Rachmaninov’s “The Rock”: An Homage to the Romantic Tone Poem

Sergei Rachmaninov was twenty years old when he composed the orchestral tone poem, The Rock, Op. 7 in the summer of 1893. It is music which looks back as much as forward. We hear Rachmaninov’s distinctive voice coming into focus. At the same time, this early work pays homage to an existing Russian Romantic tradition. The influence of Rimsky-Korsakov, to whom the piece was dedicated, Tchaikovsky, and Borodin is evident. At moments, The Rock develops with that …

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