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Sergei Rachmaninoff Essay

1072 words - 5 pages

“Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” This is a quote from the great and talented composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. If you look up what the quote means you can get many different answers, but many I don’t agree with. I believe the quote means something more to Rachmaninoff. I think the quote means that through Rachmaninoff’s lifetime he could have been satisfied with the music he created, but through his lifetime he did not create all the music he could have. This speaks to how talented Rachmaninoff is at composing such master pieces in music. From his early child hood in Russia to becoming a worldwide success he has always had that drive to write music.
Sergei Rachmaninoff was born on April 1, 1873 in one of the oldest cities in Russia Novgorod. His father was an officer in the Army and his mother was born to a very wealthy family. The Rachmaninoff’s were part of an old aristocracy where the attitude was still there but the money was not. His family was very dysfunctional. His father was a strong alcoholic, which gambled regularly, eventually he lost all of his wife’s money. In 1882 Sergei’s father finally deserted the family Sergei was nine years old.
Young Sergei was quite often considered a problem child, and he was very arrogant. He had out of this world talent however. At the ripeful age of nine Rachmaninoff was enrolled at the College of Music in St. Petersburg. Since Rachmaninoff was arrogant he never bothered to study. Rachmaninoff’s cousin Alexander Siloti helped solve this problem he suggested that Rachmaninoff moved to Moscow and study with the strict teacher Nikolai Zverev, and in 1885 Rachmaninoff made the trip to Moscow to stay with Zverev which he did for three years. In 1888 Rachmaninoff decided to study with his cousin Siloti himself and composition with Sergei Taneyev and Anton Arensky.
Before the extremely talented Rachmaninoff graduated as a pianist in the year 1891 he composed what is widely considered his best known work, the Prelude in C sharp minor. Siloti was instrumental in insuring the success of the Prelude throughout the western world. He made a tour of Western Europe and the United States, with a program that contained the Prelude. It was so popular that it was referred to as “The Prelude” and the audience would demand it as an encore at his performances usually yelling “C-sharp!”
Rachmaninoff graduated as a composer in 1892, in the ceremony he was awarded a gold medal for his acclaimed opera Aleko. The first symphony in Rachmaninoff’s career was in 1897 and by all account it was a disaster. It is believed that the conductor was drunk at the time. In shame Rachmaninoff destroyed the score. Pieces of the score survived and were put back together after his death.
Rachmaninoff’s life was affect by the patterns he established early in his career. His uncomfortable endeavor between performing and composing with, with monetary pressures usually ensuring that preeminence needed to be...

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