Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Rachmaninoff

I first came across this piece of music aged around 8, having slipped into the back of a packed concert hall of an Arts & Music college just next to where I grew up. I was immediately blown away by the unbelievable beauty, incredible power, stunning virtuosity and what even then I thought as as music somehow divine. Although I would not say that I was thinking of God directly, I would describe that moment as a spiritual experience.

As I was learning the piano, for a subsequent birthday I was gifted two cassette tapes by my parents: one remarkably (and to my mind coincidentally) being Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor. I listened to that tape for hours, and carried the music with me in one form or another right through school, art college and beyond. It has always allowed me, like a form of meditation, to access another space beyond the physical here and now: yet it is also so deeply passionate and cathartic that one can feel a real bodily response to the music. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realised millions of other people also feel this way about the concerto!

As an artist, I am a strong believer that beauty, and the awe before beauty that the viewer/ listener experiences is a way to access the divine. As such, an artwork doesn’t necessarily have to have a “religious” theme to speak of the divine or allow those who believe to connect to God.

This is a link to the 2nd movement, my favourite, Adagio:

Angel Zatorski


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