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#2261581 - 04/14/14 01:22 PM People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all.
Svenno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 267
Loc: Estonia
And i don't know why. He isn't on any 'top 10 romantic composer's' lists - but he was a romantic composer, wasn't he? Chopin seems to be the most favoured, and i really like his music too, in fact i can't decide which my all time favorite composer is, Rachmaninoff or Chopin. :p

Can anyone explain what's wrong with Rachmaninoff?
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Shostakovich - Piano concerto no. 1
Liszt - Transcendental etude no. 11 "Harmonies du Soir"
Chopin - Etude op. 25 no. 6 (thirds)
Beethoven - Sonata no. 26 "Les Adieux"
Schumann - Toccata op. 7

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#2261584 - 04/14/14 01:27 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5114
Loc: USA
Rachmaninoff has never really resonated with me. I much prefer what his French counterparts were doing at the time.

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#2261592 - 04/14/14 01:39 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1156
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By: Svenno
And i don't know why. He isn't on any 'top 10 romantic composer's' lists - but he was a romantic composer, wasn't he? Chopin seems to be the most favoured, and i really like his music too, in fact i can't decide which my all time favorite composer is, Rachmaninoff or Chopin. :p

Can anyone explain what's wrong with Rachmaninoff?

Considering Chopin died in 1849 and Rachmaninoff died in 1943, I think they might be from different schools of music. Rach and Fats Waller were contemporaries. Chopin should have been so lucky.

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#2261593 - 04/14/14 01:39 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 665
Me neither. I prefer the subtler French music.
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"In opera, there is always too much singing" -Debussy

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#2261594 - 04/14/14 01:42 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Svenno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 267
Loc: Estonia
Is it true that every pianist in one point has to choose 1 composer in which he/she specializes? I hope it isn't, because i love chopin's solo piano works, but my dream is to one day be able to perform the rach piano concertos.
I don't really know how the repertoire thing works anyway. Is it better if you have a more diverse repertoire, or a repertoire with a more specialized set of composers?


Edited by Svenno (04/14/14 01:43 PM)
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Currently learning:
Shostakovich - Piano concerto no. 1
Liszt - Transcendental etude no. 11 "Harmonies du Soir"
Chopin - Etude op. 25 no. 6 (thirds)
Beethoven - Sonata no. 26 "Les Adieux"
Schumann - Toccata op. 7

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#2261598 - 04/14/14 01:51 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
LarryShone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 1168
Loc: England
I adore Rachmaninov, he's one of my favourites.
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#2261614 - 04/14/14 02:33 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Roland The Beagle Offline
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Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 268
Loc: California
I guess his music can be a bit too emotional. I happen to like passionate music, but you have to be careful not to overdose sometimes! I think its bad to generalize, because I don't know how anyone can't adore this piece for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LRLF3fwDbmU

In 3 minutes he captures practically the entire spectrum of human emotion from joy to despair to joy again.
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Piano Sonata Hob. XVI: 34 in E Minor, Franz Joseph Haydn
Nocturne, Op. 15 No. 1 in F Major, Frédéric Chopin
Prelude, Op. 11 No. 4 in E Minor, Alexander Scriabin
Prelude and Fugue in G Major, Well-Tempered Clavier Vol. 2, Johann Sebastian Bach

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#2261618 - 04/14/14 02:40 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Vid Offline
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Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1116
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
The title of this post is a big over-generalization. One 'problem' with Rachmaninoff is that he had to embark on a piano performing career which took him away from composing.
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#2261628 - 04/14/14 03:00 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Steve Chandler Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2903
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
One problem might be that he wasn't really a romantic composer. He was a young child when virtually all the other romantic composers were old men. Have you looked to see if he's listed on any top 10 20th century composer lists?

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#2261654 - 04/14/14 04:22 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Vid]
Eldridge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 97
Loc: New Mexico
And Chopin derived most of his income from another time-consuming activity: teaching.
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#2261669 - 04/14/14 05:21 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Roland The Beagle]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1156
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By: Roland The Beagle
I guess his music can be a bit too emotional. I happen to like passionate music, but you have to be careful not to overdose sometimes! I think its bad to generalize, because I don't know how anyone can't adore this piece for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LRLF3fwDbmU

In 3 minutes he captures practically the entire spectrum of human emotion from joy to despair to joy again.

And so does the pianist. No histrionics there.

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#2261672 - 04/14/14 05:28 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
bennevis Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6665
Originally Posted By: Svenno
And i don't know why. He isn't on any 'top 10 romantic composer's' lists - but he was a romantic composer, wasn't he?
Can anyone explain what's wrong with Rachmaninoff?

There's nothing wrong with Rachmaninov, and he's just as popular as Chopin. In fact, among non-pianists, Chopin doesn't figure highly at all as a Romantic composer.

I'd be very surprised if Rachmaninov isn't on every Top Ten Romantic Composer's list - in fact, I believe Rach 2 was (and still is?) in the top 3 in the UK's Classic FM (the popular classical radio station) listeners' poll, alongside the Bruch Violin Concerto.

He's certainly one of my favourite composers - I'd rather play him than Brahms, for example, and his Prelude in G minor has been in my repertoire ever since I learnt it in my teens.

