This study highlights aspects of performance for the consideration of the pianist wishing to perform Rachmaninoff’s second piano sonata op. 36, using a combination of the two versions (1913 and 1931) published by Boosey&Hawkes. By providing a background to the composition, revision, and structure of this sonata, the study aims to inspect all aspects of the conception and revision of the work. Through a close examination of two recordings of this sonata - by Vladimir Horowitz and Van Cliburn - the study analyses and compares the performers’ choices regarding the selection and combination of material from the two versions for performance. Aspects such as technical difficulty, texture, structure and sonority are highlighted as points for the pianist to contemplate when attempting an alternative version of this work. These elements of successful performance are singled out by the detailed observation of the material selected by the performers, with conjectures as to the most probable reason for its selection. The various analyses and comparisons are illustrated by means of music examples.
Dissertation (MMus (Performing Arts))--University of Pretoria, 2007.