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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: 221
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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Currently learning:
Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody no. 12
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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: 5085
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: 1107
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: 637
Me neither. I prefer the subtler French music.
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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: 221
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)
_________________________
Currently learning:
Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody no. 12
Debussy, "The Snow is Dancing" from Children's Corner
Rachmaninov, Etude op. 39 no. 6
Bach, Prelude and Fugue no. 11 WTC I
Ligeti, "Five Pieces"
John Pitts, "Changes for 20 Nifty Fingers"
Shostakovich, Piano concerto no. 1
Gershwin, Rhap in Blue
shocked

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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: 1116
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
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 267
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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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: 1050
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 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2855
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: 94
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: 1107
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 Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6246
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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#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
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8267
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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#2261690 - 04/14/14 06:20 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: prout]
JohnSprung Offline
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Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1937
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: 5085
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: 5360
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: 8267
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: 8267
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: 5085
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: 8267
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: 5085
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: 8267
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: 5085
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: 8267
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: 5085
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
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4993
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: 20185
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: 5085
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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#2261735 - 04/14/14 07:53 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: 20185
Loc: New York City
The thread title is completely erroneous. For both the public and pianists(at least what I've heard at the Mannes IKIF for the last 13 years), Rachmaninov is very popular.

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#2261761 - 04/14/14 08:37 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1727
Loc: western MA, USA
Rachmaninoff
Quote:
isn't on any 'top 10 romantic composer's' lists

Therefore
Quote:
People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all.


... I guess that would be true if people were only capable of liking 10 composers?

(for what it's worth, my soundcloud channel has about a dozen recordings on it, and the lone Rachmaninoff has 201 views, while all the others have between 20 and 85.)
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Working on:
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I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music

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#2261771 - 04/14/14 08:54 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1470
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
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?
Legit question. Trolling?

Top ten composers performed in American symphonic concert halls, 2010-11
1. Beethoven
2. Mozart
3. Tchaikovsky
4. Brahms
5. Ravel
6. Dvořak
7. Sibelius
8. Prokofiev
9. Stravinsky
10. Rachmaninoff

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display...CampaignId=6383

-Daniel
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Currently working on:
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#2261780 - 04/14/14 09:09 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Ridicolosamente]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1937
Loc: Reseda, California
What a strange list.

Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelsohn don't make the cut? But Prokofiev and Stravinsky do? Ravel ranks #5, but Debussy doesn't make the cut?
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#2261783 - 04/14/14 09:13 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8267
Loc: New York City
Bach and Chopin didn't write symphonic music. Ravel is probably on there because of one piece. grin
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Polyphonist

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#2261786 - 04/14/14 09:23 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JohnSprung]
Ridicolosamente Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1470
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
Well it's a list of frequent performances which are naturally dominated by "orchestral" works. And...

-Bach besides choral and solo instrument music = boring (I welcome your retaliatory punches)
-Chopin - whatever little orchestral music there is = a joke
-Prokofiev has a very rightful place on that list
-Stravinsky created a little something called "Rite of Spring"
-Orchestrations of La Valse and Alborada del gracioso seem to appear much more frequently than La Mer...
-Mendelssohn... I'll stop because I feel like a negative Nancy.

-Daniel
_________________________
Currently working on:
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#2261790 - 04/14/14 09:31 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Ridicolosamente]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8267
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
-Bach besides choral and solo instrument music = boring (I welcome your retaliatory punches)

Punch #1 on the way.

Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
-Chopin - whatever little orchestral music there is = a joke

There isn't any.

Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
-Prokofiev has a very rightful place on that list

Does he indeed?

Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
-Mendelssohn... I'll stop because I feel like a negative Nancy.

Oh, is Mendelssohn boring too?
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Polyphonist

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#2261812 - 04/14/14 10:21 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Eldridge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 94
Loc: New Mexico
I can't imagine anyone finding Rachmaninoff's music equal in quality to Chopin's.

I looked at a ranking of composers by recording sales. Mozart was first, Chopin was sixteenth, and Rachmaninoff didn't even make the top forty. So, no Rachmaninoff is not as beloved as Chopin--understandably, in my opinion.
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#2261813 - 04/14/14 10:23 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Eldridge]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8267
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Eldridge
I can't imagine anyone finding Rachmaninoff's music equal in quality to Chopin's.

It definitely isn't.
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Polyphonist

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#2261836 - 04/14/14 11:39 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Ridicolosamente]
phantomFive Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 2231
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
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?
Legit question. Trolling?

Top ten composers performed in American symphonic concert halls, 2010-11
1. Beethoven
2. Mozart
3. Tchaikovsky
4. Brahms
5. Ravel
6. Dvořak
7. Sibelius
8. Prokofiev
9. Stravinsky
10. Rachmaninoff

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display...CampaignId=6383

-Daniel

Wow, I sure didn't guess that list.
_________________________
"I was obliged to work hard; whoever works equally hard will succeed equally well." -Bach

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#2261873 - 04/15/14 01:11 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5792
Loc: Europe
I won't post in this thread...

I won't post in this thread...

I won't post in this thread...

Whoops! grin
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#2261874 - 04/15/14 01:13 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Polyphonist Offline
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Let's be glad we haven't heard from argerichfan yet. wink
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#2261881 - 04/15/14 01:27 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Nikolas Offline
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lol
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#2261946 - 04/15/14 05:12 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Let's be glad we haven't heard from argerichfan yet. wink

Well I do think it interesting that Brendan can get away with such horrors as this:

I don't like Rachmaninoff (and most other Russian music) because I find it to be both superficial and too hard for its worth.

Wow, if I had posted something so inflammatory, I would have been castrated.
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#2261955 - 04/15/14 05:51 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Eldridge]
Svenno Offline
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Originally Posted By: Eldridge
I can't imagine anyone finding Rachmaninoff's music equal in quality to Chopin's


seriously?

That might be true when you compare their solo piano work, but hey, "music" is a very broad term. It includes not only the solo piano pieces, but other instruments too.

Some say that chopin couldn't even understand orchestration, and needed help when composing his concertos. Rachmaninoff's piano concertos are are way ahead of his, especially in orchestration. And so are his other orchestral works.


Edited by Svenno (04/15/14 05:56 AM)
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#2261959 - 04/15/14 06:06 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Svenno

And Chopin couldn't even understand orchestration.

Sorry, I cannot let this go without a challenge.

If you have not figured it out, the reason for the skimpy and rather dodgy orchestrations in the Chopin concertos should really be obvious if you know the works at all, do you?

Any heavier orchestrations would cover up the delectable writing for the piano. Chopin knew what he was doing, and any subsequent attempts to revise the orchestration have never worked.
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#2261964 - 04/15/14 06:36 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
bennevis Online   content
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Svenno

And Chopin couldn't even understand orchestration.

Sorry, I cannot let this go without a challenge.

If you have not figured it out, the reason for the skimpy and rather dodgy orchestrations in the Chopin concertos should really be obvious if you know the works at all, do you?

Any heavier orchestrations would cover up the delectable writing for the piano. Chopin knew what he was doing, and any subsequent attempts to revise the orchestration have never worked.

