Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances

Listening to this takes me straight back to Cardiff in the 1980s when there were series of chamber music concerts in the Reardon Smith lecture theatre attached to the National Museum.

Once I bought a ticket for a flute and piano recital. I was very excited because the programme included the Prokofiev Sonata and I was going to see and hear it live. On the evening I managed to park right by the theatre and I sat in the car waiting for the doors to open. They didn't. Eventually I went and found a notice sellotaped to the door saying the concert had been cancelled and the tickets would be refunded where bought.

After the refund I asked why the concert had been cancelled.
"Not enough tickets sold."
"Really? Do you know how many were sold, then?"
"Just yours."

In the Reardon Smith I heard Brandenburg No. 5 live. The (famous) harpsichordist got lost in the middle of the cadenza but carried on playing, making it up until he got back on track. We were all very impressed.

I heard these Symphonic Dances played by Richard McMahon and Martin Jones Piano (we used to reckon that that was his full name, we saw it in print so often). They played a bit more fluidly than these two fellows, and I remember being fascinated as the two men watched each other and passed the lead to and fro during the ravishing slow melodies.

Rachmaninov can really get the tears flowing.


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