Classical Music Talk

January 15, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — classicalconnect @ 9:08 pm


Sergei Rachmaninoff (April 1, 1873, Novgorod, Russia, d. March 28, 1943, Beverly Hills, USA) was a Russian composer and pianist.
He spent his childhood in a mansion. A nanny took care of him; she was a Russian peasant woman who was able to take him to listen folk songs to assemblies that where a tradition in Russia. Russian folk music later inspired the great composer and pianist in his work.
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff, son of an officer of Hussars, was one of the most appreciated artists of his generation. In 1882 he entered the Conservatory of St. Petersburg where he studyed with Alexander Siloti, and in 1885 he continued at Moscow, where he studied piano music and composition. After graduation, Rachmaninoff is more known as a conductor and composer than as a pianist. He was the pride of his Conservatory, seemed able to write, to direct, admirable at first reading, able to translate. He was eighteen years old when he first composed a Concerto for Piano (later revised) that was played in the next year. In 1895 he writes the Symphony no. 1, and the Concerto no. 2 for piano and orchestra (1900), he established himself in the world of music through with performances  (him unforgettable piano music) and his creations (symphonic works for orchestra or choir). Rachmaninoff develops an intense artistic activity until December 1917, when he leaves Russia (with the entire family) and lives in Switzerland, where he begins a new life, as virtuoso pianist. He had a repertoire of his own music career and was a good conductor. Rachmaninoff was the first conductor at the Imperial Theater and the Moscow Philharmonic. In 1935 he settles permanently in the United States, leaving Switzerland. Here he wants to give concerts and to write. He wrote important works for universal musical repertoire, and Concerto no. 4 for piano and orchestra (1926), “Variations on a theme of Corelli, for piano solo (1931),” Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini “for piano and orchestra (1934), Symphony no. 3 (1936) and “Symphonic Dances” (1940). He composed music opera “Aleko” (after a poem by the famous Pushkin – 1893), “Knight grabbing” (1903) and “Francesca da Rimini” (1906). His creation “Monna Vanna” was unfinished; he started to work on it in 1907. Rachmaninoff is and remains as popular as he always was. His music is a permanent part of the universal repertoire.


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