Guess Who (#2)

Any remarks or questions on the life of Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff can be posted here.
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Guess Who (#2)

Postby opus23#10 » Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:58 pm

#2. Hello! I am Jeno Blau (kindly put an umlaut over the o in my first name.) I was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1899, but became very famous in the USA. I conducted much of Rachmaninoff's music, since I my orchestra was his favorite. Oh, by the way, I changed my name, getting the inspiration from the ship on which I sailed to America. (Only, I dropped the first letter, an N from that name.) Guess who I am.

#3. Extremely popular as a conductor, I was rather controversial because of my methods. I encouraged "free bowing" in the violins, and "free breathing" in the brass in order to achieve a smooth and lush sound. Some people may think I am a Russian, but I was actually born in London, England to an Irish mother and a Polish father. I became a citizen of the U.S., though, and actually conducted for a popular Disney movie.

(For answers, please personal message Opus23#10, and state riddle number.)

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Postby Amphissa » Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:52 am

#2 - Eugene Ormandy - as far as I'm concerned, the undisputed best interpreter of Rachmaninoff's symphonies, conducting Rachmaninoff's favorite orchestra, the Philadelphia.

#3 - Leopold Stokowski - he conducted the music to the original "Fantasia". For those who have not heard it, his recording of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade is spectacular.
"Life without music is a mistake." Nietzsche

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Postby op.32,no.10 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:07 pm

I'm not too sure The Philadelphia Orchestra was really SVR's favorite. He gave them the designation "The World's Greatest Orchestra" not only to laud their performance, but, even more so, to rile Serge Koussevitzsky who at the time was conductor of the Boston Symphony. SVR and Koussevitsky had feuded over a long period of time on points of interpretation. Their relationship ended bitterly.

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Postby morakeo » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:47 pm

I've read that the Philadelphia was indeed his favourite orchestra and Ormandy his favourite conductor. Didn't he write and dedicate his Symphonic Dances for his favourite orchestra and conductor?

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