Multifaceted Lahe: Winter goes to spring, flowers bloom all the way

  Music flows from the heart, and finally returns to the soul. All I do is simply put my heart’s words into writing, and that’s my creation. Be it love, pain, sorrow, or piety, it all became my music.


  In 2021, the Classic FM Hall of Fame, the world’s most influential classical music survey list, announced the 300 most popular classical songs by British listeners in the past 25 years, among which the top 50 seats, Schell The works of Sergei Rachmaninoff (Sergei Rachmaninoff) accounted for four, and the champion was directly awarded to his “Second Piano Concerto”.
  At the turn of the century when various styles coexisted and sought to be unconventional, the controversy over Rachmaninoff never ceased. This music giant who adheres to the tradition of romanticism is often labeled as “conservative”, but his works are still the “darlings” of the performance stage and record market.
  As Daniel Grimwood explains: “Most of the prevailing content makes no sense to Rachmaninoff. If you don’t read it your way, but with a biased Go listen to his music and you’ll miss the point.”
The proud son of heaven who became famous at a young age

  Rachmaninoff was born into a wealthy musical family. Although wars continued in the early nineteenth century, the life of the Rachmaninoff family was not greatly affected. It’s a pity that his father was a gambler, an alcoholic, and a profligate spender. In order to pay off his debts, his family property was sold everywhere. In just a few years, the once famous family has become a shabby household that is heavily indebted. In the spring of 1883, Rachmaninoff’s best sister passed away unfortunately. As a result, his mother and father had constant quarrels, and his father ran away in anger. He has never been heard from since.
  A series of changes made Rachmaninoff an introverted, withdrawn and sensitive character. His study and life at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music was too free, his grades were not satisfactory, and he was even asked to drop out of school halfway, which caused his mother a headache. Rachmaninoff’s mother is a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music. She is well aware of her son’s musical talent and upper limit, and she does not want her son to waste his studies. Subsequently, at the age of twelve, Rachmaninov transferred from the St. Petersburg Conservatory to the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied piano with the disciplined Nikolay Zverev. He starts to practice at six o’clock every morning, learns music knowledge from various repertoires, and participates in various music activities. At the Moscow Conservatory, Rachmaninoff met many famous musicians of the time: Anton Rubinstein, Sergey Taneyev, Anton Ahrens Anton Arensky, Vasily Safonov, and, most profoundly, Tchaikovsky. In 1892, Rachmaninov completed the opera “Aleko” based on Pushkin’s long narrative poem “Gypsy”, and graduated from the Moscow Conservatory of Music with honors. In the same year, Rachmaninoff composed one of the most popular piano works today, the Prelude in C Sharp Minor. As we all know, piano music is an important field of creation for Rachmaninoff. He fully explored the timbre and expressive force of the piano itself. Even in his early works, we can see his extraordinary creative talent and superb performance skills.

  It is undeniable that Rachmaninoff is one of the best pianists recognized in the world so far, but for him, the piano has never been everything.
Survival after falling to the bottom

  In a January 2023 column in honor of Rachmaninoff, the British magazine Gramophone called him perhaps the most comprehensive musician of the past 150 years. There are countless examples of great instrumentalists who became great conductors, but few achieve the same feat in composition. But even for a music master like Rachmaninoff who is outstanding in the three fields of composition, conducting and piano performance at the same time, his creative path is not smooth.
  In 1897, Rachmaninoff’s “First Symphony” premiered in St. Petersburg. No one would have thought that this performance, conducted by Glazunov, would be an event for Rachmaninoff. A “disaster”. Some critics felt that the work itself was a bit poor, and the premiere performance was even less satisfactory. Rachmaninoff wrote in the letter: “I am amazed how a man as talented as Glazunov can conduct so badly. I am not talking about his conducting skills, but his musical ability .He didn’t feel anything when he conducted. He didn’t seem to understand anything.” In the next three years, Rachmaninoff was so depressed that he hardly created any meaningful works. Da Rimini” was repeatedly shelved, and even the symphonic works that had begun to take shape had to be abandoned in the end.