The Irish pianist Mìceál O'Rourke would beg to differ (www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mslx9)..... wink
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#2261967 - 04/15/14 06:51 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Eldridge]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Eldridge
I can't imagine anyone finding Rachmaninoff's music equal in quality to Chopin's.



If nothing else, that's a rather narrow view of the range of people's opinions. smile

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#2261995 - 04/15/14 07:49 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Svenno


Can anyone explain what's wrong with Rachmaninoff?


Well, for one thing, during much of the 20th century, his music was seen by many critics and musicians as being so old-fashioned that it just couldn't be taken seriously, and performing it was often seen as pandering to the least cultivated people in the audience simply to increase income, rather than being for the sake of the art. Not only was it not cutting edge, it wasn't even up to speed with the middle of the pack. Finally, towards the end of the century, his reputation was slightly rehabilitated by a few conductors who championed his orchestral music. To me, it seems that some of those earlier negative attitudes are still around to some extent.

But I think there are other issues with much of his music that keep it out of the very top ranks. There are often formal problems - his musical structures often don't work really well, even if local moments can be wonderful (this can be a problem with Chopin, too, but Chopin's instincts seem just a bit better organized). Another issue is that the immediate emotional appeal of some of his music can drift into the realm of bad taste for some classical music lovers. Said a different way, it's just too sappy and sentimental.

Personally, I love his music without too many qualms - it is what it is and it still speaks to me through all of the flaws, and that's enough. How it is ranked by others doesn't really matter too much in the end, although I do like trying to understand why some people (especially musicians) aren't as captivated by it as I am.

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#2262113 - 04/15/14 12:42 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Let's be glad we haven't heard from argerichfan yet. wink

Well I do think it interesting that Brendan can get away with such horrors as this:

I don't like Rachmaninoff (and most other Russian music) because I find it to be both superficial and too hard for its worth.

Wow, if I had posted something so inflammatory, I would have been castrated.

You wouldn't. I've learned my lesson re attempting to respond to such posts.

Originally Posted By: Svenno
Originally Posted By: Eldridge
I can't imagine anyone finding Rachmaninoff's music equal in quality to Chopin's


seriously?

That might be true when you compare their solo piano work, but hey, "music" is a very broad term. It includes not only the solo piano pieces, but other instruments too.

Some say that chopin couldn't even understand orchestration, and needed help when composing his concertos. Rachmaninoff's piano concertos are are way ahead of his, especially in orchestration. And so are his other orchestral works.

Rachmaninoff cannot even hold a candle to Chopin, and I think that is pretty close to a fact. Once you've just heard a Chopin sonata, it's hard to listen to almost anything written afterwards without thinking how inferior it is.
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#2262351 - 04/15/14 08:44 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist


Rachmaninoff cannot even hold a candle to Chopin, and I think that is pretty close to a fact.

Funny thing, we have bitched at each other so much... but facts are... facts.

And thank-you for that. (May I have time out now?)
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#2262355 - 04/15/14 08:49 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist


Rachmaninoff cannot even hold a candle to Chopin, and I think that is pretty close to a fact.

Funny thing, we have [censored] at each other so much... but facts are... facts.

Now all we have to do is wait for Joel to get in the middle of this. grin
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#2262367 - 04/15/14 09:18 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
JoelW Offline
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Beethoven is the greatest composer of all time.

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#2262369 - 04/15/14 09:20 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Polyphonist Offline
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I'm not arguing with you there.
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#2262394 - 04/15/14 10:31 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
JoelW Offline
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The Backstreet Boys are greater.

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#2262400 - 04/15/14 10:45 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Polyphonist Offline
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I'm sure.
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#2262404 - 04/15/14 11:02 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
JoelW Offline
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It's true. Just listen to this genius chorus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fndeDfaWCg&t=0m54s

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#2262578 - 04/16/14 12:22 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JoelW]
HauschkaEST Offline
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Rachmaninoff has been my favorite composer since age 14.

I just haven't found a composer who can parallel his combination of texture (see Rhapsody on a Theme by Pagannini), orchestration (flute taking theme in Rach 3, ahhh), bravura, nationalistic rhythms, depth.

He does it all for me. I especially think that he's the master of texture. He can make it rain notes, make the piano into a harp like parts of his 2nd sonata, and his music all has a strong personality. None of it is generic IMO.

His entire Etudes-Tableaux are fantastic.
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#2262625 - 04/16/14 02:33 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
JoelW Offline
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What other composers do you know in depth?

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#2262863 - 04/17/14 01:17 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JoelW]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
It's true. Just listen to this genius chorus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fndeDfaWCg&t=0m54s

Wuz you serious?

What next, a link to a One Direction video? wink

Actually I've always rather liked that song.
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#2263419 - 04/18/14 09:04 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
Shabbat Shalom Offline
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This thread feels like a stab in the heart! I must take issue with those who say Rachmaninoff had "formal issues", especially when comparing with Chopin. Rachmaninoff had a masterful sense of form and structure, but often the structure is too difficult for lesser musicians to pull off (myself included, no insult to be a lesser musician than Rachmaninoff). Just listen to his performances! Incomparably convincing structurally. My opinion is that many pianists' preconceived ideas of local events affect their interpretation of his music. Then there is the issue of sentimentality, once again an issue of the performer rather than the composer.

Finally, to compare Chopin and Rachmaninoff? They are so different and unique! How can we say which is better? Their emotional and aural worlds are so different, not to mention their cultures and influences.

Of course that means some people won't resonate with both or either. I don't resonate with much of Beethoven's solo piano music, and much of it strikes me as superficial, but it's obviously great music.
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#2265245 - 04/22/14 10:25 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Brad Hoehne Offline
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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?
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?


It's funny you should be trying to decide between Rachmaninoff and Chopin as it's long seemed to me that Rachmaninoff was trying to >be< Chopin- or, at least, carry on from where Chopin left off.

We tend to think of Rachmaninoff as the master of the big, syrupy piano concerto, but I like to focus on the smaller, more intimate Rachmaninoff.

Even more than Chopin's obvious successor, Liszt (who seemed to have a really difficult time holding back) Rachmaninoff seemed to be a master of the lyrical miniature- full of chromatic, stepwise, arching melodies, thick chords combined with fluttery textures, passion combined with intimacy, aching restraint combined with letting it all hang out.

In other words, to me, the "miniature" Rachmaninoff sounds like Chopin kicked up a notch.


Edited by Brad Hoehne (04/22/14 10:34 AM)
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#2265295 - 04/22/14 01:19 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Brad Hoehne]
JoelW Offline
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Originally Posted By: Brad Hoehne
In other words, to me, the "miniature" Rachmaninoff sounds like Chopin kicked up a notch.

Hmmm

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#2265357 - 04/22/14 03:23 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JoelW]
Brad Hoehne Offline
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Brad Hoehne
In other words, to me, the "miniature" Rachmaninoff sounds like Chopin kicked up a notch.

Hmmm


By which I do not necessarily mean "better" just "more of". Are 10 pieces of chocolate cake better than two?
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#2265359 - 04/22/14 03:25 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Brad Hoehne]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: Brad Hoehne
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Brad Hoehne
In other words, to me, the "miniature" Rachmaninoff sounds like Chopin kicked up a notch.

