Rachmaninoff Powerpoint

Lamb of the Romantic Era
By: Hannah Minkus
Details of life are jumbled
and conflicting
Born in Russia, 1873
Wrote over 145 works
Obtained American
Died in U.S. in 1909
Composition not
appreciated until after his
Photo (1892) courtesy of Wikipedia
Even though his father followed tradition by joining the Russian Army
• Sergei’s father Vasily Arkadyevich drank
and gambled with his cohorts
• Somehow managed to marry a woman of a
wealthy background, Lyubof Petrovna
• They made their home at Oneg, received by
1882 Vasily loses control of finances
Family moves to small apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia
Sergei moves in with aunt , attends Conservatory on scholarship
1883 Sergei’s sister Sofia dies
Vasily leaves St. Petersburg and the family
His home life begins to affect him-he becomes lazy in his
schoolwork and music studies.
Photo courtesy of http://english.ruvr.ru/2006/12/07/115140.html
Grandmother brought him to church
Elder sister Yelena a talented singer
Grandmother buys Novgorod estateSergei enjoys rivers and landscape
19th century gypsy music
Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky
Photos courtesy of russianorthodox-stl.org and flamecnoaustralia.org
Photo Courtesy of uh.edu
1909- Joins New York
Philharmonic as solo pianist
Shortly after composes
Edgar Allen Poe poem
into “The Bells”
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Inspires “All Night Vigil” or, “Vespres”
Destroys Sergei’s estate
Causes him to emigrate to the U.S.
Highly regarded
Performed Beethoven
and Tchaikovsy
Free concerts
Donations to Allies to
fight Nazi regime
Helped friends in
financial trouble
Rachmaninoff overcame Soviet censorship
which he earned by signing a letter which
condemned the Soviet Regime, becoming
“possibly the greatest pianist of the 20th
Source: Internet Move Database
Piano Concerto No. 1
Written at age 17
Not a very popular piece
May reflect his laziness at the time
30 minutes long
Comprised of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons,
trumpets, trombones, horns, timpanis, strings, and piano
Influenced by his Russian heritage, Romantic era music,
personal nature (rebelliousness and drama of a 17 year old
Failure of the piece
Part of a dark time in
Rachmaninoff’s life
He seeks help from a
Pulls out of
depression and writes
more successful
Second and Third
Photo courtesy of 123rf.com
Rachmaninoff: “It is really
good now… it plays itself
so much more easily.”
Has since been performed
many times- first LA
Philharmonic performance in
CD covers courtesy of amazon.com
View here (1st part):
Here (2nd part):
Harrison, Max. Rachmaninoff, Life, Works, Recordings. London: Continuum
International Publishing Group, 2006.
Howard, Orrin. LA Phil. n.d. June 2011
Lucid Cafe: Library. 1 January 2011. June 2011
Internet Movie Database. n.d. June 2011
Wikipedia. n.d. June 2011 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Rachmaninoff>.
Photos which are not referenced are clip art.
0:00 Movement begins with strong brass fanfare
0:17 Piano enters with full and quick descension
0:28 Brass re-enters, and piano continues very
0:37 Brass abruptly ends to give way to piano
0:45 Piano slows tempo until a stop at…
0:48 Strings enter with horns, the tempo stays
slow with a lilting melody, very romantic
1:17 Piano enters again and plays melody with
subtle arpeggios
• 1:50 Piano picks up tempo again and begins to very slowly
• 2:11 Reaches small climax, then slow to moderate tempo
begins again with arpeggios continuing
• 2:36 Strings die down, piano continues in soft tone, very mild
• 2:56 Strings enter again with melody and a swaying rhythm
• 3:32 Climax begins on piano with ascending notes, in a
• 3:36 Orchestra enters again and leads up to climax
• 4:03 A dramatic pause
• 4:09 Slow tempo with lilting feeling returns (trills can be
• 4:39 Return to climax with allegro tempo
• 4:49 Brass/woodwinds and strings (with abrupt tone) echo
• 5:02 Piano enters again in higher pitch with repeating
• 5:39 Oboe (?) plays, and strings and rest of orchestra
gradually enter with melody again
• 5:59 Piano enters with strong tone giving way to moderato,
then pianissimo
• 6:18 Piano begins ascension again with soft texture
• 6:30 Orchestra enters again, rhythm is more staccato
• 6:55 Slow melody/soft texture begins again, piano
playing portion of melody
• 7:36 Rest, then fast tempo beings again with high pitch
arpeggios from piano in a gradual crescendo
• 7:53 Orchestra emphasis, and then piano beings to slow
and descend again
• 8:40 Orchestra begins with melody and piano continues
• 9:14 Orchestra climbs to climax with brass and
woodwinds playing forte
• 9:21 Rhythm changes
• 9:28 Cadenza begins…
• 10:29 Very soft, dramatic tone from piano
• 10:47 Piano begins to play melody beneath arpeggios
• 11:11 Piano picks up tempo, lower tones, minor key
is strongly evident in lower notes
• 11:47 Strings enter abruptly, then join the
brass/woodwinds echoing softly
• 13:03 Orchestra (strings especially) accent the
• 13:09 End of movement

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