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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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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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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.


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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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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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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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This thread is stil going on?




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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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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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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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I wouldn't ask what's wrong with Rachmaninov.... because nothing is.... what's wrong with people?



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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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).

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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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