Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)

Started by Chaszz, December 10, 2009, 04:35:52 PM

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Chaszz

#40
Quote from: Cato on December 17, 2009, 05:54:04 AM
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)...



Wagner conducted many performances of "bleeding chunks" (orchestral passages from his operas) both before and after Ludwig II began patronising him. He put on a long and exhausting tour to finish raising money for the original opening of Bayreuth.

Lethevich

Hehe. I've been listening to his songs after they were mentioned in this thread, and the titles are really cruely in-line with the original poster's accusations of pap and self-pity:

http://www.theclassicalshop.net/details06mp3.asp?CNumber=CHAN%209477W
http://www.theclassicalshop.net/details06mp3.asp?CNumber=CHAN%209451W
http://www.theclassicalshop.net/details06mp3.asp?CNumber=CHAN%209405W

Despite some nice songwriting, I'm having difficulty taking them seriously :-\
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

schweitzeralan

Quote from: alkan on December 16, 2009, 01:41:54 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 ....

I've been listening to Rach's orchestral and pianistic works for many years, and I think his works are wonderfly complex, harmonically rich in  subtlety and color, not to men mention  his sense of feeling and dramatic fervor.  I've been dabbling (certainly not playing) his inordinately difficult and involved 1st Sonata.  There may be by now several recordings; I have an old Ruth Laredo performance. This work is tremendous, inordinately difficult but beautifully conceived work.  The 2nd movement is brilliantly developed.

Superhorn

  Actually, there's no one commonly agrred on correct way to spell this composer's name, simply because there's no commonly agreed on way to transliterate Russian names from the Cyrillic alphabet to English.
  This is true of of other famous Russian composers.
I've studied Russian, am pretty familiar with the language even if I don't speak ir fluently , and can read Cyrillic.
  Sometimes it's spelled Rachmaninoff and  sometimes Rachmaninov,
and the ch , which represent the same sound asin Chutzpah is sometimes written as kh , and this spelling is sometimes used.
Mussorgsky should actually be spelled with only one s , and Prokofiev is sometimes spelled Prokofieff . 
Tchaikovsky is sometimes written as Chaykovsky .
Very confusing .



drogulus

#44
Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 14, 2009, 07:11:41 AM
Rakhmaninov is brilliant. Period.


      I think so, too.

Quote from: Joe Barron on December 16, 2009, 01:24:20 PM
Perhaps more to the point, he could never be like Beethoven.

      We don't need more Beethovens, we need composers of all and various inclinations, and you can contest their greatness on how they differ from an ideal, but I think music would be less interesting if models had to be followed like that. A little less greatness is a good tradeoff for the variety. Besides, I have trouble imagining what a world of many Beethovens would be like. The presence of the first one would makes the need and the desire to veer away from that ideal necessary for both composers and listeners. Finally I can't see any reason to disparage any composer for not being like another composer.
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piano222

I die for his etudes...In particular: Op. 33 No 3 Cminor and No 4 Dminor (published posthumously because withdrawn by composer from op.33). Also Op 33 No 7 Gminor-- wow. Op 39 No2 Aminor is unbelievable! Op 39 No 8 Dminor, yes! yes! yes! Also, Op 21 no 5--Lilacs very nice transcribed for piano by composer- Listen to Rachmaninov play it here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72xh91KTOOA 
I also enjoy Oriental Sketch written late in his life (name given by publisher).
A witty saying proves nothing.
Voltaire

jochanaan

You mean the √Čtudes tableaux?  I agree: stellar!  I'm not familiar with the Opus 33 set, but the Opus 39 set is really wonderful; my personal favorites from it are #5 in Eb minor, #6 in A minor and #7 in C minor.
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Dax

Quote from: Carolus on December 14, 2009, 06:23:05 AM
His second piano trio and the cello sonata are IMO two of the most beautiful romantic works of the 20th.century :)

I'm glad someone has mentioned the D minor trio (er - 1893!) - there is a blindingly good performance by Kogan, Luzanov and Svetlanov on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcSLHyR7zBk

et seq

Carolus

Yes, I've that version on CD. Also by the Moscow Trio,
by Roisman, Schneider and Balsam, and by the Oistrakh Trio.But Kogan's is better. ;)

piano222

Quote from: jochanaan on December 27, 2009, 08:16:03 AM
You mean the √Čtudes tableaux?  I agree: stellar!  I'm not familiar with the Opus 33 set, but the Opus 39 set is really wonderful; my personal favorites from it are #5 in Eb minor, #6 in A minor and #7 in C minor.

