February 17, 2008


RACINE, WISCONSIN. RJE Productions is pleased to announce the upcoming release of a brand-new recording featuring, among other things, the world’s first recording on organ and piano of Rachmaninoff’s beloved Piano Concerto #2 (in C minor). The recording will also be the inaugural recording of the 5-manual 105-rank symphonic theatre organ at the Adrian Phillips residence in Phoenix, Arizona.

Rachmaninoff completed his second concerto in 1900, and it quickly became one of the best-known and beloved piano concertos of all times. The concerto was so successful that various themes from the work have been popularized under titles such as All By Myself (second movement) and Full Moon And Empty Arms (third movement). Jelani recorded all three movements of the work in their entirety.

Recording an extended work for piano and orchestra in its entirety is an extremely time-consuming endeavor, and the Rachmaninoff project took more than a year to complete. The first such work ever done was Jelani’s 2006 recording of the complete Leroy Anderson piano concerto on his album Sleigh Ride. The following year, Jelani released a recording of the complete Grieg A-minor piano concerto on his album The Mighty Wurlitzer.

This year, the Rachmaninoff piano concerto will become the third concerto recorded in its entirety on organ and piano.

The first step in completing a project of this magnitude is to undertake a painstaking measure-by-measure reduction of the full orchestral score (which, in the case of the Rachmaninoff work, was well over a hundred pages in length). During the process of writing out the orchestral reduction, all of the orchestral parts from all the instruments are condensed into a format that can be performed by a single musician at the organ. Next, the orchestral parts are recorded on the organ with the assistance of the organ’s computerized relay system which allows the organist to record his performance into the computer’s memory and then play it back at a later time.

Finally, with the organ recording complete, the orchestral parts are played back while Jelani simultaneously records the piano score.

The album featuring this recording is expected to be released in March 2008. Click Here for additional details.