Hmmm


By which I do not necessarily mean "better" just "more of". Are 10 pieces of chocolate cake better than two?

Yes, but that's a bad analogy.
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#2265428 - 04/22/14 06:03 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Brad Hoehne]
Pathbreaker Offline
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Originally Posted By: Brad Hoehne
We tend to think of Rachmaninoff as the master of the big, syrupy piano concerto, but I like to focus on the smaller, more intimate Rachmaninoff.


I don't often listen to Rachmaninoff but I really do admire him for his Preludes and Etudes and some of his other smaller forms. These works rank up there with some of the highest achievements in the literature.

Almost everything else he did I can do without. (not bad, just too many better options)

I love Chopin's singular focus on the piano. If I understand correctly, he had no interest in composing for orchestra and only did the piano concertos and other selections because he was advised that he needed to do this in order to make a name for himself. He proceeded to do it in his own unique way which doesn't indicate he was incapable of orchestration but just not really that interested. (Yes that's kind of speculative but not based on nothing I hope)

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#2265497 - 04/22/14 07:57 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Pathbreaker]
JoelW Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pathbreaker
If I understand correctly, he had no interest in composing for orchestra and only did the piano concertos and other selections because he was advised that he needed to do this in order to make a name for himself.

Ha! This is very amusing if true. grin

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#2265629 - 04/22/14 11:43 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Kuanpiano Offline
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I really enjoy listening-to and playing Rachmaninoff's music. I think right now I've done enough Chopin, so I'd like to play more Rach...particularly his 3rd concerto and his 1st sonata.
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#2265659 - 04/23/14 01:18 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Bloggs Offline
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Polyphonist, what do you think of Prokofiev's piano music?

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#2265753 - 04/23/14 08:59 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
jeffreyjones Offline
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If nothing else, and I like his piano music less as the years go by, Rachmaninoff wrote one of the most amazing a capella choral works - Vespers/All Night Vigil. The quality of the vocal writing and setting is top of the top.. it does for the Eastern Orthodox tradition what Tallis and Palestrina did for the Catholic.

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#2265755 - 04/23/14 09:24 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: jeffreyjones]
Tim Adrianson Offline
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Hi, Jeffrey -- Coincidentally, "Vespers" will be presented in Madison this Saturday (by a local choral group) -- and I'll be most interested to hear that. I've always thought that Rachmaninov's best piece is "The Bells", and that his strongest and "truest" expression is one that evokes the "Old Russia" quality. Of his Preludes, 32/10 is the best example. Many years ago, I sang in a chorus in which one of the members, a Russian émigré, provided some unpublished choral works of Rachmaninov which he spirited across the border, so to speak -- and I thought those were outstanding in their effect.

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#2265764 - 04/23/14 09:49 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Tim Adrianson]
prout Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
Hi, Jeffrey -- Coincidentally, "Vespers" will be presented in Madison this Saturday (by a local choral group) -- and I'll be most interested to hear that. I've always thought that Rachmaninov's best piece is "The Bells", and that his strongest and "truest" expression is one that evokes the "Old Russia" quality. Of his Preludes, 32/10 is the best example. Many years ago, I sang in a chorus in which one of the members, a Russian émigré, provided some unpublished choral works of Rachmaninov which he spirited across the border, so to speak -- and I thought those were outstanding in their effect.

Listen carefully. In one of the movements, the basses descend to A1. Very amazing when it's done well.

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#2265795 - 04/23/14 11:16 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Tim Adrianson]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
Of his Preludes, 32/10 is the best example.

I must disagree and nominate 32/13.
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#2266938 - 04/25/14 01:42 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
doctor S Offline
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32/13 certainly has "Russian" minor-key brooding, and bells-or-not, its huge major-key chords evoke enough joy to put it on my "desert island" list (and it helps that I can reach some of those durn chords...but just how do you make major chords sound "Grave"??)

Rachmaninoff apparently was a melancholy, humble guy (Stravinsky called him "a six and a half foot scowl.") He ceded performance of the 3rd concerto to Horowitz, he gave his gold medal to Gilels, he "quit" composing briefly due to depression after his 1st symphony premier sabotage, and composed much less after 1917. He lamented that he couldn't compose "modernly" and acknowledged his style was anachronistic. He probably would have said he wasn't worthy to carry Chopin's shoes as a composer. Since he was poor at self-promotion and "out of step" with the crowd of contemporary composers (thank God!), we shouldn't be surprised if he does not make a top ten list now. Perhaps in 100 years, a Mendelssohn will rediscover him and promote him properly.
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#2266951 - 04/25/14 02:09 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
beet31425 Offline
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Key signatures please!!

What is this "32/13" and "32/10"? Who memorizes opus numbers, who distinguishes 10 from 11 from 12 from 13?

But since there is no key-signature duplication among the 24 preludes, let's use the rich language of key signatures to describe them!

Now, is Db major or B minor a better example of Rachmaninoff's "Old Russianness"? I don't know, but at least that's a better language for asking the question.

-J
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#2266986 - 04/25/14 03:09 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: beet31425]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: beet31425
Key signatures please!!

What is this "32/13" and "32/10"? Who memorizes opus numbers, who distinguishes 10 from 11 from 12 from 13?

Myself, for one. It's as good a method as any. Of course, I also refer to them by the key signature, but since the post I was responding to used numbers, I followed suit. If it had used key signatures, I would have responded in kind.
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#2266989 - 04/25/14 03:13 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: doctor S]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: doctor S
He probably would have said he wasn't worthy to carry Chopin's shoes as a composer.

And he would be very right. But who was? laugh

Originally Posted By: doctor S
he was poor at self-promotion and "out of step" with the crowd of contemporary composers (thank God!)

thumb
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#2267068 - 04/25/14 06:04 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: doctor S]
JoelW Offline
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Originally Posted By: doctor S
Perhaps in 100 years, a Mendelssohn will rediscover him and promote him properly.

What does this mean?

Edit:

Never mind. Didn't he discover Bach's works? Now I get it. smile

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#2267143 - 04/25/14 09:53 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
Ridicolosamente Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Key signatures please!!

What is this "32/13" and "32/10"? Who memorizes opus numbers, who distinguishes 10 from 11 from 12 from 13?

Myself, for one. It's as good a method as any. Of course, I also refer to them by the key signature, but since the post I was responding to used numbers, I followed suit. If it had used key signatures, I would have responded in kind.
Jason I'm disappointed!

Anyone who can't recite on command opus numbers *and* key signatures of all Beethoven Sonatas and Chopin Etudes etc. is not a true music fan grin

The great Op 32/12 D-flat is too great of a goosebump inducing work to not know as the #13! So great probably only .001% of humans are physically built to play it! Go ahead and enjoy your G# minor which is on every menu. I'll save my appetite and savor my D-flat, thanks!

smile

-Daniel
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#2267144 - 04/25/14 09:55 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
Ridicolosamente Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
-Mendelssohn... I'll stop because I feel like a negative Nancy.

Oh, is Mendelssohn boring too?
A little... frown

-Daniel
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#2267157 - 04/25/14 10:41 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Ridicolosamente]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
-Mendelssohn... I'll stop because I feel like a negative Nancy.

