It is not quite clear how much the Rachmaninov transcription is the work of the composer’s cousin, Alexander Siloti (under whose name the first edition was published but who was not credited in later editions) and how much is that of Rachmaninov himself, who at the very least approved of the arrangement and its new title. Originally, this Romance
in E flat was a song, ‘Thou art like a flower’, to a Russian translation of Heine’s poem Du bist wie eine Blume
. Although the transcription is quite straightforward there are some particularly beautiful rhythmic alterations to allow the melody to be heard clearly at the climax. A typical Rachmaninov gesture, these surely come from the composer’s own hand.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 2004