The Heroic Style of Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Fogey

Elite Member
'The Style of...' series was created to showcase gentlemen - past and present - whom I believe to have a particularly compelling sense of style. I've included photographs progressing through the course of each man's life, interspersed with a few of his quotations. Please feel free to add additional photographs and quotations! Past subjects have included Charles Chaplin, Somerset Maugham, The Earl of Avon, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Gore Vidal, and William Faulkner, among others.
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Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff
(1873-1943) was a Russian-born High Romantic composer, pianist, and conductor. His work is legendary - and the best way to learn about him is by listening!

Here is a very interesting (and historic) Russia-based audio file of his complete 3rd piano concerto, as played by Van Cliburn in 1958 at the first quadrennial Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition - which famously won Cliburn the Prize, and warmed East-West relations at the height of the Cold War:



The best-selling record resulting from Cliburn's subsequent recording in New York introduced many people to the concerto's now-notorious (and exquisitely passionate) Ossia cadenza - which at the time was rarely performed.

All quotations are those of Rachmaninoff himself.

Enjoy!

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Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.

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My outlook is a product of temperament, and so it is Russian music. I have never consciously attempted to write Russian music, or any other kind of music.



There is in the whole world no critic more doubtful of me than I am of myself.



Each performance is a challenge to attain that inner ideal, the complete realisation of which will always be to some degree elusive.



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When life is bound hand and foot, art cannot be free.



I look at my early works and see how much there is that is superluous.

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I make progress, but actually the more I play, the more I note my deficiencies. Maybe at the eve of my death, I shall know how to play perfectly.

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Today the heart is becoming a wasted organ; we don't use it any more. It will soon have become a simple curiosity.






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Note: After I had finished creating this post, the browser crashed and I had to begin again from scratch. Thanks, [}:)]Bill Gates[}:)]!

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Mahler

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Great post, JLPWCXIII! I particularly like the picture of a young Sergei reading a book. Everything else looks very trad as well.

3rd is not my favorite piano concerto of his, but it's still a great piece.
 

Fogey

Elite Member
quote:Originally posted by Mahler

Great post, JLPWCXIII! I particularly like the picture of a young Sergei reading a book. Everything else looks very trad as well.

3rd is not my favorite piano concerto of his, but it's still a great piece.
Thank-you! Did you notice whose portrait it is behind him? [^]


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PennGlock

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Rachmaninoff was quite a guy, but I didnt know he looked so great too. One of the things I like most about him was that he was denouncing the new communist regeme in Russia at a time when everyone else thought it was just grand. At the end of every show he loved to play the Star Spangled Banner.

As a kid, I had this CD of songs played by Rachmaninoff himself, recorded on some kind of recording piano in the 1920s. The quality was the same as listening to a modern CD, no tape hiss and scratch, just Rach playing in the same room. I have great memories listening to that recording on rainy days, and I still know every inch of it.

Thanks for the post, he looks impeccable.
 

GT3

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
It is nice to see intelligence coupling timeless style... Just like his Études. Inspirational indeed!
 

gordgekko

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
A man who loves Sergei Rachmaninoff is always counted as a friend. Great post and pictures, thank you!

I've long felt that his Second Symphony is the greatest classical work of all time.


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Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam
 

Homme

New Member
quote:Originally posted by JLPWCXIII

quote:Originally posted by Mahler

Great post, JLPWCXIII! I particularly like the picture of a young Sergei reading a book. Everything else looks very trad as well.

3rd is not my favorite piano concerto of his, but it's still a great piece.
Thank-you! Did you notice whose portrait it is behind him? [^]

Correct me if i'm wrong, but is that a portrait of Freud ?


I'm not a heavy drinker, I can sometimes go for hours without touching a drop.
 

Fogey

Elite Member
quote:Originally posted by Homme

quote:Originally posted by JLPWCXIII

quote:Originally posted by Mahler

Great post, JLPWCXIII! I particularly like the picture of a young Sergei reading a book. Everything else looks very trad as well.

3rd is not my favorite piano concerto of his, but it's still a great piece.
Thank-you! Did you notice whose portrait it is behind him? [^]

Correct me if i'm wrong, but is that a portrait of Freud ?


I'm not a heavy drinker, I can sometimes go for hours without touching a drop.
Tchaikovsky -



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Teacher

Honors Member
Easily, my favorite piece by him is The Isle of the Dead. Now when I listen to it (staring at the painting of the same name by Arnold Buecklin [sp?]), I'll imagine Rachmaninoff in that fantastic overcoat walking along a cold road, humming the emerging tune to himself.
 
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