Sergei Rachmaninoff was born in Russia on April 1st, 1873. Now, 130 years later, watch this beautiful music video rendition of his Vocalise, played by internationally renowned and Philadelphia-based concert pianist Ching-Yun Hu, and recorded in the WRTI Performance Studio.
Join Ching-Yun as she gets off the elevator at WRTI (before the pandemic!), walks through the halls of the station, into the darkened performance studio, pulls off the piano cover, and sits down to play Rachmaninoff's Vocalise.
Rachmaninoff. who was a virtuosic pianist, composer, and conductor, was also at home in Philadelphia, where he frequently collaborated with The Philadelphia Orchestra.
He wrote Vocalise in 1912 for voice with piano accompaniment. It has since been arranged for—in addition to solo piano—orchestra, various instruments with piano, chamber ensemble, and other solo instruments, including organ, guitar, saxophone and trumpet.
As the music wraps around us, Ching-Yun walks the streets he walked: the stately Academy of Music and its surrounding streets and vistas are featured in this video, as the piano, played with deep feeling by Ching-Yun, draws us into Rachmaninoff's beautiful musical world.
Ching-Yun Hu, born in Taipei, also has a fondness for Philadelphia, where she is artist-in-residence and on the piano faculty at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance. She is also the founder of the Philadelphia Young Pianists Academy(PYPA) Piano Festival, a summer festival with recitals, master classes, and guest lectures.