About Sergey Rachmaninoff's Transcriptions
Rachmaninoff was not only a composer but a pianist of the highest caliber who made his living from touring and performing during periods of his life. Like many traveling virtuosos before him, Rachmaninoff transcribed and arranged a number of works for solo piano (an exercise he reportedly enjoyed) which he then brought before his audiences. Rachmaninoff’s arrangements often feature elaborate writing, influences from his own, distinctive harmonic language, and pianistic devices suited for the virtuoso, creating a refreshing new take on the original work while retaining much of its original flavor. Examples include the “Liebesleid” (“Love’s Sorrow”) and “Liebesfreud” (“Love’s Joy”) arrangements created as a tribute to Rachmaninoff’s friendship with their composer, violinist Fritz Kreisler, and his arrangement of three movements from the third violin partita by Johann Sebastian Bach from 1933, to which he added harmonies and contrapuntal lines not found in the original violin part.