In addition, he also gave concerts, as a violinist and as a conductor, and wrote several books on problems in orchestration. He received the Stalin Prize in 1946 for his Violin Concerto No. 1 in E minor (1944) and was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1975. Rakov was a staunchly conservative composer who exercised a solid grasp of orchestration and melody; many of his works ventured only a little beyond the style of Alexander Glazunov and Reinhold Glière. Unabashed tonality, late Romantic harmonies, and flowing tunes were the hallmarks of his work, in which the Russian national idiom always took prominence.
In his later works, Rakov began to show some interest in Neoclassicism. Rakov devoted special attention to music for children and wrote numerous piano pieces for pedagogical purposes, as well as instructive chamber music. These works won him great popularity in the Soviet Union. His most famous work, however, was his First Violin Concerto, which was brought to vast audiences by the violinist David Oistrakh.
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