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A 2015 GRAMMY Nomination for The Philadelphia Orchestra's Rachmaninov Variations CD!

Jessica Griffin
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Recording session for Rachmaninov Variations in March, 2015

Among the works Sergei Rachmaninov promoted were his variations on themes of other composers. The Philadelphia Orchestra - and the bright, new star Daniil Trifonov - are shining a new light on a popular piece as well as lesser-known works in the genre.

Listen to Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin talk with WRTI’s Susan Lewis about the Orchestra's recent recording, Rachmaninov Variations, which has just earned a GRAMMY Award nomination for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. 

Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin spoke with WRTI's Susan Lewis shortly after the release of the CD 'Rachmaninov Variations,' recorded with soloist Daniil Trifonov. The recording has been nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.

Radio script:

MUSIC: Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Susan Lewis: Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is well known.

Yannick Nezet-Seguin: But the other variations were always in the shadow.

SL: Yannick Nezet-Seguin, music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, which has recorded the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, on a CD that also includes the composer’s Variations on Themes of Chopin and Corelli for solo piano.

YNS: Rachmaninov -  in America, especially - wanted to champion those variations set - when he was asked to do a recital. Sometimes he struggled, because sometimes it was not necessarily the taste of that time.

He was a visionary and had very strong views about what was the best for his own voice to be heard. Now, many decades after this was composed, we can understand what a visionary he was.

SL: The soloist is Daniil Trifonov – a young pianist whom Yannick Nezet-Seguin compares to Rachmaninov himself.

YNS: There is this incredible blend of power and delicate colors. Sometimes you have the impression or feeling that the music is just flying. Probably the closest we can have today to what Rachmaninov was and used to be when he was recording his own works.

SL:  The recording, which also includes a composition by Daniil Trifonov, is on the Deutsche Grammophon label.  More information about the nomination here.

Listen to tracks from the CD here.

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.