photo dave and gertrude in Sergei's old apt.:

"The home musicale isn't disappearing, it's just high on the list of endangered nice things. But what better way to commemorate a great pianist and composer than to have a series of musicales in the New York apartment in which he lived.

The man in question, Sergei Rachmaninoff, would probably approve, as he would the idea that a pianist, GERTRUDE BARLOW, and her husband, LOU BARLOW, an artist, took over his Upper West Side apartment after his widow, Natalia, died in 1952.

Rachmaninoff died in California on March 28, 1943. Mrs. Barlow and CONSTANCE KEANE, both pianists and teachers, will begin their tributes to him tomorrow with a musicale for 25 friends. On the 50th anniversary of the composer's death they plan gatherings for about 100 friends and students. Ms. Keane will play "Variations on a Theme of Corelli," and the two women will perform Six Pieces for Piano Duet. JOSEPH MACHLIS, the music historian, will speak.

Living in a historic apartment has its surprising moments. About six months ago, Mrs. Barlow opened her door to find a Russian film crew, wanting permission to come in. What could she say? "They filmed the floors, ceilings, through the windows, everywhere!" Mrs. Barlow said.

Incidentally, great music isn't always appreciated. When she moved into the building, Mrs. Barlow was told that whenever Rachmaninoff played, a neighbor could be heard, saying, "There he goes again."