The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (310): Rachmaninov’s sadder

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (310): Rachmaninov’s sadder


norman lebrecht

February 14, 2021

The piano version of his pal Fritz Kreisler’s soupy Liebesleid is a good deal more morose than the original.



  • JamesM says:

    Why is it that everything Rachmaninoff touches becomes pure magic?

    • christopher storey says:

      I think it is because so much ( in fact nearly all ) of his music is tinged with melancholy , if that is not too much of an understatement. The interesting thing is that he did not carry that melancholy over into performances of other composers’ works, judging by the recorded performances we have

    • Greg Bottini says:

      Because Rachmaninoff was an immortal genius, JamesM.

    • Stereo says:

      He was a magician,simple!

  • E says:

    Rachmaninoff invites contemplation, Kreisler, with the fiddle — is for dancing, and that is
    clear from the lilt of the first bars. Thanks. It brightens a cold winter afternoon.

  • NYCgirl says:

    Absolutely, pure magic, beautifully put, James M.

  • Peter says:


    One of the funniest thing with this blog is the constant “I try to seem relaxed when I stamp on timeless classics but I really want to provoke you and make you angry”

  • Greg Bottini says:

    “Liebesleid”? Morose? Soupy?
    It’s more like “poignant” and “beautiful”, seems to me.

  • Nicholas says:

    Old world charm to the manner born from both of these great artists.

  • fflambeau says:

    Sorry, I prefer Bolet’s version on piano and I. Perlman’s on the violin. Liebeslied is supposed to be sorrowful, that’s the translation; Kreisler also wrote an accompanying, more upbeat, Liebesfreud (“Love’s Joy”).

    • Paul Carlile says:

      And Rach also transcrobe Liebesfreud, one of his most stunningly imaginative confections. Best heard also in the composer’s own version; avoid the sleepy Borelet, who cuts out the tricky bits!
      (It’s “Liebesleid” – never mind, very common slip-up!)

  • fflambeau says:

    By the way, Kreisler won Paris’s “Premier Grand Prix de Rome” gold medal at the age of 12! He knew what he was doing and was one of the greatest violinists of his age.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    What would have been fun is if Kreisler had transcribed for violin Rachmaninov’s version of Liebesleid! Some of Kreisler’s least-known transcriptions are works of Rachmaninov that he did in retirement, so he himself never recorded them and they are hard to come by as sheet music because they were published when for reasons that now seem hard to understand, violinists and recital programs had somewhat turned away from the short pieces by Kreisler and others.

  • Edward S. says:

    I think that Mr Kreisler vers ion is too melancolic , it’s reminded me the of Pianist. I prefer Rachma. 2nd concerto in C-Minor.