Author Topic: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)  (Read 48449 times)

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Offline alkan

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2009, 02:41:54 AM »
I don't know why, but one of the few works by Rachmaninov that I really like is ....... er ...... gulp ...... his First Symphony  (especially the version by Ormandy).         I realize that it is a structural disaster, but I find many original, bizzare and beautiful passages that really appeal to me.       The fanfare at the start of the 4th movement, the dramatic and awe-inspiring collapse at the end, the fleeting scherzo, the atmospheric slow movement, the unusual harmonies ....... wonderful stuff ....
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Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2009, 07:29:49 AM »
Maybe it's just me, but how can someone not like such staggeringly original works like the Symphonic Dances and the 4th Piano Concerto?

Spotswood

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2009, 09:47:45 AM »
I'm with Chaszz on this one. I can't stand most of Rach, though I think the Symphonic Dances are OK. As I've said elsewhere, he's the one composer who is unrepresented in my record and collection. I don't own a single work---not a prelude, not a concerto, nothing. But I undertand the appeal: hummable tunes, overt sentimentality, a nice, fat orchestral sound and a lot of over-the-top action. It's a heady mixture. I wouldn't begrudge anyone their enjoyment.

As Harold Schoenberg said, for all the criticism it has encountered, his music will not go away. Then again, the same could be said of stomach cancer.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 09:51:24 AM by Joe Barron »

Offline Benji

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2009, 09:48:18 AM »
Maybe it's just me, but how can someone not like such staggeringly original works like the Symphonic Dances and the 4th Piano Concerto?

Probably as they are empty husks of a former-person?

I jest. Somewhat.

karlhenning

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2009, 09:57:00 AM »
Ben! To your room, this instant!

karlhenning

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2009, 09:58:20 AM »
. . . But I undertand the appeal: hummable tunes, overt sentimentality, a nice, fat orchestral sound and a lot of over-the-top action. It's a heady mixture.

Cor, you make him sound like Beethoven.

MN Dave

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2009, 10:02:09 AM »
Do you enjoy Turnyerhedencoff?

Spotswood

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2009, 11:17:02 AM »
Cor, you make him sound like Beethoven.

He could never sound like Beethoven.

karlhenning

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2009, 12:30:13 PM »
Thank heavens.

Online Cato

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2009, 01:16:01 PM »
I don't know why, but one of the few works by Rachmaninov that I really like is ....... er ...... gulp ...... his First Symphony  (especially the version by Ormandy).         I realize that it is a structural disaster, but I find many original, bizzare and beautiful passages that really appeal to me.       The fanfare at the start of the 4th movement, the dramatic and awe-inspiring collapse at the end, the fleeting scherzo, the atmospheric slow movement, the unusual harmonies ....... wonderful stuff ....

Amen!  0:)   Except for the comment about "structural disaster!"
I find the interweaving quite structurally sound: it might break some of the rules in the textbooks, but as Bruckner warned his students: after they graduate, they should NOT be following the rules in the textbooks.

On the topic: its founder needs to hear with different ears, and listen - yes! - to Spring or The Miserly Knight or the two Piano Sonatas.

As I recall, The Rach was fairly well financially ruined by the Communist takeover of Russia, and needed to concertize for his daily bread.  Concertizing meant practicing and traveling, which meant not much time to compose new works. 

There is also the aspect of mental depression from having to lead such a life: possibly that drained him of the energy needed to create new works.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Spotswood

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2009, 02:24:20 PM »
Thank heavens.

Perhaps more to the point, he could never be like Beethoven.

karlhenning

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2009, 02:35:58 PM »
It is enough that Beethoven be Beethoven.  I am equally content that Rakhmaninov be none but himself.  I shouldn't fault Carter for not being Beethoven, either.

Offline Marc

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2009, 03:22:25 PM »
Excuse me, but this composer seems to have a total of two or three self-pitying ideas which he recycles relentlessly and endlessly. Why is this papmeister played on classical music stations regularly, even respectable ones?
Oh! Thanks a bundle for this thread! :-*

I like to listen to the 2nd symphony and the Paganini Rhapsody.
 
But I'm totally in 0:) when I listen to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the Vespers. Especially the Vespers, with songs and hymns of eternal beauty like Ныне отпущаеши (Nunc dimittis) and Благословен еси Господи (Blessed art Thou, O Lord).
I immediately ran to my collection and to listen to the latter, track no. 9 of the Eurodisc/Melodyia recording with the USSR Russian Academic Chorus, conducted by Alexandr Sveshnikov.
Hush hush, it's starting just now ....
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Offline Marc

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2009, 03:32:34 PM »
The Magnificat of this piece is a heavenly miracle, too!

In my younger years, I used to play this music when I was lovesick.

(Fantasy in between the ears: watching a woman like Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi what's-her-name disappear out of my life for ever, and then go home and listen to the Vespers. It's burning .... like heaven on earth!)
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Offline Herman

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2009, 11:50:36 PM »

As I recall, The Rach was fairly well financially ruined by the Communist takeover of Russia, and needed to concertize for his daily bread.  Concertizing meant practicing and traveling, which meant not much time to compose new works. 


You mean. like pretty much any composer before the current era?

Online Cato

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2009, 06:54:04 AM »
You mean. like pretty much any composer before the current era?

Are you referring to The Rach's situation before or after the revolution?

Wagner for example had his aristocratic patronage as well as his own earnings, and did not need to conduct for a living (he played nothing well enough to earn his bread as a performer).

Rather than aristocratic patronage, we now have either governments or foundations occasionally subsidizing composers of "art music."

Or universities, which I find deadly, but does not always have to be.   0:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2009, 08:16:45 AM »
As I recall, The Rach was fairly well financially ruined by the Communist takeover of Russia, and needed to concertize for his daily bread.  Concertizing meant practicing and traveling, which meant not much time to compose new works.
You mean. like pretty much any composer before the current era?
Are you referring to The Rach's situation before or after the revolution?
Rachmaninoff's family belonged to the old nobility, so all his property in Russia was seized.  As I recall, he sensed what was in the air, and under the guise of a concert tour, got out of the country and simply didn't return after his tour visa (or whatever was equivalent in 1917) expired.  If he hadn't, we might have been deprived of another quarter-century of great music-making, compositions, concerts and recordings. :o
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Online Cato

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2009, 09:35:45 AM »
Rachmaninoff's family belonged to the old nobility, so all his property in Russia was seized.  As I recall, he sensed what was in the air, and under the guise of a concert tour, got out of the country and simply didn't return after his tour visa (or whatever was equivalent in 1917) expired.  If he hadn't, we might have been deprived of another quarter-century of great music-making, compositions, concerts and recordings. :o

One can only imagine what the music of a Soviet Rachmaninoff would have sounded like!   :o
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Spotswood

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2009, 12:15:59 PM »
Wagner for example had his aristocratic patronage as well as his own earnings, and did not need to conduct for a living (he played nothing well enough to earn his bread as a performer).

He was constantly in debt and running from creditors. And the whole Bayreuth project didn't come cheap. Even with patroanage, it didn't break even in the composer's lifetime.

karlhenning

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2009, 12:35:45 PM »
One can only imagine what the music of a Soviet Rachmaninoff would have sounded like!   :o

He would have been pushed towards happiness with an iron hand.

 

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