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Suite No.2 Opus 17; arr. : full orchestra

by David Stanhope (2019)

Suite No.2 Opus 17


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Suite No.2 Opus 17 : orchestration / Sergei Rachmaninoff ; arranged by David Stanhope.

Library shelf no. 784.2/STA 20 [Available for loan]

Suite No.2 Opus 17

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Work Overview

To orchestrate one of the staple works for two pianos might seem controversial; however, I am convinced Rachmaninoff was at least thinking in orchestral terms when he wrote it, even if never intending to orchestrate it himself, such as he did with the later Symphonic Dances, first written for two pianos. There are several indications in the suite that suggest orchestral treatment. One should remember that the second Suite was the first major composition written by Rachmaninoff after years of depression following the disastrous première of his Symphony in D minor. He may have been wary of writing another purely orchestral work; his next composition for orchestra took the precaution of including a piano solo. After the success of this Piano Concerto No.2, Op.18, other orchestral works could follow without fear. I have tried to copy Rachmaninoff's own orchestration in my transcription, especially that of the symphonies. Much fell neatly into place. The result should be a welcome alternative to the other of his major orchestral works, and just as enjoyable.

Work Details

Year: 2019

Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in Bb, bass clarinet in Bb, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in C, 2 trombones, bass trombone/tuba, timpani, percussion (3 players), strings.

Duration: 26 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — high professional orchestra standard

Contents note: Introduction -- Waltz -- Romance -- Tarantella.


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