Rachmaninoff's Voice

Any remarks or questions on the life of Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff can be posted here.
Marianne
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Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
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Re: Rachmaninoff's Voice

Postby Marianne » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:31 pm

Thank you so much for this rare information!!!

In that Greiner recording he says exactly: "You don't know the words"

"Vy ne znaete slova"

We tried to here something else but nothing - it doesn't seem that he says "you sing badly" :D

Zane, do you mean that you really have a letter from Dr. Sophia Satina? Did she write in English? Hope it is not that private and may be you could scan it?

Everybody would be so happy to get any record of his voice, at least a bit longer than this one...

As for the song, it is originally a Jewish song -
rachmaninow*narod*ru/bubliki/bubliki*html

put . insted of *

My email is , whatever you send about Rachmaninoff or something more or less about his circle, I will be happy and most gratefull to you!

RACHBOY
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Re: Rachmaninoff's Voice

Postby RACHBOY » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:13 am

please share your thoughts on this forum also!!

Zane wrote:You've got mail, Marianne! :D

Marianne
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
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Re: Rachmaninoff's Voice

Postby Marianne » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:19 pm

Thank you, Zane!!!!!!!

RACHBOY wrote:please share your thoughts on this forum also!!


PS They don't deserve here to receive such precious letters as long as they so seldomly post on board that it compares to nothing!!! :D

Though I have my comfort in the idea that I've also received the records where Steinway imitate the voice of SVR and they haven't :D Lucky me! :D

RACHBOY
Posts: 283
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:14 pm

Re: Rachmaninoff's Voice

Postby RACHBOY » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:12 am

Thanks Zane, for reacting to my plea so promptly :)



Zane wrote:Ah, Rachboy, you do a good full-court press!

"Dear Marianne,

"Thanks for finally correcting what Sergei Rachmaninoff really said in that recorded party, where everybody sang "Bublichki" while they were all full of vodka! Yes, I can make out SVR saying, 'Vy ne znaete slova' ('You don't know the words'); although his voice, in the peak of such excitement, sounds quite higher than historical accounts describe.

"Regarding the sound of Seryozha's voice, attached are two audio files:

"1) William R. Steinway imitating Rachmaninoff, during Alexander Greiner's recorded presentation.
"2) John Steinway imitating Rachmaninoff, during Zane's/Leila Nizam's recorded meeting with Mr. Steinway in Dec. 1980.

[Note: When trying to upload these two audio files, this error message came up:
"Temporary folder could not be found. Please check your PHP installation." I don't know what to do about this, and suggest those interested provide their email addresses for receiving these audio files.]

"In response to your request for Sophia Satina's letter to me of 19 February 1974, attached are JPEG scans of the two pages." And here they are for the Society:

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opus23#10
Posts: 181
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Rachmaninoff's Voice

Postby opus23#10 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:05 pm

Zane, thank you so much for the priceless information you have posted for forum readers! The family movies and the letter from Sophie Satin (R-ff's sister-in-law) are real treasures for this web site.
It is sad to think that Natalie broke Mrs. Greiner's recording of SVR's voice, if this is true. I can only imagine the grief reaction she must have had after her husband's illness and death. Anger is just one emotion she must have felt.
Some of us (myself, especially) rely on what we have read, and on our personal feelings when posting on the forum. You are a most welcome source of information!
Opus23#10 :)

Marianne
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
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Re: Rachmaninoff's Voice

Postby Marianne » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:20 pm

I'll reply later, now just a photo reply :D

Image

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I've met these pictures on ebay - illustrations to advertisement of the records edition that they wanted to make but later they didn't work much together as long as I know...

