CHONG, Kristian

PhD Australian Catholic University 2014 Pages:

Sergei Rachmaninoff in Melbourne; a performer's reflection through the twenty-four Preludes Opp, 23 and 32; from Mack Jost to the twenty-first century

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This study concentrates on the performance of the twenty-four Preludes of Sergei Rachmaninoff. It comprises three parts. The first is a combination of a recording of the complete twenty-four Rachmaninoff Preludes. The second is a reflection on some of the performance issues within the Preludes, based upon the interpretative choices taken in this recording. The final part considers the career, writings and philosophies of Melbourne pianist Mack Jost (1918 - 2000) and how Rachmaninoff influenced pianists such as Jost and myself. As an introductory dialogue, the journey and reasons for my own affinity with Rachmaninoff are discussed along with my own unique relationship that has been forged with the Preludes. The reflections on the Preludes are prepared in an analogous style to Jost’s publications and discussions on performance, which are practically and performance based rather than analytical. They primarily reflect the interpretative choices considered in this particular recording, but also contemplate relationships between separate Preludes. Jost was one of the first Australian concert pianists to perform Rachmaninoff regularly in Australia, and was a keen supporter of the composer’s music throughout his life. His use and promotion of Rachmaninoff in both his concert and teaching careers will be examined alongside issues of dissemination of Rachmaninoff in Melbourne since the mid twentieth century. Indeed my recording of both Op.23 and Op.32 is one of the first by an Australian pianist in recent times.

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