With his Études-Tableaux Rachmaninoff continued down the path that Chopin and Liszt had already set out on with their concert etudes: the most demanding technical tasks are presented in the form of expressive character pieces. Rachmaninoff composed two cycles, each originally with nine Études-Tableaux; however, shortly before Opus 33 went to print, he removed three of the pieces. Several posthumous editions later reversed this decision. However, in our edition we follow the exact structure with six pieces as laid out by Rachmaninoff for publication. The two surviving etudes that were not originally published are reprinted in an appendix to our Urtext edition.
- Level of difficulty (Explanation)
- Other titles with this level of difficulty
Sergei V. Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943) first turned his attention to the genre of the piano etude in 1911, the year a fter bringing to completion his large cycle of 24 Préludes, composed over several years. Between 1911 and 1917 he wrote two self-contained sets of etudes, op. 33 and 39, under the title Études-Tableaux. They reveal his progression towards a greater stylistic … more
About the composer
Composer and pianist who continued and expanded the late-Romantic tradition; he prepared the way for Prokofiev and Shostakovich. His oeuvre comprises orchestral works, piano pieces, choral works, several operas, and numerous songs.
|1873||Born in Semyonovo on April 1. From 1880 receives professional instruction in music.|
|1885–92||Studies music at the Moscow Conservatory.|
|1890–92||Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1, with the diminished fourth in the main theme typical of his style.|
|1892||Successful performance of his one-act opera “Aleko” (a graduation work). Prelude in C-sharp minor for piano.|
|1897||Unsuccessful premiere of the Symphony No. 1, Op. 13 (with abrupt contrasts). First experiences as an opera conductor at Moscow’s Mamontov Theater. He becomes acquainted with Fyodor Shalyapin, later his friend.|
|1900/01||Composition of the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, in a modified style (broad melodic arcs, transparent compositional style).|
|1904–06||Appointed conductor at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.|
|1906||Premieres of the operas “The Miserly Knight,” Op. 24, and “Francesca da Rimini,” Op. 25.|
|1907||Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27, with whimsical figuration in the woodwinds; Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 28.|
|1909||Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30; symphonic poem “The Isle of the Dead,” Op. 29|
|from 1910||More complex compositional technique (enhanced polyphony, ambiguous harmonies, fast rhythmic alterations) in Thirteen Preludes for piano, Op. 32; “Études-tableaux,” Op. 33 (1911); Fourteen Songs, Op. 34 (1910–16).|
|1917||Rachmaninoff leaves Russia and lives in Stockholm, Copenhagen, the United States (career as pianist), and Switzerland.|
|1926/41||Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40. In 1935/36, Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44.|
|from 1939||He emigrates permanently to the United States.|
|1943||Death in Beverly Hills on March 28.|
About the authors
Pianisten, die Rachmaninows Etüden studieren wollen, sollten unbedingt mit dieser Neuedition arbeiten. Gut möglich, dass einiges dann anders klingt, als wir es gewohnt sind.