Rachmaninoff Duo Suite No. 1, Op. 5 “Fantaisie-Tableax,” Mvt. II “A Night for Love” – this stunning piece captures why my mom and I love Rachmaninoff so much. The entire piece is written almost like one incredibly long, passionate phrase – a flirtatious entrance, with delicate trills (1:10) and rolling arpeggios (1:55) that intensify into a passionate whirlwind (2:34) that slowly dies down (3:13) as if the pianos were falling to sleep.
When we opened the score for the first time, we were greeted by an excerpt of the poem “Parisana” by Lord Byron, an 18th century British poet. Take a look and see if you can find the connection.
It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale’s high note is heard;
It is the hour when lovers’ vows
Seem sweet in every whisper’d word;
And gentle winds, and waters near,
Make music to the lonely ear.