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Rachmaninoff Weather   You are logged in as Guest
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runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

Rachmaninoff Weather 

Looking out on a grey late December afternoon upon a soft, snow-covered landscape. White-accented trees looming out of a soft fog as the afternoon light slowly fades. 'Tis the season that evokes things Russian, and my ongoing re-reading of War and Peace heightened the effect. I put the hallowed old Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto on the system, and sank back as the familiar textures enveloped me. People can say what they will about old Sergei, but the first classical LP I ever bought was the Rach 2 way back when, and, unlike some other classical warhorses, I never tire of it, or any of Rachmaninoff for that matter. The British music mag The Gramophone polled classical music lovers for years, and the Rach 2 always came away as the most popular piano concerto, year after year, and maybe the most popular anything--I don't remember.

This time of the year the spirit calls out for Tchaikovsky, for the Nutcracker, the Piano Concerto, the Violin Concerto, Swan Lake, for Rach 3, the Rhapsody, the three symphonies.... Forget about Vladimir Putin and the endless bad Karma of the Russians for a while, and just enjoy music that even classical snobs really like (when no one else is around)!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 9 2013 23:48:40
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1738
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner

You make winter sound like heaven.....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 10 2013 13:50:43
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3456
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner

quote:

Looking out on a grey late December afternoon upon a soft, snow-covered landscape. White-accented trees looming out of a soft fog as the afternoon light slowly fades. 'Tis the season that evokes things Russian, and my ongoing re-reading of War and Peace heightened the effect.


A very evocative piece of writing, Runner. I get the same "Russian" effect looking out my window this (Tuesday) morning in Washington, DC, with the grey sky and falling snow suggesting Tolstoy. I hope you had a fire going in your fireplace as I do, as it adds to the overall effect, particularly if you have Rachmaninoff on the system. One can imagine one's self at Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy's estate, where he wrote both "War and Peace" and my favorite "Anna Karenina."

Cheers,

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 10 2013 15:54:37
 
Castelat

 

Posts: 113
Joined: Nov. 22 2010
From: The Hispanic Kingdoms

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner



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La pureza no se puede perder nunca, cuando uno la lleve dentro de verdad...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 10 2013 18:12:08
 
Castelat

 

Posts: 113
Joined: Nov. 22 2010
From: The Hispanic Kingdoms

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

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La pureza no se puede perder nunca, cuando uno la lleve dentro de verdad...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 10 2013 18:23:45
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner

I appreciate the replies! Castelat wonderfully marries the music to the winter scene. Gerundino, I think of the winter scenes from Doctor Zhivago; nobody did winter like David Lean. Bill, news of the death of Petya Rostov has just reached the family.....

One of the most evocative books on Russian art, literature, culture (much of it as seen through rose-colored glasses) is a 1982 big paperback, Land of the Firebird, Touchstone/Simon and Schuster, by Suzanne Massie, a dedicated Russophile. Almost compulsive reading. A Spaniard I knew (a Galician, not an Andalusian) told me that there was a close spiritual bond between the Russian and the Spanish soul.

Rachmaninoff: Almost always listed among the 5 greatest pianists of all time. Yet here was a man who began his career as a performing virtuoso at the ripe old age of 45. In his last years living in Los Angeles, one of his regular guests for dinner and then music was Vladimir Horowitz; the two then-living finest pianists would sit down at two pianos and spend the evening delighting one another with their shared art (doubtless including the 2-piano version of Rachaninoff's Symphonic Dances, a marvel to hear).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 10 2013 23:45:22
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3410
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner

A lovely thread. Thanks, guys.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 11 2013 1:53:42
 
mark74

Posts: 690
Joined: Jan. 26 2011
 

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner

Winter reminds me of Christmas and Christmas reminds me of Handel

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 11 2013 1:59:03
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan

A lovely thread. Thanks, guys.

RNJ


I'll second that.

This evening I find myself insomniac in the absence of my partner Lorna. She is on a work trip to Idaho and has reported temperatures of minus fifteen centigrade and that everything is 'very pretty'.

As may have been noticed I am very critical of the modern world and perhaps I would have been happier in a cabin in the Russian tundra howling my frustrations at the moon rather than posting on the foro..... or em maybe not.

But the old world and the new have maybe more in common than just the potential for quaint snowscapes. Rachmaninov was never more impressed with a pianist than he was with the inestimable Art Tatum. And the light spirit of American show tunes leavens the weight of late romantic harmony in his music in a way which clearly distinguishes him from Strauss and Tchaikovsky.

There was even something Californian about him before he left Russia. He was cured of artistic block by a hypnotist.

Ok so I am gonna hypnotise myself to sleep now. I'll close my eyes and count snowdrops.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 11 2013 2:58:01
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner

Mark: Christmas and Handel--yes, that is also a strong link: the English (or Anglo-German) winter holiday association. Joy to the World, indeed!

Russian music: I first became aware of classical music in the early 1950s, when there still was a faint friendly afterglow of our Western alliance with the Russians against Hitler, despite the rising tide of Cold War tension. And so, Russian music remained a staple of the repertory--Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Khachaturian (the memory of William Kapell's bravura performance of the Piano Concerto still resonated), Shostakovich were all to be heard with regularity, along with the older generations of Russian composers. My mother had a fair amount of the music on 78s, and passed along the afición to me. With the decay of the audience for classical music, and the retreat by the shrinking numbers of orchestras back into the certainties of Brahms symphonies (which symphonies I love), it is a rare day indeed to hear something like the astonishing Prokofiev 2nd Piano Concerto, the first movement of which makes my head explode several times over. Were I a billionaire, I'd consider funding an orchestra with which to lure the Young back into classical music via the fabulous repertory of first half of the 20th Century music--non-Serial--that has been left to us by the Russians, by Bela Bartok, Villa-Lobos, Respighi. Maybe a concert could begin with ; that would get the young audience's attention. Buddha, this should wake you up!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 11 2013 13:42:10
 
Arash

Posts: 4495
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner

here in germany we have britney spears weather as usual.
it simply sucks.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 11 2013 14:21:02
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Rachmaninoff Weather (in reply to runner

Another View of Winter, courtesy of Ezra Pound----

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing Goddamm, damm, sing goddamm.
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2013 13:44:45
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