Rachmaninoff wrote two sets of studies Op.33 and Op.39. He named them Etudes Tableaux, Picture Studies. As with Chopin’s tradition of studies, Rachmaninoff also treated them as concert pieces with added technical difficulty.
This study (Op.39 n. 9) is the last of the studies. Rachmaninoff wanted the performer to create their own image for each of the studies and to me this is a painting of a winter-time scene full of snow and the sound of bells.
Special thanks to Schott Music Shop in London for providing the recording space.