Oh, is Mendelssohn boring too?
A little... frown

-Daniel

crazy
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#2267179 - 04/25/14 11:10 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Ridicolosamente]
beet31425 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Anyone who can't recite on command opus numbers *and* key signatures of all Beethoven Sonatas and Chopin Etudes etc. is not a true music fan grin


Heh smile ...

Actually, I can do Beethoven sonatas and Chopin etudes by number or key. But, for example, when it comes to Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, I find it silly to talk about "prelude and fugue #18 (Book I)"... the thing is so "G# minor"-ish from start to finish, it should just be "G# minor from Book I". (For the same reason I'd never just call it "BWV 863".)

But the WTC is an exploration of key signatures, and not randomly assembled (and there is only one selection per signature), so this makes more sense than using "the C major Chopin etude" as a label. Similarly it makes sense with the Chopin preludes. The Rachmaninoff preludes are semi-randomly assembled: there is one for each of the 24 keys, but they're not in any key-structural order. So I feel you could really go either way with these, and as calling them by key signature is unambiguous, I prefer it.

-Jason
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#2267180 - 04/25/14 11:14 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: beet31425]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Anyone who can't recite on command opus numbers *and* key signatures of all Beethoven Sonatas and Chopin Etudes etc. is not a true music fan grin


Heh smile ...

Actually, I can do Beethoven sonatas and Chopin etudes by number or key. But, for example, when it comes to Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, I find it silly to talk about "prelude and fugue #18 (Book I)"... the thing is so "G# minor"-ish from start to finish, it should just be "G# minor from Book I". (For the same reason I'd never just call it "BWV 863".)

But the WTC is an exploration of key signatures, and not randomly assembled (and there is only one selection per signature), so this makes more sense than using "the C major Chopin etude" as a label. Similarly it makes sense with the Chopin preludes. The Rachmaninoff preludes are semi-randomly assembled: there is one for each of the 24 keys, but they're not in any key-structural order. So I feel you could really go either way with these, and as calling them by key signature is unambiguous, I prefer it.

-Jason

I agree with you on all counts, except I don't see what's ambiguous about labeling the Rachmaninoff preludes by number.
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#2267205 - 04/26/14 01:08 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
beet31425 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Anyone who can't recite on command opus numbers *and* key signatures of all Beethoven Sonatas and Chopin Etudes etc. is not a true music fan grin


Heh smile ...

Actually, I can do Beethoven sonatas and Chopin etudes by number or key. But, for example, when it comes to Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, I find it silly to talk about "prelude and fugue #18 (Book I)"... the thing is so "G# minor"-ish from start to finish, it should just be "G# minor from Book I". (For the same reason I'd never just call it "BWV 863".)

But the WTC is an exploration of key signatures, and not randomly assembled (and there is only one selection per signature), so this makes more sense than using "the C major Chopin etude" as a label. Similarly it makes sense with the Chopin preludes. The Rachmaninoff preludes are semi-randomly assembled: there is one for each of the 24 keys, but they're not in any key-structural order. So I feel you could really go either way with these, and as calling them by key signature is unambiguous, I prefer it.

-Jason

I agree with you on all counts, except I don't see what's ambiguous about labeling the Rachmaninoff preludes by number.


Of course you're right: Rach preludes by number isn't ambiguous at all. My last sentence was pretty unclear; I meant: "I feel you could go either way (by opus number or by key signature), and in general I prefer referencing by key signature when I can, but that's usually ambiguous (e.g. Beethoven sonatas). Since here it happens *not* to be ambiguous (a rarity), we now have the option to use it for reference, and I like to do that when I can."

-Jason
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#2267213 - 04/26/14 02:05 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
JoelW Offline
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Why does Rach get flak? So what if he wasn't modern. His sound was original. That's what matters.

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#2267231 - 04/26/14 04:05 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JoelW]
JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
Why does Rach get flak? So what if he wasn't modern. His sound was original. That's what matters.


Indeed. 90+% of everything from every time period is ultimately forgotten, because it isn't much good. My guess is that a couple hundred years from now, more of Rach will be remembered than his "modern" contemporaries. "Modern" will be regarded as a dead end.
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#2267233 - 04/26/14 04:09 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JohnSprung]
JoelW Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
90+% of everything from every time period is ultimately forgotten

Thank goodness. laugh

Quote:
"Modern" will be regarded as a dead end.

Interesting. Could you elaborate on that?

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#2267242 - 04/26/14 05:46 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JohnSprung]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Why does Rach get flak? So what if he wasn't modern. His sound was original. That's what matters.


Indeed. 90+% of everything from every time period is ultimately forgotten, because it isn't much good. My guess is that a couple hundred years from now, more of Rach will be remembered than his "modern" contemporaries. "Modern" will be regarded as a dead end.



My guess is that you are wrong. And since neither of us will be around to know, either guess is as good as the other.

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#2267249 - 04/26/14 06:02 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JohnSprung]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
My guess is that a couple hundred years from now, more of Rach will be remembered than his "modern" contemporaries.

Well I will try to savour the glories of Scriabin, Prokofiev, Bartok, Schoenberg, Berg and Stravinsky whilst the going's good before the inevitable dumbing down, and Rachmaninov eclipses them all.

I totally fail to understand why such a fantastic piece of music such as the Bartok 1st Concerto is so neglected. It has a bizarre, craggy, yet profound beauty, but alas too challenging unless one is willing to give it time to work its magic.

Rachmaninov, of course, poses no challenges to the listener. Gotta hand it to him, though:

(a) His music communicates effortlessly to the public
(b) It is extremely competently written and difficult enough to attract every new generation of pianists.

Whether it is particularly profound or greater than the 'modern' contemporaries listed above, I suppose only time will tell.
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#2267292 - 04/26/14 08:55 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Rachmaninov, of course, poses no challenges to the listener.

By this argument neither does Mozart.
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#2267356 - 04/26/14 11:36 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Rachmaninov, of course, poses no challenges to the listener.

By this argument neither does Mozart.

The great Schnabel tells us that Mozart is too difficult for experts, so he should be left to beginners.
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#2267387 - 04/26/14 01:45 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: bennevis]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: bennevis

The great Schnabel tells us that Mozart is too difficult for experts, so he should be left to beginners.

For good reason wink because I believe Schnabel also said that Mozart was too easy for children (or beginners).

But after hearing the D major sonata K 284 in concert last night, I'm inclined to think it would take one helluva talented youngster to convincingly pull that off.
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#2267397 - 04/26/14 01:55 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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There are some pieces that it should be illegal to play before the age of 18. grin
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#2267447 - 04/26/14 04:34 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: wr]
JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Why does Rach get flak? So what if he wasn't modern. His sound was original. That's what matters.


Indeed. 90+% of everything from every time period is ultimately forgotten, because it isn't much good. My guess is that a couple hundred years from now, more of Rach will be remembered than his "modern" contemporaries. "Modern" will be regarded as a dead end.



My guess is that you are wrong. And since neither of us will be around to know, either guess is as good as the other.



Yup. It's like gloal warming. The trick is to make predictions far enough out that none of us will live to find out.... ;-)
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#2267468 - 04/26/14 05:35 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JoelW]
JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
Quote:
"Modern" will be regarded as a dead end.

