Cello Sonata (Rachmaninoff)

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A few bars from the 4th movement

Sergei Rachmaninoff's Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 19 was completed in November 1901[1] and published a year later.

Rachmaninoff regarded the role of the piano as not just an accompaniment but equal to the cello. Most of the themes are introduced by the piano, while they are embellished and expanded in the cello's part.[2]


Rachmaninoff dedicated the work to Anatoliy Brandukov, who gave the first performance in Moscow[3] with the composer at the piano, on 2 December 1901. Rachmaninoff seems to have made some last-minute alterations after the premiere, as he wrote the date "12 December 1901" on the score.[1]


As typical of sonatas in the Romantic period, it has four movements:

  1. Lento – Allegro moderato (G minor)
  2. Allegro scherzando (C minor)
  3. Andante (E-flat major)
  4. Allegro mosso (G major)

The work takes approximately 35 minutes to perform.[4]

Notable recordings[edit]



  1. ^ a b Classical Archives
  2. ^ Harrison, Max (2006). Rachmaninoff: Life, Works, Recordings. London: Continuum. pp. 101–3. ISBN 0-8264-9312-2.
  3. ^ Norris, Geoffrey (1993). The Master Musicians: Rachmaninoff. New York City: Schirmer Books. pp. 11, 19, 33, 38, 40, 123, 124, 168, 177. ISBN 0-02-870685-4.
  4. ^ Hinson, Maurice; Wesley Roberts (2006). The Piano in Chamber Ensemble: An Annotated Guide. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University. p. 196. ISBN 0-253-34696-7.

External links[edit]