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Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor

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Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff (trans. Oaks)

This work bears the designation Opus 18.

General Info

Year: 1901 / 2007
Duration: c. 35:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Piano and orchestra
Publisher: AdlerOaks Music Library
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $200.00   |   Score Only (print) - $80.00


1. Moderato - 10:15
2. Adagio Sostenuto
3. Allegro Scherando


Full Score
C Piccolo I-II
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Solo Piano
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, is a concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff between the autumn of 1900 and April 1901. The complete work was premiered, again with the composer as soloist, on 9 November 1901, with his cousin Alexander Siloti conducting.

At its 1897 premiere, Rachmaninoff's first symphony, though now considered a significant achievement, was derided by contemporary critics. Compounded by problems in his personal life, Rachmaninoff fell into a depression that lasted for several years. His second piano concerto confirmed his recovery from clinical depression and writer's block, cured only by a course of hypnotherapy. The concerto was dedicated to Nikolai Dahl, a physician who had done much to restore Rachmaninoff's self-confidence.

This piece is one of Rachmaninoff's most enduringly popular pieces, and established his fame as a concerto composer.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

A quality especially apparent in the Second Piano Concerto is a sense of effortlessness in its unfolding, and that is something new in Rachmaninoff’s music. He begins magnificently, and with something so familiar that we come perilously close to taking it for granted -- a series of piano chords in crescendo, all based on F, each reinforced by the tolling of the lowest F on the keyboard, and, through the gathering harmonic tension and dynamic force, constituting a powerful springboard for the move into the home chord of C minor. Once there, the strings with clarinet initiate a plain but intensely expressive melody, which the piano accompanies with sonorous broken chords.

The piano’s role as accompanist is also worth noting. Nowhere is the pianist so often an ensemble partner and so rarely a soloist aggressively in the foreground as in this first movement of the Second Concerto. The initial impulse plays itself out in one grand, tightly organized paragraph, to which Rachmaninoff appends two small afterthoughts, a bit of scurrying for the piano and a quite formal set of cadential chords. It is only then that the orchestra falls silent and the pianist steps forward as a vocal soloist in the grand Romantic manner. This version was transcribed for wind band by Scott Oaks in 2007,

- Program Note by Michael Steinberg


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Indiana Wind Symphony (Carmel) (Charles Conrad, conductor; Kelleen Strutz, piano) - 10 April 2022
  • Aragon High School (San Mateo, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Troy Davis, conductor; Kevin Yang, composer) – 21 April 2018
  • West Geauga High School (Chesterland, Ohio) Wind Ensemble (Jason Branch, conductor; Arianna Körting, piano) – 2 March 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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