Interesting. Could you elaborate on that?


Having given it some thought, no. I must admit that it's just a gut feeling. Music, I think, has room for gut feelings.
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#2267500 - 04/26/14 07:11 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JohnSprung]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnSprung


Yup. It's like gloal warming. The trick is to make predictions far enough out that none of us will live to find out.... ;-)


Except that predictions regarding global warming tend to have just a teensy bit more of a basis in empirical science than predictions regarding trends in the arts.

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#2267740 - 04/27/14 01:46 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: bennevis

The great Schnabel tells us that Mozart is too difficult for experts, so he should be left to beginners.

For good reason wink because I believe Schnabel also said that Mozart was too easy for children (or beginners).

I couldn't resist sharing this - just watched the annual School Choir of the Year competition here, part of a Sunday religious program called 'Songs of Praise' on BBC TV.

The junior section (children aged six to eleven) was on today, with choirs from all over the UK. As always, almost all the choirs sang simple arrangements of hymns or religious songs, mostly in unison, with occasional division into two parts, and accompanied on the piano. But a newcomer to the competition, a Welsh children's choir from Llangennech Junior School (you need to be Welsh to pronounce that name wink ), bucked the trend by singing Mozart's Ave verum corpus (in two-part harmony throughout, with piano accompaniment) - "absurdly ambitious", as one of the judges commented afterwards.

But apparently the children didn't know it was difficult, and sang with amazingly long sustained lines (if any of the children 'cheated' by taking a breath mid-phrase, they disguised it totally), and hitting all the top notes. And they sang more movingly than many adult choirs I've heard.

Yes, Mozart is easy for children - before the latter realize how difficult he really is...... grin
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#2267923 - 04/27/14 06:54 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: bennevis]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: bennevis

Yes, Mozart is easy for children - before the latter realize how difficult he really is...... grin

Many thanks for sharing that. I used to make fun of Mozart, and I currently know a 25-year old (25!) who has not 'got it' yet.
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#2267927 - 04/27/14 06:55 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
I used to make fun of Mozart...

Ignorance is bliss. wink

(What could you possibly find in Mozart to make fun of?)
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#2267943 - 04/27/14 07:16 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
I used to make fun of Mozart...

Ignorance is bliss. wink

(What could you possibly find in Mozart to make fun of?)

hahaha

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#2267947 - 04/27/14 07:26 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Rachmaninov, of course, poses no challenges to the listener.

By this argument neither does Mozart.

Really? Come now old chap... wink

I have had quite a Mozart weekend- the K 284 in concert Friday evening, Met broadcast of Così fan tutte Saturday morning, the great 'Jupiter' symphony this morning.

IMO this is music -if not treated as muzak- is extremely challenging on any level I can think of. With every passing year -when I escaped my teens- I find more and more to admire, his secrets just keep coming. Cosi is very much an ensemble opera, and it was my pleasure to be rehearsal accompanist for an amateur production. (Entführung also.) I would have never given up those experiences, if so I would not be the musician I am today.

But pray tell, where and how does one 'grow' into Rachmaninov? His music is no different to me than it was when I was 15. His honest, if gushing emotionalism, hides nothing, and I do not suppose that Rachmaninov was particularly concerned about that. He knew his strengths, he was a towering technician.

Funny thing, though... Tchaikovsky is unfortunately often portrayed as a whipping boy for Rachmaninov, but why is it that his music has continued to grow on me over the years, but not Rachmaninov?
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#2267949 - 04/27/14 07:28 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

Ignorance is bliss. wink

Isn't it?
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#2267993 - 04/27/14 10:04 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
But pray tell, where and how does one 'grow' into Rachmaninov? His music is no different to me than it was when I was 15. His honest, if gushing emotionalism, hides nothing, and I do not suppose that Rachmaninov was particularly concerned about that. He knew his strengths, he was a towering technician.

Funny thing, though... Tchaikovsky is unfortunately often portrayed as a whipping boy for Rachmaninov, but why is it that his music has continued to grow on me over the years, but not Rachmaninov?

Because you do not understand Rachmaninoff, in the same way that others do not understand Mozart, or Tchaikovsky, or anybody.
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#2268012 - 04/27/14 11:07 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

Because you do not understand Rachmaninoff,

Wow, just wow.

Actually I DO understand Rachmaninov, but because I do not rate him as highly as you do, therefore I don't understand?

I realize you are an old man, that is okay. But some of us understand Rachmaninov in ways that you may not.
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#2268014 - 04/27/14 11:21 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

Because you do not understand Rachmaninoff,

Wow, just wow.

Actually I DO understand Rachmaninov, but because I do not rate him as highly as you do, therefore I don't understand?

If you think of it as trite, then, no, you don't. If I said Mozart is overrated and actually the operas you love mean nothing, you would still think I understand Mozart?
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#2268019 - 04/27/14 11:40 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

If you think of it as trite, then, no, you don't. If I said Mozart is overrated and actually the operas you love mean nothing, you would still think I understand Mozart?

Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about... which should not surprise me... have you been drinking?

Stick to your Rachmaninov, okay? You haven't a clue about the Mozart operas, and you are only (typically) making a fool of yourself.

But by all means, should be another 30 or 40 posts by tomorrow morning? We all wait with bated breath because you are so important here.
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#2268020 - 04/27/14 11:42 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

If you think of it as trite, then, no, you don't. If I said Mozart is overrated and actually the operas you love mean nothing, you would still think I understand Mozart?

Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about... which should not surprise me... have you been drinking?

Stick to your Rachmaninov, okay? You haven't a clue about the Mozart operas, and you are only (typically) making a fool of yourself.

Clearly you didn't realize that what I said was hypothetical - if someone said that, would you really react to them the same way you seem to expect me to react to you. I think I got my answer.

But I'm not going to fight fire with fire - I will exercise some maturity to make up for your lack of it.

(Oops...) grin
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#2268021 - 04/27/14 11:44 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Polyphonist]
beet31425 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
If I said Mozart is overrated and actually the operas you love mean nothing, you would still think I understand Mozart?

Yes, if you said that I'd probably think you didn't understand Mozart.

But if you told me that you had a deep appreciation for Mozart's piano concerti (for example), but thought that the symphonies and operas were overrated, I wouldn't conclude you didn't understand him. I'd disagree with you, but I could easily imagine you had a complex, informed sense of Mozart that happened to lead to those conclusions.

I think argerichfan's appreciation of Rachmaninoff is of this form-- complex and informed. This comes out in many posts of his that I've read over years, and while I may disagree with him on the 3rd concerto, I think his opinions here are worthy of respect. Anyway, I think there's plenty of Rach he appreciates.


-J
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#2268022 - 04/27/14 11:48 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: beet31425]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
If I said Mozart is overrated and actually the operas you love mean nothing, you would still think I understand Mozart?

Yes, if you said that I'd probably think you didn't understand Mozart.

But if you told me that you had a deep appreciation for Mozart's piano concerti (for example), but thought that the symphonies and operas were overrated, I wouldn't conclude you didn't understand him. I'd disagree with you, but I could easily imagine you had a complex, informed sense of Mozart that happened to lead to those conclusions.

