Rachmaninov – Emmanuelle Swiercz

A few thoughts about Sergei Rachmaninov

Among Rachmaninov’s works it is the Études-Tableaux and Variations on a Theme by Chopin which resonate most profoundly in me, admits Emmanuelle Swiercz.  They allow for a highly personal form of expression, and one is struck by the extraordinary diversity of the musical events and styles of writing, and by the richness of emotional ambiances inspired by this diversity.  Everything follows in quick succession: feverish atmosphere, freedom, improvisation, conflicts and suffering.  Rachmaninov was also a tormented soul brimming with warmth, profoundness and excess, but also full of hope.  And although at times this density of expression is breathtaking for the interpreter, it is also extremely stimulating.

Rachmaninov belongs to a long line of renowned composer pianists, the most brilliant of whom is Chopin.  Both musicians had in common a characteristic blend of extraordinary technical audacity and powerful expression.  It was certainly no accident that Rachmaninov chose one of his elder’s preludes as the starting point of a set of variations.  It was his way of not only paying tribute to Chopin, but also of creating a filial bond with him, and establishing his own place among the noble and magnificent descendents of the Romantic period. Chopin’s presence in these variations throws a bridge across time, a sort of meeting-point between the two composers.”

Emmanuelle Swiercz