How fair this spot

Sergey Rachmaninov

How fair this spot

Op. 21/7 • “Zdes′ khorosho”

About this work

Readers learning of the circumstances surrounding the composition of this song will fully understand the ecstatic sense of its passionate love music. Rachmaninov and his wife were on their honeymoon when he composed the work, which, not surprisingly, he also dedicated to her. Moreover, he had recently recovered from a depression caused by the disastrous 1897 premiere of his Symphony No. 1, which undermined his confidence and ability to compose until the appearance in 1901 of his ever-popular Piano Concerto No. 2. This was obviously a blissful time in his life, then, true to his nature, Rachmaninov was moved to write music here about romance and passion, leaving out the sunshine and merriment he must also have felt. The song features one of the composer's most soaring, beautiful vocal melodies that would not have been out of place in a slow movement of one of his concertos or symphonies. The accompaniment is appropriately subdued and just as romantic as the vocal line. The text, by G. Galina, describes a pastoral scene where young lovers have come to be alone with nature and themselves. This lovely song typically has a duration of just over two minutes.

Done