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Sergei Rachmaninoff Quotes


Sergei Rachmaninoff Sergei Rachmaninoff was the late romantic composer of Russian aristocratic ancestry whose world, along with countless others of noble descent, was turned upside down during the 1917 October revolution. All of a sudden his noble ancestry which could be traced back to 14th century Moldovan royalty was a burden that could see him and his family killed. In late 1917 an opportunity arose to tour Scandinavia and he seized the moment to take his family out of the Communist firing line and a new chapter in his life was about to unfold as a classical concert pianist. The Scandinavian tour saved his life but he still needed to pay the bills and it was the lucrative lure of the U.S. dollar that saw his financial circumstances take a remarkable upward swing. He arrived in the States in 1918 to find his musical virtuosity in high demand and he spent much of the next 25 years touring and playing concerts to sell out theatre's across North America. He had huge hands that were dexterous enough to stretch across 12 piano keys that helped him develop a style so expressive it became the stuff of legends to see him perform live. He never forgot his Russian roots and although he publicly condemned the Soviet Union in a letter published in the New York Times he generously gave financial aid to many aspiring young Russians looking to make good in the U.S. with the likes of Igor Sikorsky, Vladimir Nabokov and Michael Chekhov all benefiting from his sponsorship. His piano concerto number 2 has endured to be described by critics as one of the greatest pieces of classical music ever written whilst it inspired film makers such as Noel Coward and Billy Wilder who featured it on the silver screen in the 1945 movie "Brief Encounter" and ten years later in the Marilyn Monroe hit film "The Seven Year Itch". There are some great quotes about Sergei Rachmaninoff, back in the day the eminent critic Neville Cardus was clinical in his appraisal when he said: "Opinion in all parts of the world would agree that Rachmaninoff is the most complete of living masters of the instrument; his technique is comprehensive, and he is, of course, musical to his bone's marrow". His undoubted talent brought him a long way from mother Russia and he was good for a one liner also so here is my compilation of 15 of the best Sergei Rachmaninoff quotes
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff
  • Born: 1st April 1873, Semyonovo, Novgorod Governorate, Russian Empire
  • Died: 28th March 1943, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Resting place: Kensico Cemetery Valhalla, Westchester County, New York, U.S.
  • Alma mater: Saint Petersburg Conservatory and the Moscow Conservatory
  • Occupation: Composer, virtuoso pianist and conductor
  • Period: Late Romantic
  • Marriage resume: Natalia Alexandrovna Satin 12th May 1902 - 28th March 1943 (his death)
  • Height: 6' 6" (1.98 m)
  • Musical phobias: Many modern day musicians decline the opportunity to learn his Piano Concerto No 3 due to it being one of the most technically and physically challenging concertos to perform
  • Nicknames: The six and a half foot scowl
  • Trivia: He was loyal to the Hamburg Steinway piano which was the one instrument which he adored that he purchased and kept in his homes in Switzerland, New York and Los Angeles
  • Quotes about Sergei Rachmaninoff: The music critic Michael Kennedy described him thus: "It is as a composer that his name will live longest. He was the last of the colourful Russian masters of the late 19th century, with their characteristic gift for long and broad melodies imbued with a resigned melancholy which is never long absent"
  • The classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein was unequivocal about his talent: "He had the secret of the golden, living tone which comes from the heart .... There was always the irresistible sensuous charm"

"Music is enough for a lifetime - but a lifetime is not enough for music"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"I cannot cast out the old way of writing and I cannot acquire the new. I have made an intense effort to feel the musical manner of today, but it will not come to me"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"Too much radical music is sheer sham, for this very reason: its composer sets about revolutionizing the laws of music before he learned them himself"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"Do not waste your time with music that is trite or ignoble. Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Saharas of musical trash"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"I can respect the artistic aim of a composer if he arrives at the so-called modern idiom after an intense period of preparation"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"This is the way I always dreamed my concerto should be played, but I never expected to hear it that way on Earth"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"A good conductor ought to be a good chauffeur; the qualities that make the one also make the other"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"He swallowed it whole … he had the courage, the intensity, the daring"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"Music is the Sister of Poetry and her Mother is sorrow"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"I feel like a ghost wandering in a world grown alien. I cannot cast out the old way of writing and I cannot acquire the new"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"A good conductor ought to be a good chauffeur; the qualities that make the one also make the other"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"I left behind my desire to compose: losing my country, I lost myself also"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"I feel like a ghost wandering in a world grown alien"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

"My dear hands. Farewell, my poor hands"

Sergei Rachmaninoff

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