Descendants of Rachmaninoff

Any remarks or questions on the life of Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff can be posted here.
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Descendants of Rachmaninoff

Postby concertoboy » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:24 pm

Princess Sophie Wolkonsky was R's grand-daughter (her mother was R's daughter, Princess Irina Wolkonsky). I have found some photos of her which members here will find interesting. There is a photo of her as a very young child sitting on the piano as Rachmaninoff plays; one of her with R and her first cousin Alexander Conus Rachmaninoff (who still lives at Senar in Switzerland to this day); one of her as a young woman with her grandfather R; and finally one of her in the 1960's onboard the SS Argentina, by now married to Temple Wanamaker, an american diplomat. Princess Sophie was a descendant of Catherine the Great: VIII-1 (VII-1-1)
1 Princess Sophie Petrovna Wolkonsky
Born 2 September 1925 Paris
Married (1) 28 May 1950 Dallas, Texas Div.1950
Dallas Mors Coorse
Married (2) NN Wannamaker

Sophie wrote verse and her grandfather Rachmaninoff set these to music - "Sophie's Songs". There are 8 songs, the manuscript of which was thought to be lost. In 2003 production began on a documentary regarding the discovery of the manuscript, which had been found among Sophie's effects. The songs were orchestrated and recorded with chorus and soprano, a project sponsored by Peter Wanamaker et al, the composer's great-grandson and the son of Princess Sophie. Yesterday I read a post on an obscure website in which someone recalls hearing recordings of 7 Rachmaninoff songs and two of the Sophie songs - sung by Princess Sophie in 1946-1947 with Jacob Lateiner as accompanist. The recording was in the recorded sound division of the Library of Congress. We must all try to get a listen to this - this is music which Rachmaninoff wrote which is practically unknown since then. The documentary performance of the orchestrated songs by Sophie and Rachmaninoff will not be out until this Spring or next year according to one of the producers.
Of interest is news which completely bypassed me - Alexander Temple Wolkonsky Rachmaninoff Wanamaker (grandson of Sophie described above, and great-great-grandson of R) died in aTucson Arizona house fire at the age of 23. That is very sad, to die so young. ... -composer/

The last thing I had heard about him was an article talking about how he wanted to re-arrange R's music in order to create new copyrights for him and his cousins, family. ... -dead.html

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