  In 1900, with the publication of the psychologist Freud’s book “The Interpretation of Dreams”, modern psychology quickly swept across Europe. With the help of psychotherapist Nikolai Dali, Rachmaninoff gradually came out of the haze of failure.
  In 1901, Rachmaninoff completed his “Second Piano Concerto”. It is one of the most popular pieces in the entire romantic chapter of classical music, and by far Rachmaninoff’s most performed and recorded work. Its opulent orchestration, haunting themes, and the sheer, overwhelming emotion that flows through its compositions captivate audiences around the world. Rachmaninoff’s heart seemed to be “thawed”, and abundant strength and tenacious will rushed to his face in an instant. Like a phoenix in flames, he was reborn from Nirvana.
  At the same time, with the help of industrialist Savva Mamontov, Rachmaninoff unlocked a second role in his career as a conductor.

  During the 1897-1898 performance season, he conducted Glinka’s “Life of the Tsar”, Saint-Saens’s “Samson and Delilah” and Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Moscow Private Russian Opera. , Rimsky-Korsakov’s “May Night” and Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades” and other works. In 1912, the conductor Nikolay Markhov, after hearing Rachmaninoff conducting The Queen of Spades at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, described it as having a “surprising freshness”. “, as if all kinds of clichés have been erased, and the work is presented to the audience in a new and vivid way.
forever homeland

  In 1945, Josef Hofmann, a lifelong friend of Rachmaninoff, said in a eulogy: “Rachmaninoff was made of steel and gold—steel was his arm, the gold is his heart, and the center point of this gold is his hometown.” In
  1917, Rachmaninoff left his homeland and emigrated to the United States. In order to make ends meet in the United States, Rachmaninoff unlocked a third role in his career as a pianist. In fact, Rachmaninoff became attached to the piano very early. He learned the piano from his mother when he was four years old, but he really stayed with the piano for a long time after he immigrated to the United States. During his life in the United States, Rachmaninoff maintained a very high frequency of performances. According to statistics, from 1918 to 1943, Rachmaninoff held nearly a thousand piano concerts.
  In 1921, the Rachmaninoffs bought a house in New York. They consciously reproduced the beloved Ivanovka estate where they lived for many years and entertained guests from their hometown. This act demonstrates his nostalgia for his hometown, which is also reflected in his few works from this period.
  During this period, he left a total of six numbered works, which are full of completely different techniques and emotions from the previous ones: the “Fourth Piano Concerto” has completely lost the fiery emotions of his earlier works, and he uses eerie The atmosphere replaced the bright and vigorous mood, and the music was full of low tones and complex rhythms; “Symphonic Dances” reviewed his various techniques since his creation.

Rachmaninoff conducts the Symphony Orchestra

  Perhaps Rachmaninoff focused on his piano playing career during his stay in the United States, or perhaps his wandering life led to a sense of cultural alienation. In short, he greatly reduced his energy in music creation. He said: “I am a Russian composer, and my place of birth has influenced my temperament and worldview. My music is a product of my temperament, so it is Russian music.” However, until his death, Rachmaninoff did not to return to their home country. His hometown will always remain in the depths of his memory that he cannot touch.

  There is such a sentence on Rachmaninoff’s epitaph: “I once felt like a wandering ghost, neither able to get rid of the old writing techniques nor learn new techniques.” Published in 1954 in ” The entry for Rachmaninoff in Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians is unbelievably less than a page long. The entry reads: “Some of the composer’s works achieved great success during his lifetime, but these are perhaps unlikely to last, and musicians have never viewed this success with appreciation…” Later, in 2001 This year’s edition of “New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians” made a comprehensive re-examination of Rachmaninoff’s status and contributions.
  Rachmaninoff has been entangled and wandering among the motherland, the individual and the nation all his life, perhaps he has been waiting for a “later”. In that untouchable time, whether he can return to his hometown, whether he can make changes for his creation, we don’t know. But he once again proved to the world through himself that music never judges heroes in terms of old and new styles. In the trend of the times with changing styles and coexistence, Rachmaninoff still sticks to his own square inch world with infinite power. There are not only his tears, but also his love, his past, and his past. future.

  Rachmaninoff adhered to the Romantic tradition more thoroughly than other musicians of his time. He spent his whole life composing romantic songs that belonged to himself and the whole era. His creative career did not go smoothly because of his youthful fame, and after his death, the controversy about him never stopped. However, in any corner of the world, winter will pass and spring will come. Today, the understanding of Rachmaninoff is still advancing, and there are still many mysteries in his multi-faceted life of triple identities waiting for us to uncover, and all these answers will eventually be left to time and answered slowly.

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