Yes that's exactly what I mean. I just call the "study pictures" or etudes-tableaux, etudes for short. The two sets are just that anyways, etudes. I appreciate the ones you mention also. I don't hear the C minor that often played live, but I don't know why... it is great! The Eb minor is way overplayed IMO and by that I guess I mean poorly, but still a great work and though it's not one of my favorites I appreciate the A minor you mention for it's aggressiveness and all that it represents being one of the last works that he worked on (or rather revised since it was originally supposed to be in op. 33) before the Bolshevik revolution and he left Russia. I hope you do familiarize yourself with op. 33 too and let me know how you like the set. In opus 39 you can hear a change in harmonies a bit more experimental or Scriabin-esque perhaps. I think he was listening to his fellow Russian composers (Scriabin, Prokofiev) a lot before he left in fact.
A witty saying proves nothing.
Voltaire

jochanaan

Quote from: piano222 on December 27, 2009, 05:53:07 PM
...The Eb minor is way overplayed IMO and by that I guess I mean poorly...
I know what you mean.  I can only stand hearing a certain number of poor student performances before my appreciation takes a nosedive. ::) But I can hardly get too much of good recordings such as the Ruth Laredo LPs I have. :D
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Guido

I also think the first symphony is actually rather good. I listen to the second more, but there's an honesty and beauty to the first, despite it's derivitiveness, that I think is fantastic.
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

karlhenning

I like the First very well, indeed.  So far, I have only heard the one recording of it (Noseda, BBC Phil).

offbeat

Quote from: Guido on December 29, 2009, 03:35:36 PM
I also think the first symphony is actually rather good. I listen to the second more, but there's an honesty and beauty to the first, despite it's derivitiveness, that I think is fantastic.
i used to think the 2nd symphony was the great romantic symphony above everything else but over time ive warmed to the 3rd symphony - full of nostalgia and regret - maybe it reflects my own mind set rather than sergei's  ;D

Carolus

Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 29, 2009, 03:52:25 PM
I like the First very well, indeed.  So far, I have only heard the one recording of it (Noseda, BBC Phil).

I've a very fine recording by Sanderling and Leningrad Ph.O.

karlhenning

Quote from: Carolus on December 30, 2009, 06:54:23 AM
I've a very fine recording by Sanderling and Leningrad Ph.O.

That one must be uncut, too, I am guessing, Carlos?

Maciek

Dave, that trio is fantastic! Thanks! :D

Carolus

Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 30, 2009, 07:16:06 AM
That one must be uncut, too, I am guessing, Carlos?
I don't think so. The version takes 43'.

jurajjak

hi,

There are few composers about whom I have more mixed feelings than Rachmaninoff--I love the Paganini Rhapsody, but can live without the 2nd and 3rd concerti. His best work might be The Bells--the third movement alone reveals an energy and tempetuousness totally opposite to the admitted 'self-pitying' moments. And I've always found the central melody to the first of the Symphonic Dances to be astonishing.

I've been enjoying the 3 CD Vox Box of complete orchestral works (minus the symphonies and concerti) conducted by Slatkin, which contains several rarities. The 3 Russian Songs for Chorus and Orchestra, op. 41 is a solid opus despite its brief (13-mintue) length; the Spring Cantata is also worthwhile, and represents SR in a more straightforward, less sentimental style.


Andrew

Dax

Quote from: Maciek on December 30, 2009, 07:53:52 AM
Dave, that trio is fantastic! Thanks! :D

Glad that it's a hit! It certainly deserves to be.