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Ten Opus 1s of the great composers

Features - Classical Music

Ten Opus 1s of the great composers

by Melissa Lesnie on May 30, 2012 (May 30, 2012) filed under Classical Music | Comment Now
The first published works of Beethoven, Mozart and Mahler: mere trifles or immortal masterpieces?

Sergei Rachmaninov

Piano Concerto No 1 in F#, Op 1 (1890–91)

Rachmaninov was not 18, and still a student at the Moscow Imperial Conservatorium, when he began work on his First Piano Concerto. The fledgling composer completed his Opus 1 during a month of almost complete solitude at his family's holiday house in Ivanovka, where the second and third movements emerged in a two-and-a-half day burst as he worked from 5am to 8pm each day.

Rachmaninov himself played the first movement at a student concert on March 17, 1892. Though an early work, not as famous as his bombastic Second Piano Concerto,  it bears all the hallmarks of Rachmaninov's mature style, swooning themes and pianistic flourishes aplenty. Still, he revised it in 1917.