And Rach 2 and 3 are the two most frequently performed (and popular with the audience) concertos of all time......
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"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2261677 - 04/14/14 05:44 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335
If anything I think Rach is overrated. He's certainly the most played composer of the 20th century, and I think that's kinda unfair. Don't get me wrong, I love his music just as much as everyone else, but there are so many other composers of comparable quality (especially among the late Russian romantics) whose works never see the light of day (possibly because none of them had big American careers or someone like Horowitz promoting their music).

Chopin, on the other hand, I feel is deserving of all of the attention he receives (no matter how tired of his music one gets after a while). I believe I read somewhere that George Sand once said, "There is more music in a single Chopin Prelude than in an entire opera of Meyerbeer" to which I have a hard time disagreeing.

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#2261680 - 04/14/14 05:55 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8419
Loc: New York City
Both Chopin and Rachmaninoff deserve all the attention they get. There are also other Russian Romantics who don't get enough attention.
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Polyphonist

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#2261690 - 04/14/14 06:20 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: prout]
JohnSprung Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 2097
Loc: Reseda, California
Originally Posted By: prout
Rach and Fats Waller were contemporaries. Chopin should have been so lucky.


They died about the same time, but Waller was considerably younger (1904 - 1943). Rachmaninoff (1873 - 1943) was closer to Jerome Kern (1885 - 1945) or Scott Joplin (1868 - 1917).

As to the OP's question, I certainly like Rachmaninoff. I'll never be good enough to try playing his music, but I like it.
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#2261702 - 04/14/14 06:53 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5114
Loc: USA
I prefer Scriabin to Rachmaninoff. And I think Horowitz, had he went into composing, would have been a great Russian composer.

Just listen to this beautiful melody by him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMNkmD47j6o&t=12m07s

Not many can write something like that. I personally think it was crafted, but he claims it was improvisation. If that's true, it's a testament to just how great he really was, well beyond his interpretations of other works.

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#2261705 - 04/14/14 06:59 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5477
Loc: McAllen, TX
I don't like Rachmaninoff (and most other Russian music) because I find it to be both superficial and too hard for its worth. The cello sonata is about as far as I'll go in his output.
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#2261708 - 04/14/14 07:04 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8419
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Not many can write something like that. I personally think it was crafted, but he claims it was improvisation.

It was.
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Polyphonist

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#2261710 - 04/14/14 07:06 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Brendan]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8419
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Brendan
I don't like Rachmaninoff (and most other Russian music)

You're trashing quite a huge body of music there. wink
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Polyphonist

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#2261711 - 04/14/14 07:06 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5114
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Not many can write something like that. I personally think it was crafted, but he claims it was improvisation.

It was.

You realize that, given the context, this is not specific enough. grin

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#2261712 - 04/14/14 07:07 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8419
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Not many can write something like that. I personally think it was crafted, but he claims it was improvisation.

It was.

You realize that, given the context, this is not specific enough. grin

Specific enough?
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Polyphonist

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#2261714 - 04/14/14 07:09 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5114
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Not many can write something like that. I personally think it was crafted, but he claims it was improvisation.

It was.

You realize that, given the context, this is not specific enough. grin

Specific enough?

Your statement "it was" could apply to two things in my post.

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#2261717 - 04/14/14 07:12 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8419
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Not many can write something like that. I personally think it was crafted, but he claims it was improvisation.

It was.

You realize that, given the context, this is not specific enough. grin

Specific enough?

Your statement "it was" could apply to two things in my post.

When in doubt, assume the answer applies to the latter question. laugh

I would be surprised if it weren't improvisation.
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Polyphonist

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#2261718 - 04/14/14 07:13 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5114
Loc: USA
Why would you be surprised? What if it was just part of something he composed and was passing of as improvisation for the camera? That's not hard to believe, but I am perfectly willing to believe that he truly was great enough to improvise that. smile

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#2261719 - 04/14/14 07:14 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8419
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Why would you be surprised? What if it was just part of something he composed and was passing of as improvisation for the camera? That's not hard to believe, but I am perfectly willing to believe that he truly was great enough to improvise that. smile

First of all, why would Horowitz lie about it?
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Polyphonist

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#2261722 - 04/14/14 07:18 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5114
Loc: USA
He was very needy and craved praise. It wouldn't surprise me that he would pass off some unknown composition of his as improv for the camera. It's not a malicious lie, just a little white one. He's probably not lying, but I wouldn't be surprised. That's all I'm saying.

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#2261729 - 04/14/14 07:46 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Brendan
I don't like Rachmaninoff (and most other Russian music)

You're trashing quite a huge body of music there. wink


He's not really "trashing" anything, he's just saying it's not to his taste. Some people just don't like Russian music (i.e. Schnabel, Toscanini, etc.)

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#2261731 - 04/14/14 07:48 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5046
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I like Rachmaninoff but I have found that some of his music requires repeated listening to really appreciate. I also think the greatest appreciation for his music comes from playing it yourself. That's when you really hear its beauty. I've sat fumbling at the piano, astonished by the incredible sounds he coaxed from the instrument, even as I played it poorly.
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Deborah

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#2261732 - 04/14/14 07:50 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20467
Loc: New York City
That ten second improvisation by Horowitz was nice but hardly anything to get excited about. Both the melody and harmony were very basic.

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#2261733 - 04/14/14 07:50 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: gooddog]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5114
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: gooddog
I like Rachmaninoff but I have found that some of his music requires repeated listening to really appreciate.

Most good music does.

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