“Prelude in D Major, Op. 23 No. 4”
by Sergey Rachmaninov
Edited by Samuel O. Pratt
For Pedal Harp
Intermediate / Advanced 5 Pages
Copyright 1966 by CHARLES COLIN
Prelude in D Major, we find exquisite. It is a pity, and the bane of Rachmaninov s existence, that his Prelude in C# Minor became the only piece by him that has been really generally known. Curiously enough, this probably occurred because of the lack of a copyright and the resultant rush into publication by every publisher in the world. It did serve to launch Rachmaninov firmly into the musical world, and thus did serve a fine purpose. The other preludes of Rachmaninov, although a little more subtle, are excellent pieces of music, and several transcribe particularly well for the harp. We feel that the future years will prove Rachmaninov one of the greatest composers of this or any other century. His melodic style of writing is not difficult to grasp on the first or second hearing, but the intricacy of the composers work is not seen at first, and repeated hearing and study brings out a skill in composing equal to the greatest name composers. The figuration in the left hand is as much melody as it is accompaniment, and should always be well- phrased. Let the left hand play all the notes in the figuration, even though it would at times be possible to divide the notes between the two hands. It is better for the phrasing to keep the lines in one hand wherever possible. Fingering has only been slightly indicated, since hand groupings may be easier for some in a little different way. Just be consistent in the way you do it. Keep the several lines of melody in the right hand distinct at all times. In the 19th measure, the triplet obbligato should embellish, but not cover the repetition of the original melody. Work toward the ff on the next to the last page. It is the climax of the composition and all that comes after that is a resolution of the tension built up before the climax. As is often the case, Rachmaninov ends with a sigh, and no one can sigh more musically than this master.