I think argerichfan's appreciation of Rachmaninoff is of this form-- complex and informed.

My conclusion that he doesn't understand Rachmaninoff is not based off his opinion of any one piece, but from his overall attitude towards the composer and the blanket statements he constantly makes.
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#2268045 - 04/28/14 01:39 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: wr]
JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung


Yup. It's like gloal warming. The trick is to make predictions far enough out that none of us will live to find out.... ;-)


Except that predictions regarding global warming tend to have just a teensy bit more of a basis in empirical science than predictions regarding trends in the arts.


Perhaps this is a nit pick, but it's theoretical rather than empirical. The distinction was best elucidated by Lawrence P. Berra:

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they're not."
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#2269278 - 04/30/14 08:41 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Numerian Offline
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I find it best to approach each composer with an open heart and an open mind. If a particular composer doesn't appeal to you, wait awhile. You will be surprised how your tastes can expand over time if you merely say, "I'm not ready for this composer yet," rather than "I don't like this composer."

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#2269293 - 04/30/14 09:18 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Cheeto717 Offline
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Anyone who thinks the orchestra part in the Chopin concerti is written badly needs to listen to Zimerman's recording where he also conducts the orchestra. Amazing balance between the piano and orchestra and I don't think many other people understand the works like he does.

As for Rachmaninoff, I love his take on piano etudes which I find very original technical challenges. I also find it interesting that he was born in Russia but died in Beverly Hills of all places. Is it possible that many of his colleagues felt like he sold out?
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#2269449 - 05/01/14 06:03 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JohnSprung]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung


Yup. It's like gloal warming. The trick is to make predictions far enough out that none of us will live to find out.... ;-)


Except that predictions regarding global warming tend to have just a teensy bit more of a basis in empirical science than predictions regarding trends in the arts.


Perhaps this is a nit pick, but it's theoretical rather than empirical. The distinction was best elucidated by Lawrence P. Berra:

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they're not."



I was talking about actual measurements of temperature, which, as far as I know, are empirical.

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#2269841 - 05/01/14 09:16 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Cheeto717]
Anne'sson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Cheeto717

As for Rachmaninoff, I love his take on piano etudes which I find very original technical challenges. I also find it interesting that he was born in Russia but died in Beverly Hills of all places. Is it possible that many of his colleagues felt like he sold out?


Cheeto117, Rachmaninoff left Russia in December, 1917, at the beginning of the Revolution, and never returned. Considering that Stalin had come to power by 1924, that the 1930s featured purges in the USSR, and that by 1941 the Nazis had invaded, it is unlikely that any of Rachmaninoff's colleagues begrudged his living in Beverly Hills.

Igor Stravinsky was similarly self-exiled, although he lived long enough to visit the Soviet Union in 1962.

I will say that while I enjoy Rachmaninoff's music occasionally and recognize that he made a major contribution to the literature for the piano, I also find that it takes a special mood for me to choose him from my CD collection--a mood that momentarily can tolerate anachronistic, overripe late Romanticism. I did play one of the Etudes-Tableaux many years ago and I'm not inclined to undertake another of his works.
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#2269845 - 05/01/14 09:30 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Anne'sson]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By: Anne'sson
...I also find that it takes a special mood for me to choose him from my CD collection--a mood that momentarily can tolerate anachronistic, overripe late Romanticism.

laugh , the local Rachmaninov Grand Inquisitor should be arriving shortly to prosecute this latest heresy and affront to canonical law.

Funny thing, though: all of Rachmaninov's music, the Etudes-Tableaux are probably the music I respond to most positively.
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#2269849 - 05/01/14 09:34 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
all of Rachmaninov's music, the Etudes-Tableaux are probably the music I respond to most positively.

I'm listening to the D minor etude, Op.39/8, right now. What a brilliant inspiration.
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#2269859 - 05/01/14 09:53 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Anne'sson]
phantomFive Offline
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Originally Posted By: Anne'sson
Originally Posted By: Cheeto717

As for Rachmaninoff, I love his take on piano etudes which I find very original technical challenges. I also find it interesting that he was born in Russia but died in Beverly Hills of all places. Is it possible that many of his colleagues felt like he sold out?


Cheeto117, Rachmaninoff left Russia in December, 1917, at the beginning of the Revolution, and never returned. Considering that Stalin had come to power by 1924, that the 1930s featured purges in the USSR, and that by 1941 the Nazis had invaded, it is unlikely that any of Rachmaninoff's colleagues begrudged his living in Beverly Hills.

Igor Stravinsky was similarly self-exiled, although he lived long enough to visit the Soviet Union in 1962.

I've been wondering what the soviet response was to Rachmaninoff. Certainly the Russians I know now do enjoy his music.
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#2269884 - 05/01/14 10:12 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Anne'sson Offline
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I had an LP (vinyl) of the Etudes-Tableaux and enjoyed it. Can anyone recommend a CD of this music?
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#2269889 - 05/01/14 10:16 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Anne'sson]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: Anne'sson
I had an LP (vinyl) of the Etudes-Tableaux and enjoyed it. Can anyone recommend a CD of this music?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00007KRH5/ref=dm_ws_ps_cdp/192-5077529-0556869?ie=UTF8&s=music
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#2269907 - 05/01/14 10:39 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Anne'sson]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Anne'sson
I had an LP (vinyl) of the Etudes-Tableaux and enjoyed it. Can anyone recommend a CD of this music?


Ovchinikov is good; I remember liking Howard Shelley's recording, too. There are surprisingly few recordings of this music, considering the popularity of some other Rachmaninoff.

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#2269992 - 05/02/14 02:57 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Anne'sson]
JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted By: Anne'sson
Originally Posted By: Cheeto717

As for Rachmaninoff, I love his take on piano etudes which I find very original technical challenges. I also find it interesting that he was born in Russia but died in Beverly Hills of all places. Is it possible that many of his colleagues felt like he sold out?


Cheeto117, Rachmaninoff left Russia in December, 1917, at the beginning of the Revolution, and never returned. Considering that Stalin had come to power by 1924, that the 1930s featured purges in the USSR, and that by 1941 the Nazis had invaded, it is unlikely that any of Rachmaninoff's colleagues begrudged his living in Beverly Hills.


IIRC, he was of noble ancestry, so he had to escape and lost everything in 1917. He started over and did quite well, making most of his income as a concert pianist. Today we know him as a composer, but in life he was primarily a performer. He also suffered from depression.
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#2269997 - 05/02/14 03:02 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: wr]
JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted By: wr
I was talking about actual measurements of temperature, which, as far as I know, are empirical.


Yes, but falling short of the predictions that were made for them 2-3 decades ago. What has been learned from that is not to make such short term predictions. ;-)
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#2270449 - 05/03/14 06:54 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JohnSprung]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Originally Posted By: wr
I was talking about actual measurements of temperature, which, as far as I know, are empirical.


Yes, but falling short of the predictions that were made for them 2-3 decades ago. What has been learned from that is not to make such short term predictions. ;-)


I wasn't talking about the accuracy of the predictions; I was talking about what they were based on.



