Hello, All

Here you can place info about yourself in order to get to know each other on the forum somewhat better. You can also use it for some more random conversation
StewH
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:42 pm

Hello, All

Postby StewH » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:52 am

Hello, All--Nice to be a member and hope to be able to contribute.

**Edit: I first became acquainted with Rachmaninoff's music when I was about 4 years old. I still remember listening to my dad's 78rpm recordings of the Paganini Rhapsody played by SVR himself, and "The Bells", though I cannot recall who performed it. I've been a devotee ever since, especially since my dad could play lots of Rachmaninoff's (and others') preludes, etudes, etc., having been trained at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music as a concert pianist.
StewH

Daniel
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Cluj - Napoca, Romania
Contact:

Re: Hello, All

Postby Daniel » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:15 pm

StewH wrote: ...I've been a devotee ever since, especially since my dad could play lots of Rachmaninoff's (and others') preludes, etudes, etc., having been trained at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music as a concert pianist.


Well, you're among the lucky ones!

Which of Rachmaninoff's works do you like most?

StewH
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Hello, All

Postby StewH » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:50 pm

Hello, Daniel. Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier. I somehow missed your post.

Which Rachmaninoff piece is my favorite? There are so many! In no particular order, however, my favorites would have to include "The Bells" (of course), the Paganini Rhapsody (yup), the 4th Concerto (not to leave out the 2nd and 3rd, though); the Vespers; the 2nd movement of the 2nd Sonata has to rank as one the most beautiful he ever wrote; as well as several of the Preludes (the Op. 23, #10 is a current favorite) and Etudes Tableaux (Op. 33, Nos. 5 & 7, which I remember my dad playing the #7; and Op. 39, #8, are all favorites). And finally, I'm currently listening to Howard Shelley's recordings of the complete songs: there is some gorgeous stuff there!
StewH

opus23#10
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:03 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Hello, All

Postby opus23#10 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:05 am

StewH, you are something of an authority on Rachmaninoff if you have been listening since age 4! Parents really need to offer great music to their children at an early age -- it is a priceless gift.

So, you like Opus 23#10 -- it fascinates me, which is why I selected it for my user name. The way it starts out casually, with just a few chords, and then grows into an intricately woven love song, or lullaby, etc. is unique.

You will surely be an interesting contributor to the forum. I look forward to reading your postings.
Opus23#10 :)

StewH
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Hello, All

Postby StewH » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:15 am

Op. 23#10, thanks for your kind words, but I don't know if I would characterize myself as an "expert" on Rachmaninoff; but I'm surely a devoted student and fan and am pleasantly surprised that he has gained such a world-wide recognition: "Serge Rachmaninoff...has taken his place in music history as a composer of distinction--a commanding figure in late Russian Romanticism whose appealing works are known worldwide for their intense lyricism and dynamic vivacity..." as the writer of the back cover notes of Dover's "Complete Songs for Voice and Piano" has aptly noted. This is a far cry from the music world's opinion of Rachmaninoff when I was first introduced to his music by my father years ago in the early '50s.

As for the Op.23, #10 prelude: I imagine it to be a gentle dialogue between two lovers, the tenor in the left hand and the soprano in the right. The effect, to me, is most touching and most unforgettable.

Oh, BTW, my daughter and her husband live in San Antonio--both in the Air Force....small world!
StewH

opus23#10
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:03 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Hello, All

Postby opus23#10 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:59 am

StewH, I agree with your interpretation of the prelude op.23#10. The different voices in that work are remarkable. I also hear a love duet in the cello sonata, movement 3. It would be fantastic at a wedding. *** I am glad people are no longer deprived of SVR's music, as they had been until recently. I am discovering much of it myself since joining the R. Society. *** Small world indeed! I hope your daughter and son-in-law enjoy their stay in San Antonio.
Opus 23 #10

StewH
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Hello, All

Postby StewH » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:16 pm

opus23#10 wrote: *** Small world indeed! I hope your daughter and son-in-law enjoy their stay in San Antonio. Opus 23 #10


Well, God willing and they aren't deployed someplace unexpectedly, they are supposed to stick around Lackland for the next 4 years or so. And next spring my son will be joining them in order to enroll at UTSA next fall in the ROTC program there.
StewH

Daniel
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Cluj - Napoca, Romania
Contact:

Re: Hello, All

Postby Daniel » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:00 pm

I also enjoy most the late Rachmaninoff - I mean, from the 3rd Concerto on.

StewH wrote:And finally, I'm currently listening to Howard Shelley's recordings of the complete songs: there is some gorgeous stuff there!


