works alongside Barnatan's own transcriptions, set to release on November 10th with various selections to release as singles throughout October.

Inon Barnatan presents Rachmaninoff Reflections, offering some of the composer’s most cherished piano works, including his Moments musicaux, Prelude in G-Sharp Minor and Barnatan’s own arrangement of the Vocalise. The centerpiece of this project is Barnatan’s breathtaking new piano arrangement of the Symphonic Dances.

His other Pentatone discography consists of Time Traveler’s Suite (2021), Beethoven’s complete cello sonatas with Alisa Weilerstein (2022), as well as complete recordings of Beethoven’s piano concertos together with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Alan Gilbert (2019 and 2020).

Inon said about the project, “A few years ago I came across an unforgettable recording from 1940, in which Sergei Rachmaninoff plays through his Symphonic Dances on the piano for conductor Eugene Ormandy, before Ormandy led the Philadelphia Orchestra in the premiere performance of the orchestral version of the work. While it’s not clear Rachmaninoff knew he was being recorded (he did not allow any other live recordings of his playing), this private performance offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the powers of one of history’s great pianists, and an extraordinary insight into the way he intended the piece to be performed. It also got me thinking...

Since childhood, I had been moved by the power, beauty, and complexity of the orchestral version of Symphonic Dances. Later, I loved collaborating with other pianists to perform the two-piano version (which Rachmaninoff created before the orchestral version) alongside other pianists, but hearing the composer play it alone on a single piano, I got a tantalizing new perspective on how the score must have been conceived, and how a solo piano version could promise a new dimension of spontaneity and flexibility. All I had to do was create it.”


Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Symphonic Dances Op. 45 (arr. I. Barnatan for Piano)

1 - No. 1, Non Allegro
2 - No. 2, Andante con moto. Tempo di valse
3 - No. 3, Lento assai - Allegro vivace

Moments musicaux, Op. 16

4 - No. 1, Andantino in B-Flat Minor
5 - No. 2, Allegretto in E-Flat Minor
6 - No. 3, Andante cantabile in B Minor
7 - No. 4, Presto in E Minor
      * available as single and instant gratification track, October 13th
8 - No. 5, Andante sostenuto in D-Flat Major
      * available as single and instant gratification track, October 27th
9 - No. 6, Maestoso in C Major

14 Romances, Op. 34

10 - No. 16, Vocalise (arr. I. Barnatan for Piano)
      * available as single and instant gratification track, October 6th

Preludes, Op. 32

11 - No. 12, Prelude in G-Sharp Minor