Edited by wr (05/03/14 08:40 AM)

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#2270834 - 05/04/14 06:13 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: wr]
JohnSprung Offline
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Ok -- They take empirical data, and based on it they make a theoretical prediction, which is subsequently tested by more empirical data. Like Yogi said....
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#2270840 - 05/04/14 06:46 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: JohnSprung]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

Ok -- They take empirical data, and based on it they make a theoretical prediction, which is subsequently tested by more empirical data. Like Yogi said....



Who is "Yogi" and what did he/she/it say? I am, apparently, culturally deprived (per your culture).

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#2271529 - 05/05/14 04:56 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: wr]
JohnSprung Offline
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Lawrence P. "Yogi" Berra -- a baseball manager noted for his amusing way of making a point.

http://yogiberramuseum.org/just-for-fun/yogisms/
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#2271537 - 05/05/14 05:07 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Svenno Offline
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This thread is stil going on?




Mother of god - what have i created?
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#2271685 - 05/06/14 12:52 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Tenuto Offline
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There's nothing wrong with Rachmaninoff. Most pianists I know love to play his music. Listen to his Six Moments Musicaux. Listen to all of his piano concertos. He was a giant as a composer and also as a pianist/performer.

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#2271759 - 05/06/14 07:43 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Tenuto]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tenuto
There's nothing wrong with Rachmaninoff. Most pianists I know love to play his music. Listen to his Six Moments Musicaux. Listen to all of his piano concertos. He was a giant as a composer and also as a pianist/performer.


His music almost never appears in the solo recitals of most of the internationally famous concert pianists that are currently treading the boards. The piano and orchestra works are guaranteed money for those who want to do that, but, interestingly enough, you don't see pianists like Pollini, Uchida, Ax, Andnes, Goode, Schiff, Aimard, Kissin, Hough, and others of their ilk, programming his solo piano music very often, if at all.

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#2271989 - 05/06/14 05:15 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Chopinlover49 Offline
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I think the premise that people don't seem to like Rachmaninoff has been negated. He is very popular. Even allowing that his composing career was put on the back burner because he needed to earn a living concertizing, just about all of his work is recorded and performed regularly. I agree with other posters here that there are many other Russian composers who are underappreciated, but that does not change the fact that Rach is very, very popular. I wondered what the original poster was basing this on?

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#2272375 - 05/07/14 01:14 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Pogorelich. Offline
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I wouldn't ask what's wrong with Rachmaninov.... because nothing is.... what's wrong with people?
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#2272376 - 05/07/14 01:24 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Pogorelich.]
Vid Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
I wouldn't ask what's wrong with Rachmaninov.... because nothing is.... what's wrong with people?


thumb I couldn't have put it better.
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#2272430 - 05/07/14 03:46 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Pogorelich.]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
I wouldn't ask what's wrong with Rachmaninov.... because nothing is.... what's wrong with people?

A question that might be better posed to the people themselves. laugh
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#2272473 - 05/07/14 05:20 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Pogorelich.]
Old Man Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
I wouldn't ask what's wrong with Rachmaninov.... because nothing is.... what's wrong with people?

I think that's the problem with this discussion. The OP didn't really define "people". Which people?

If you were to survey the classical music-loving public, I'd guarantee that the vast majority would say they love Rachmaninoff. But if you then drill down to a subset of that public, and start polling professional musicians, critics, academics, etc., I think you'd get mixed reviews. And you'd hear some less-than-enthusiastic comments, similar to those already made on this thread.

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#2272664 - 05/08/14 07:26 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Pogorelich.]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
I wouldn't ask what's wrong with Rachmaninov.... because nothing is.... what's wrong with people?


Well, you are one of them critters, so you should know.

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#2417590 - 05/06/15 12:23 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Tenuto Offline
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Thanks for starting this thread. It seems to come back to life sometimes. I'm glad you are still learning to play some of Rachmaninoff's brilliant compositions.

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#2417868 - 05/06/15 10:53 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Anne'sson Offline
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The revival of this thread gives me a chance to eat crow about my earlier dismissal of Rachmaninoff as an anachronistic, overripe late Romantic.

Recently I've been working on his Preludes, Op. 32 nos. 10 and 11, in B minor and B major, respectively. I find his evocation of Russian church bells, especially in Op. 32 no. 10, to be enormously fascinating and satisfying.

It happens that as an undergraduate in the mid 1960s, one of the residence halls at my university had a carillon of Russian church bells, rescued from a monastery during the persecutions of the Church under Stalin. They were played to celebrate victories in football and on Sunday afternoons. I was fascinated by their timbres. I have since learned that Russian bells, unlike western church bells, are cast in such a way that the first partial is a seventh rather than an octave. Also, there is a natural but dramatic contrast between the lowest-pitched bell and the numerous bells in the treble. I hear similar characteristics, particularly in Op. 32 no. 10.

By the way, the bells I have mentioned were returned to the Russian monastery in 2008, in exchange for a newly-cast set of bells with the same pitches.
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#2417879 - 05/07/15 12:04 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Anne'sson]
phantomFive Offline
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Originally Posted By Anne'sson
The revival of this thread gives me a chance to eat crow about my earlier dismissal of Rachmaninoff as an anachronistic, overripe late Romantic.

Recently I've been working on his Preludes, Op. 32 nos. 10 and 11, in B minor and B major, respectively. I find his evocation of Russian church bells, especially in Op. 32 no. 10, to be enormously fascinating and satisfying.

It happens that as an undergraduate in the mid 1960s, one of the residence halls at my university had a carillon of Russian church bells, rescued from a monastery during the persecutions of the Church under Stalin. They were played to celebrate victories in football and on Sunday afternoons. I was fascinated by their timbres. I have since learned that Russian bells, unlike western church bells, are cast in such a way that the first partial is a seventh rather than an octave. Also, there is a natural but dramatic contrast between the lowest-pitched bell and the numerous bells in the treble. I hear similar characteristics, particularly in Op. 32 no. 10.

By the way, the bells I have mentioned were returned to the Russian monastery in 2008, in exchange for a newly-cast set of bells with the same pitches.




Interesting post.
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#2417894 - 05/07/15 02:03 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Opus_Maximus Offline
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I can't say I've noticed people not liking Rachmaninoff. Many love him. In fact, his piano concertos are probably the most frequently programmed concertos in the typical orchestral concert (along with Grieg and Tchaikovsky.) Piano competitions are filled with contestants playing his concertos, sonatas, and etudes.

However, it is fashionable amongst a certain breed of germanic-centered pianists (Brendel, Serkin, Sherman, Fleisher, Pressler, Uchida - that kin) to write off Rachmaninoff as not being a serious composer..only a cheesy man who wrote "melodies" filled with "emotion"..(yet never seem to be able to explain why Schubert Lied are of a higher order when they are in essence the same thing).


Edited by Opus_Maximus (05/07/15 02:09 AM)

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#2417897 - 05/07/15 02:18 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: wr]
Opus_Maximus Offline
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Originally Posted By wr
you don't see pianists like Pollini, Uchida, Ax, Andnes, Goode, Schiff, Aimard, Kissin, Hough, and others of their ilk, programming his solo piano music very often, if at all.