This is what I'm currently listening too! Op. 38 especially gives me shivers! In no. 6, when the lyrics end ("I cry") you feel like the piano is going to explode. And in a few moments you get to one of Rachmaninoff's most inspired endings (in my oppinion): everything just evaporates.

What do you think about the original 4th Concerto?

StewH
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Hello, All

Postby StewH » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:32 am

Daniel wrote:This is what I'm currently listening too! Op. 38 especially gives me shivers! In no. 6, when the lyrics end ("I cry") you feel like the piano is going to explode. And in a few moments you get to one of Rachmaninoff's most inspired endings (in my oppinion): everything just evaporates.

What do you think about the original 4th Concerto?


Ah, yes, the No. 6, "A-oo". Another song my dad used to play for us. And the ending seems almost a tip of the hat to Scriabin! :)

As for the 4th concerto, I have heard only Ashkenazy's recording and Michelangeli's, both excellent in my view. However, I would be most interested in hearing the original version.
StewH

Daniel
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Cluj - Napoca, Romania
Contact:

Re: Hello, All

Postby Daniel » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:57 am

StewH wrote:As for the 4th concerto, I have heard only Ashkenazy's recording and Michelangeli's, both excellent in my view. However, I would be most interested in hearing the original version.


Well, Ashkenazy is also the one "guilty" for the original version, but as a conductor and with Alexander Ghindin playing the piano. It's a CD with the original versions of the 1st and 4th.
The very first time I listened to the original 4th (which Rachmaninoff only played three times in 1926, before beginning to sistematically destroy it) I found myself thinking: "Oh, so that's what it was about...". Just think that the final version that we're accustomed to hear nowadays is some 200 bars shorter than the original! And the 3rd movement took the hardest hit.
Go on the Amazon website and just search for "ghindin rachmaninov" (with v, not ff)
It's a must!!!

PS: See your other thread, with Howard Shelley in Best recordings. I also answered you there.

StewH
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Hello, All

Postby StewH » Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:37 pm

Thanks for the tip, Daniel. I will definitely look it up! :)
StewH

mikhailp
Site Admin
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:43 am

Re: Hello, All

Postby mikhailp » Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:09 am

Have any of you ever seen the interview with Vladmir Ashkenazy where he speaks about the 4th Piano Concerto?

He spoke of it in comparison to the first three, and said that he believed it wasn't as successful and powerful as the previous piano concerti were.

For me, its especially grasping, especially the opening of the first movement. I could walk down the street and hear crickets and it would remind me of the basoons in the background and the violins...

It was definately my favorite at some point, am I alone in this? :(
Mikhail Pais
Classical Pianist
not allowed.com

StewH
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Hello, All

Postby StewH » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:20 pm

My recording of the original 1st and 4th concertos arrived today, and after listening to the 4th twice in a row!, I must say I'm delighted both by the composition itself and the playing by Mr. Ghindin. The last movement alone is worth the purchase price. This is a must have recording for Rachmaninoff aficiandos. As for the 1st, it gives another look at early SVR's large-scale compositional style, much as does the 1st Symphony. But I think I like the revised version better.
StewH

StewH
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Hello, All

Postby StewH » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:33 pm

mikhailp wrote:Have any of you ever seen the interview with Vladmir Ashkenazy where he speaks about the 4th Piano Concerto?

He spoke of it in comparison to the first three, and said that he believed it wasn't as successful and powerful as the previous piano concerti were.

For me, its especially grasping, especially the opening of the first movement. I could walk down the street and hear crickets and it would remind me of the basoons in the background and the violins...

It was definately my favorite at some point, am I alone in this? :(


Mikhail, I would certainly like to see that interview. Ashkenazy is certainly right about the previous concerti being more successful, etc.--one could say Rachmaninoff's compositional style reached a turning point with the Third--it was never the same after that. I can't see him composing the Third symphony or "The Bells" without having first composed the Third concerto.

As for the Fourth Concerto, I have similar, though not identical, associations in the first movement as you--the oriental flavorings there are unmistakable. The Fourth has always be one of my favorites, and with my recording of the original 4th, it will remain so.
StewH

mikhailp
Site Admin
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:43 am

Re: Hello, All

Postby mikhailp » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:14 am

I'll try to find the link if its online, I don't exaclty recall where I've seen it.

Perhaps in form it is weaker, but this is something incredbily personal and unusual about the fourth concerto. At moments, it is more beautiful than anything else I have ever heard, and more emotional as well. But it has a sort of hidden quality to it. Whatever he wrote, he did it on purpose, and its lessened succoming to what the public ear wants to hear might have also been on purpose...
Mikhail Pais
Classical Pianist
not allowed.com


Return to “Meet & Greet!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests