Rachmaninov’s Op 2 Pieces for cello and piano, which were among the first of his works to be published by Gutheil, comprise a new version of the F major piano Prélude, and a Danse orientale
. The Prélude
retains F major as its key and begins at once with the cello’s statement of the main theme, accompanied chordally by the piano. A restatement, slightly more elaborate, follows, leading to a faster section in which the piano assumes greater importance, although both instruments are fully utilized. A strongly varied recapitulation of the opening theme, with the piano more assertive—though still accompanimental—brings the Prélude
to a quiet ending. The succeeding Danse orientale
, in A minor, is more fluidly constructed, with a characteristic opening theme that is subjected to a variable state of flux in its working, but always returning to A minor. The quiet pizzicato ending is another characteristic touch.
from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 2000