Goode, Schiff, and Uchida are in that anti-Russian camp. As for Ax, Hough, Kissin, and Andsens, all have recorded and performed a good deal of Rachmaninoff. Zimerman, Lugansky, Argerich, Pogorelich, Pletnev, Grimaud, Berezovsky, Feltsman, Volodos, Sokolov, Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, HJ Lim, Alexander Kobrin, Nicolai Demidenko, Lisista, and many, many more, all record and regularly program Rachmaninoff.

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#2417933 - 05/07/15 06:21 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Opus_Maximus]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By Opus_Maximus
Originally Posted By wr
you don't see pianists like Pollini, Uchida, Ax, Andnes, Goode, Schiff, Aimard, Kissin, Hough, and others of their ilk, programming his solo piano music very often, if at all.



Goode, Schiff, and Uchida are in that anti-Russian camp. As for Ax, Hough, Kissin, and Andsens, all have recorded and performed a good deal of Rachmaninoff. Zimerman, Lugansky, Argerich, Pogorelich, Pletnev, Grimaud, Berezovsky, Feltsman, Volodos, Sokolov, Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, HJ Lim, Alexander Kobrin, Nicolai Demidenko, Lisista, and many, many more, all record and regularly program Rachmaninoff.


The key word in my post was "solo"...

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#2418005 - 05/07/15 11:43 AM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Tenuto]
Hakki Offline
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Originally Posted By Tenuto
Thanks for starting this thread. It seems to come back to life sometimes. I'm glad you are still learning to play some of Rachmaninoff's brilliant compositions.


Why do you resurrect a year old thread?

What is your purpose?
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#2418018 - 05/07/15 12:30 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: wr]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By wr
Originally Posted By Opus_Maximus
Originally Posted By wr
you don't see pianists like Pollini, Uchida, Ax, Andnes, Goode, Schiff, Aimard, Kissin, Hough, and others of their ilk, programming his solo piano music very often, if at all.



Goode, Schiff, and Uchida are in that anti-Russian camp. As for Ax, Hough, Kissin, and Andsens, all have recorded and performed a good deal of Rachmaninoff. Zimerman, Lugansky, Argerich, Pogorelich, Pletnev, Grimaud, Berezovsky, Feltsman, Volodos, Sokolov, Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, HJ Lim, Alexander Kobrin, Nicolai Demidenko, Lisista, and many, many more, all record and regularly program Rachmaninoff.


The key word in my post was "solo"...
Many on that list program or record Rachmaninov's solo repertoire. His works are very popular today in recitals. And I say this although I probably wouldn't rank Rach in the top 10 composers(the top 15 composers still makes him very great IMO)

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#2418020 - 05/07/15 12:33 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Hakki]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By Hakki
Originally Posted By Tenuto
Thanks for starting this thread. It seems to come back to life sometimes. I'm glad you are still learning to play some of Rachmaninoff's brilliant compositions.


Why do you resurrect a year old thread?

What is your purpose?
Just look at how many posters replied since it was resurrected. Obviously the topic holds interest for some.

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#2418677 - 05/09/15 12:54 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
babama Offline
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If the concertos is all "people" hear I can imagine people getting tired of it. Fortunately there's much more to Rachmaninoff than just the concertos. I prefer his solo piano music. I also love parts of his choral works, some of his songs, isle of the dead and symphonic dances. I still have to listen to his symphonies and many other pieces.


Edited by babama (05/09/15 12:56 PM)

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#2418689 - 05/09/15 01:21 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
WhoDwaldi Offline
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Because I have smallish hands, I used to cross him off the list. Lately, I've been looking at some of the more manageable literature for me, and have been fascinated by both Rachmaninoff's physical approach to composition, and all those dark chocolate, Russian moods.
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#2418737 - 05/09/15 04:36 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Brendan Offline



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Hello again, thread!

I guess the comment I left early on about Russian music being too hard for what one gets out of it describes most of the Russian stuff I've played (Petrushka, a few Prok Sonatas, Scriabin Sonatas, some Kapustin, etc.). Maybe it's just my advanced age, I find myself sweating more over passages in these pieces while wondering if the juice is really worth the squeeze for the performer (particularly several passages in the last movement of Petrushka, ugh). As an audience member, I'm happy to watch others do it if they can!

On another note, I have a gig to play the Second Concerto in about a month and, after learning the piece, feel that it has the perfect difficulty-to-returns ratio for me. Lots of great tunes, a fantastic orchestral part, and not too terribly strenuous/overwrought. In many ways, it's the perfect concerto, or maybe I like it because it and the cello sonata (which I enjoy playing) are similar to one another.
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#2418764 - 05/09/15 06:34 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
argerichfan Offline
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Examining a Rachmaninov score, any trained musician should recognize immediately just how well written this music is. Even the simplest scores are carefully and lovely annotated.

Currently I find Rachmaninov tiresomely lugubrious, his counterpoint the look-at-what-I-can-do variety, and ultimately compared to his great contemporaries, he merely offers Russian tears noticeably significant without any real depth. To compare him with Richard Strauss is a bloody joke, and if Strauss's youthful Burleske is any indication, Rachmaninov was lucky that Strauss didn't take him on in later compositions. Strauss knew how to write for the piano as well as Rachmaninov.

That said, we all need time away from certain composers, as is happening now, and it gave me pleasure to be free of the Brahms 4th for a few years. I had a life...

Anyway, IMO, that is all.
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#2418771 - 05/09/15 06:59 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: argerichfan]
bennevis Online   content
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Originally Posted By argerichfan

Strauss knew how to write for the piano as well as Rachmaninov.



Of course.

You can make a direct comparison between Strauss's Piano Sonata and Rachmaninov's Piano Sonata No.1. Or between Strauss's Cello Sonata (& Violin Sonata) and Rach's Cello Sonata......... grin
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#2419365 - 05/11/15 03:22 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: bennevis]
argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted By bennevis

You can make a direct comparison between Strauss's Piano Sonata and Rachmaninov's Piano Sonata No.1. Or between Strauss's Cello Sonata (& Violin Sonata) and Rach's Cello Sonata......... grin

Given that Strauss was 9 years older, then at the age Rachmaninov wrote his d minor sonata in 1908, Strauss wrote Heldenleben in 1899 at the same age. You don't seriously think Rachmaninov's work is greater? Or maybe you do. wink

But I think you missed my original point. When I said that Strauss wrote as well for piano as Rachmaninov, I was referring to the absolutely delectable piano parts of the later songs. They have an intricacy every bit the equal of Rachmaninov's writing.

Too often it is assumed here that Rachmaninov had no equals. (But of course this is a piano board.)

laugh
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#2420185 - 05/13/15 06:09 PM Re: People don't seem to like Rachmaninoff at all. [Re: Svenno]
Svenno Offline
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My god - I had long forgotten that I had created this monster of a thread, and now, here it is!:O

Ah Rachmaninov, you never cease to be intreaguing...
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Currently learning:
Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody no. 12
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Rachmaninov, Etude op. 39 no. 6
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Ligeti, "Five Pieces"
John Pitts, "Changes for 20 Nifty Fingers"
Shostakovich, Piano concerto no. 1
Gershwin, Rhap in Blue
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