Started by Chaszz, December 10, 2009, 04:35:52 PM
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Quote from: Chaszz on December 10, 2009, 04:35:52 PMExcuse 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? Am I missing something? Shall I armour myself against flames here?
Quote from: Brian on December 10, 2009, 05:46:52 PMIf what you're hearing over and over is the Piano Concerto No 2 and Prelude in C sharp minor, then no wonder you've got that opinion. But the truth is that Rachmaninov was a talented composer of a quite varied body of musical output. A lot of folks find death as a common thread in his music - and it certainly is there, in the Paganini Rhapsody, in the Isle of the Dead, maybe in a couple preludes. A lot of folks find needless virtuosity in his music - well, he earned his pay as a virtuoso concert pianist and, in the grand old tradition of Chopin and Liszt (whose concertos have far less substance, in my opinion), he wrote music to play in concert.That said, I think there is a general tendency to fixate on Rachmaninov's very obvious emotionality and the sorrows of his personal life and use them to create a narrative that's dismissive of him as a serious, intelligent composer. You don't have to buy that narrative. I don't. I think his 24 preludes for solo piano are as varied and as interesting a cycle of piano works as any composed since the time Chopin. Branch out beyond the famous stuff - or even look at the famous stuff from a new perspective, like the stark minimalist intensity of the Isle of the Dead or contrapuntal talents on display in the Symphony No 2.Rachmaninov is not necessarily one of my very favorite composers (those are Beethoven, Dvorak, Shostakovich, maybe Chopin) but he is one I admire and greatly enjoy. He is unafraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, and that heart happened to be a big one. But I can't say I detect "two or three self-pitying ideas" wending their ways through his work as a common thread or a recyclement. Maybe the only common thread I see is that a lot of his finales (Piano Concertos 2 and 3, Symphony 2) tend to end with the subsidiary theme sweeping through the string section in slow-motion, followed by one last cascade of quick little notes.
Quote from: Chaszz on December 10, 2009, 05:51:04 PMI'm sorry, but every work I've heard by him, including some you mention, seem to me to recycle the same limited batch of a few melodic and harmonic ideas.
Quote from: Novi on December 10, 2009, 06:01:22 PMTry his All-Night Vigil, Chaszz.
Quote from: schweitzeralan on December 14, 2009, 04:33:34 AMIf I'm not mistraken Racmaninof did not compose all that much after he left revolutionary Russia in 1917. He did compose a few works here in the US, but I think he survived financially by virtue of his many wonderful performances. I believe he even may have conducted.
Quote from: jochanaan on December 14, 2009, 07:25:59 AMIt's true that his output declined in quantity; however, the works he did compose during that time are major: the 4th piano concerto, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, the Third Symphony, and the Symphonic Dances.
Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 14, 2009, 07:11:41 AMRakhmaninov is brilliant. Period.
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