Author Topic: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)  (Read 65247 times)

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Offline ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #380 on: July 20, 2019, 08:52:32 AM »
I don't particularly understand the need among some to stubbornly deny Rachmaninoff... I DO understand which elements of his style might be off putting to some listeners

His music is often unabashedly romantic and lush which arouses suspicion in the intellectual... no matter... I'm more concerned with sincerity, intent... The most important question to me is if I believe Rachmaninoff's romanticism.  The answer, broadly speaking is yes. 

Rachmaninoff wrote the way he did because he was essentially a romantic fellow.  The more difficulty a listener has identifying with that state of mind, the more likely they are to dismiss his music as syrupy and full of empty, grand gestures. 

The first Rachmaninoff I ever heard (and probably lots of people ever hear) is the 18th variation in the Rhapsody... my attitude was dismissive; essentially "that's very beautiful, well played movie music... an impostor's Tchaikovsky" ... when I finally listened to the entire work, I realized I was dead wrong

For me, all 4 Piano Concertos are major works with the 2nd in particular a truly great work that belongs on the short list of the greatest concertos. 

Much of his solo piano music is revelatory and combines his undeniable tunefulness with his grand and powerful technique... the Chopin and Corelli variations offer numerous pleasures as do the sonatas. 

All 3 symphonies have merit, the second is probably the most consistently successful

The Isle of The Dead and the Symphonic Dances are also excellent

For my money, clearly a major composer and a hugely influential pianist with a clearly unique voice just as his juniors Stravinsky/Prokofiev/Shostakovich had their unique voices.  I can respect if he's not someone's cup of tea, but I think dismissal of him is just incorrect.  I don't particularly enjoy Bruckner or Mahler, for example but I'd never brazenly deny either of them.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #381 on: July 20, 2019, 09:26:58 AM »
Rachmaninoff wrote the way he did because he was essentially a romantic fellow. 

Assuming you wrote romantic (small caps r) on purpose, I do wholeheartedly agree. But if you actually meant he was a Romantic (all caps R), I do wholeheartedly disagree. No composer who takes into account the audience's response to his music, and tweaks it accordingly, can be said to be a Romantic --- one of the first and foremost tenets of musical Romanticism is "fuck the audience, they're just a bunch of philistines!"



"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #382 on: July 20, 2019, 09:39:56 AM »
Assuming you wrote romantic (small caps r) on purpose, I do wholeheartedly agree. But if you actually meant he was a Romantic (all caps R), I do wholeheartedly disagree. No composer who takes into account the audience's response to his music, and tweaks it accordingly, can be said to be a Romantic --- one of the first and foremost tenets of musical Romanticism is "fuck the audience, they're just a bunch of philistines!"

No, you read it right... small r on purpose  :)
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #383 on: July 20, 2019, 09:41:57 AM »
No, you read it right... small r on purpose  :)

Excellent!  8)

I assume from your username that you're a devoted Chopinian* --- eagerly waiting for your corresponding posts.  :)

* I, for one, hate broccoli...  :laugh:
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #384 on: July 20, 2019, 09:55:08 AM »
Excellent!  8)

I assume from your username that you're a devoted Chopinian* --- eagerly waiting for your corresponding posts.  :)

* I, for one, hate broccoli...  :laugh:

Honestly I just chose it as a silly pun for "Chopping Broccoli" ... I considered some other names like "Schumann's Good Hand" for example

I like Chopin, wouldn't say I'm fanatical but I definitely like a lot of his music

As for broccoli, I don't mind it chopped up and properly cooked but I don't love it :)
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #385 on: July 20, 2019, 09:58:46 AM »
Honestly I just chose it as a silly pun for "Chopping Broccoli" ...

Jeez, did I misunderstand it big time! Chopin pronounced as chopping, you kiddin' me? :D

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”  --- Victor Hugo

Offline ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #386 on: July 20, 2019, 10:16:11 AM »
Jeez, did I misunderstand it big time! Chopin pronounced as chopping, you kiddin' me? :D

Way too literal

Say it like Show-pan Broccoli ... it's merely a play on the resemblance of his surname to the word "Chopping"... the comic effect is in the obvious difference in pronunciation

Jesus
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #387 on: July 20, 2019, 11:43:34 AM »
Say it like Show-pan Broccoli

Except Chopin in French is nothing like Show-pan.  ;D

Full disclosure: I am not American and I am fluent in French.  ;D
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Offline ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #388 on: July 20, 2019, 11:56:13 AM »
Except Chopin in French is nothing like Show-pan.  ;D

Full disclosure: I am not American and I am fluent in French.  ;D

Chopin wasn't French though... in an American accent speaking English, his name essentially sounds like "Show Pan"
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #389 on: July 20, 2019, 12:15:46 PM »
Chopin wasn't French though...

He was half French.

Quote
in an American accent speaking English, his name essentially sounds like "Show Pan"

Sure, but Anerican English is hardly the way to properly pronounce Chopin, which is a thoroughly French surname. Btw, how does Fryderyk sound in Amnerican English? I bet it''s nothing like it sounds in Polish.


« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 12:17:57 PM by Florestan »
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Offline ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #390 on: July 20, 2019, 12:42:06 PM »
He was half French.

Sure, but Anerican English is hardly the way to properly pronounce Chopin, which is a thoroughly French surname. Btw, how does Fryderyk sound in Amnerican English? I bet it''s nothing like it sounds in Polish.

It's immaterial... what does "Gershwin" sound like when a French speaker says it?  Probably a lot different than George himself pronounced it

You're making a giant mountain of a harmless joke you don't get and it is getting very tedious 
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #391 on: July 20, 2019, 02:52:46 PM »
Chopin wasn't French though...

His father was French, and his name was French, and one generation is not long enough to forget how to pronounce a surname. It takes quite a few for pronunciation to change.

As for the general question of whether it's immaterial, in my view it's not. This actually became a thing with one of the football commentators here in Australia, where people started harassing her about pronunciation of names (and the fact it was a woman is highly likely part of why they thought it was okay to harass her).

The thing was, she was trying to pronounce the names as they were pronounced by the owners of those names. To her it was part of a basic respect for a person to try to get their names right. Those names are not part of the English language, they belong to individuals.

I accept that as an English speaker I will most probably bugger up people's names because the phonology system I'm used to doesn't match. When it comes to Russians, for example (to return to the topic of THIS thread), there will inevitably be problems even spelling the name because I'm using the wrong alphabet.

But I should at least care about pronunication, and not think that it matters so little that I shouldn't even try or that further information shouldn't alter my efforts.

Pronunciation of "Chopin" is a weird mangle where the letter "i" is used in a way that is totally at odds with American English in the first place (or English generally), so English pronunciation is not really a sensible justification. In what other word would anyone contend that the correct pronunciation of "i" is like the "a" in pan? It's really an attempt to match the French version, in which case trying to get closer to the French version seems like quite a good idea.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 03:05:25 PM by Madiel »
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #392 on: July 20, 2019, 03:12:31 PM »
Jeez, did I misunderstand it big time! Chopin pronounced as chopping, you kiddin' me? :D

Not pronounced, but written. Which is indeed the point and is a well established pun in English.

It is possible to get notepads with "Chopin Liszt" written at the top. For your groceries. At least, it was possible when people still wrote things down on paper...
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Offline George

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #393 on: July 20, 2019, 03:51:36 PM »
Honestly I just chose it as a silly pun for "Chopping Broccoli" ...

It was the first thing I thought of when I saw your username:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mXIL_LKvvI
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 06:19:42 PM by George »
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Offline Andy D.

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #394 on: July 20, 2019, 04:30:25 PM »
Assuming you wrote romantic (small caps r) on purpose, I do wholeheartedly agree. But if you actually meant he was a Romantic (all caps R), I do wholeheartedly disagree. No composer who takes into account the audience's response to his music, and tweaks it accordingly, can be said to be a Romantic --- one of the first and foremost tenets of musical Romanticism is "fuck the audience, they're just a bunch of philistines!"
. I actually really like this definition.

Offline ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #395 on: July 20, 2019, 05:11:04 PM »
It was the first thing I though of when I saw your username:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mXIL_LKvvI

THANK YOU, exactly :)
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #396 on: July 22, 2019, 02:15:43 AM »
His music is often unabashedly romantic and lush which arouses suspicion in the intellectual... no matter...

To reject Rachmaninov on such grounds would be mere intellectual snobbery.

Quote
For me, all 4 Piano Concertos are major works with the 2nd in particular a truly great work that belongs on the short list of the greatest concertos. 
Much of his solo piano music is revelatory and combines his undeniable tunefulness with his grand and powerful technique... the Chopin and Corelli variations offer numerous pleasures as do the sonatas. 
All 3 symphonies have merit, the second is probably the most consistently successful
The Isle of The Dead and the Symphonic Dances are also excellent

No-one's mentioned his All-Night Vigil (aka Vespers) recently - my personal favourite of music by Rachmaninov.  He apparently requested that the 5th movement, which finishes on a wonderful near-infrasonic sung low B-flat, be sung at his own funeral.


The National Academic Choir of Ukraine

Offline ChopinBroccoli

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #397 on: July 22, 2019, 06:42:19 AM »
To reject Rachmaninov on such grounds would be mere intellectual snobbery.



Agree completely
"If it ain't Baroque, don't fix it!"
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #398 on: July 22, 2019, 08:59:53 AM »
. I actually really like this definition.

Certainly, Schumann felt that philistinism was to be combatted, artistically, at any rate.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
« Reply #399 on: July 22, 2019, 10:40:19 AM »
To reject Rachmaninov on such grounds would be mere intellectual snobbery.

No-one's mentioned his All-Night Vigil (aka Vespers) recently - my personal favourite of music by Rachmaninov.  He apparently requested that the 5th movement, which finishes on a wonderful near-infrasonic sung low B-flat, be sung at his own funeral.


I recall reading that he wondered about that note, but trusted that Mother Russia had produced men with bass voices capable of reaching it!  $:)
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