Just can't imagine that Natalie could destroy the record... may be by accident :oops:

Zane
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:46 pm

Re: Rachmaninoff's Voice

Postby Zane » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:05 am

[RE-POST OF THREAD BEGINNING]

LOC AND TENHP SEARCH FAILURE

During a noisy and rather drunken party at Alexander Greiner’s home, Sergei Rachmaninoff had made a brief outcry in Russian, among other voices that tried to sing. In an uncharacteristically higher-pitched voice, he called out: “You don’t know the words!” Other than that brief statement, which was muffled by other voices, I’m sorry to report my renewed search for additional Rachmaninoff voice recordings with the U.S. Library of Congress (“LOC”) and the Thomas Edison National Historical Park (“TENHP”) has ended in failure.

Over the past two months, I have carried on extensive emails and telephone calls with both the LOC and TENHP in this new search. The investigation included the LOC’s thorough and meticulous review of some 519 listed recordings that had been provided to the LOC by Sophie Satin (SVR's first cousin and sister-in-law) and the Rachmaninoff/Wolkonsky estates. (Dr. Satin’s 19 February 1974 letter to me mentioned she had sent over 400 records to the LOC’s Rachmaninoff Archives in 1969.)

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Included in the over 400 records, Dr. Satin’s letter said she sent: “a record made by Thomas Edison in which Edison and about 4-5 other men, among them Rachmaninoff, were asked to say one or 2-3 words.”

Janet McKee of the LOC sent me a collection of lists of the 519 recordings; and together, we identified the Edison record on Page 11, item 5 of Sophia Satina's list of recordings sent to the LOC. The recording is a vinyl Long Playing (LP) record entitled, "The Sound of Fame: Original Edison Recordings;" Thomas Alva Edison Foundation number M8OP-7349-7350. The LP contains re-recordings of early sounds and music by Thomas Edison and his company from original cylinder and discs. The Rachmaninoff recording included on this compilation is the Second Hungarian Rhapsody with Rachmaninoff's cadenza recorded in 1919. (LCCN: r 61002219).
- An LOC librarian at their Recorded Sound Reference Center helped me locate this LP record on a commercial Internet site.
- I ordered and received the LP. It had been compiled in 1961 by Prof. Walter L. Welch of the State University of New York, utilizing facilities at Syracuse University, from records possessed by the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation. Thomas Edison made the original recordings from 1888-1929.
- SVR played Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody in 1919, but his voice is not recorded on this LP compilation record.
- I contacted the inheriting Thomas Edison organization (TENHP) to try to trace the original Edison recording with SVR's voice. Their 20 August 2009 emailed answer was:
"Thank you for contacting Thomas Edison National Historical Park (TENHP) with your question about a recording of Sergei Rachmaninoff's voice made by Thomas Edison circa 1919 - 1921. This recording does not exist at TENHP. The only recordings of Rachmaninoff in the TENHP archive are his piano performances released on Edison Diamond Discs." -- Gerald Fabris, TENHP
- It is clear the record to which Sophie Satin had referred in her letter to me was the reissued LP by Walter L. Welch of 1961.
- While the recording Thomas Edison originally made of SVR playing the piano in 1919 may have included SVR's voice, the 1961 LP does not.
- Another possible inquiry would have been to ask Prof. Walter L. Welch if SVR's voice was part of the original Edison recording, whether Prof. Welch had eliminated SVR's voice from the LP record, and the identity of the original record. But Prof. Welch has been deceased since 1995:
http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:t1ItUIQBv48J:www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/jaes.obit/JAES_V43_6_PG549.pdf+Syracuse+Walter+L.+Welch&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us


Walter L. Welch, honorary member of the AES, died on March 31, 1995 at the age of 94. Known as one of the first people to devote himself to audio restoration, Welch's interest in phonographs and records began as a hobby when he was a teenager. As a boy growing up in Syracuse, New York, his hero was Thomas Edison.

Upon my again asking TENHP to look for a possible Edison original-source record, that could have contained SVR’s voice, their 1 October 2009 emailed response to me was:

The only recordings of Rachmaninoff in the Thomas Edison National Historical Park archive are his piano performances released on Edison Diamond Discs. None of these include spoken word.
-- Jerry Fabris, TENHP

And here's something especially poignant:
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Case Closed.
:(
Zane


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