Rachmaninoff on the culminating point in performance

This culmination may be at the end or in the middle, it may be loud or soft; but the performer must know how to approach it with absolute calculation, absolute precision, because, if it slips by, then the whole construction crumbles, and the piece becomes disjointed and scrappy and does not convey to the listener what must be conveyed.

Sergei Rachmaninoff to Marietta Shaginian, cited in G. Norris, “Sergey Rakhmaninov,” The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie, London, Macmillan, 1995, vol. 15, p.555.

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