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Rachmaninov - Cello Sonata g-moll op.19

Rachmaninov - Cello sonata. You can download the PDF sheet music Rachmaninov - Cello sonata on this page. Sergei Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19, a Cello sonata, was completed in November 1901 and published a year later. Rachmaninoff disliked calling it a cello sonata because he thought the two instruments were equal. Because of this, it is often referred to as Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano. Most of the themes are introduced by the piano, while they are embellished and expanded in the cello's part.

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PDF format sheet music


Cello part: 12 pages. 884 K


Piano part: 47 pages. 4244 K


Instrument part - First page Piano part - First page
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Rachmaninov dedicated this sonata to Anatoliy Brandukov, who gave the first performance in Moscow with the composer at the piano, on 2 December 1901. Rachmaninoff seems to have made some last-minute alterations after the premiere, as he wrote the date "12 December 1901" on the score. The sonata was overshadowed by the huge success of his Piano Concerto No. 2, which premiered on 27 October 1901. As typical of sonatas in the Romantic period, it has four movements:
  • Lento – Allegro moderato (G minor)
  • Allegro scherzando (C minor)
  • Andante (E flat major)
  • Allegro mosso (G major)

The work takes approximately 30 minutes to perform.

The Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19 for cello and piano, composed by Rachmaninov during the summer of 1901, was first performed in Moscow on 2nd December by the dedicatee, Anatol Brandukov, with the composer at the piano. In keeping with the models proposed by Mendelssohn and, even more so, Chopin (in his Opus 65), this sonata focuses on the piano. It falls within the context of those compositions that Rachma-ninov wrote while regaining confidence, following the success of his Piano Concerto No.2, Op. 18 (May 1901). The first movement opens with a Lento that seems unwilling to choose between the minor keys of C (piano) then G (cello), in the course of the statement of two broad themes that are clearly melodic. The cello becomes more assertive and speeds up the tempo in the linked allegro moderato. The keyboard takes up the initiative with a passage that is openly Schumannesque (moderato in D) and maintains it throughout the imposing development that it animates, stimulates and dominates in an astonishing appassionato recitative, the acme of this dramatic narrative that comes to an end with a coda in the course of which the cello, sounding almost like a human voice, attempts to rival—if not oppose—a piano sovereign in its 'orchestral' power. The second movement, Allegro scherzando, casts a frankly dreamlike mood, its atmosphere reminiscent of Schumann, while its construction recalls Chopin. The piano seems to improvise future Preludes, run through by uncertain cavalcades that the cello colors and attempts to metamorphose into Fantasiestucke closer to a nocturne than to a virtuoso, extraverted scherzo. It even takes over leading the discourse in the trio in A flat, its cantilena gradually rising with vigor and ease despite the flow of keyboard arpeggios. The Andante seems like a timeless pause, with a piano that is unable to hold in check its passionate surges that the cello allows to settle. The keyboard thus confers plastic beauty and natural brilliance to a first melody in E flat, oscillating between major and minor, then to a second in G minor. This sweeping meditation becomes almost serene when it moves into F minor. The cello evidently plays the bard in the coda, which is both luminous and virtuoso. The finale, Allegro mosso in G major, is introduced by the piano with the same fever and impetuosity as at the beginning of the opening Allegro. Its style becomes clearly concertante, the cello is no longer anything but a simple accompanist, even though it provides the emotional verity and lyrical richness to this brilliant demonstration of piano writing that plays on contrasts, thus dramatizing thematic material that is, in the final analysis, rather reduced. The recapitulation re-establishes the piano/string balance, the duo jointly animating the coda that is really presented as a summary of the whole sonata. With its piano beginning, it becomes progressively livelier, up to the masterful vivace of the concluding stretto, a cadence that abridges with panache the main theme, which had nourished the melodic stimulation of the entire work.

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