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Young Sergei Rachmaninoff had a nervous breakdown after scathing reviews of his Symphony No. 1 in 1897. He was so shaken that he couldn’t compose for three years and eventually sought treatment, including hypnosis, from Dr Nicolai Dahl, a Russian physician of neurology and psychiatry. After more than three months of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, Rachmaninoff was able again to compose and wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2 which he dedicated to Dr Dahl. Premiered in 1901 with the composer as soloist, the work was a smashing success and assured Rachmaninoff’s fame as a composer and the Concerto remains an enduring favorite today. (And in 1975, pop singer Eric Carmen wrote his hit “All By Myself” based on a theme in the Concerto’s 2nd movement. And Céline Dion had a hit with her cover of the song in 1996).
Yuja Wang is the soloist in the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2 for your Midday Masterpiece today at 2:00 pm.
Violin Concerto in Bb major Opus 1, Bk. 3
Raglan Baroque Players; Nicholas Kraemer, conductor Elizabeth Wallfisch, violin