Music: Rachmaninoff

Thirty-four years ago a gaunt young Russian with a crew haircut took over the job as chief conductor in the orchestra pit of Moscow's Imperial Grand Theatre. Muscovite socialites liked the way he conducted. But Sergei Rachmaninoff had other fish to fry. Not only was he Russia's best pianist, but also the composer of three operas, a symphony, two piano concertos and a sheaf of smaller and more popular operas. One of these, the "Flatbush" Prelude in C Sharp Minor, had already swept the world, made his name a byword among people who never went near a concert hall.

Year later Rachmaninoff...

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