I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my theme this year is classical music. Check out the list of other participants by clicking here! R is for Rachmaninoff. Sergei Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer who lived from 1873 to 1943. Today’s featured video is Rachmaninoff’s (alternatively spelled Rachmaninov) Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5 played by Boris Berezovsky.
Video link: https://youtu.be/I2GKgFZ_ioQ
|Photograph by Kubey Rembrandt|
· Sergei Rachmaninoff began playing the piano at the age of 4. He had an exceptional ability as a pianist and composer, and he wrote his First Piano Concerto at the age of 18.
· He had very large hands which could span twelve keys on the piano. This made playing chords easy for him and his piano techniques were noted for definition and clarity.
· At the premiere of Rachmaninoff’s first symphony, the conductor, Alexander Glazunov, was ill-prepared and possibly drunk. Critics highly disapproved of the piece and Rachmaninoff went into a depression for three years and suffered from writer’s block.
· He finally overcame his depression after a course of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, and went on to write his Piano Concerto No. 2, which became one of his most well-known, beloved concertos.
composing, Rachmaninoff also made a living as a concert pianist and a
conductor. He was offered many conducting positions in the United States.
|Rachmaninoff proofing his|
Piano Concerto No. 3
· He had a very deep religious faith and wrote some beautiful choral vespers full of vivid harmonies.
· Rachmaninoff and his family moved to the United States in 1917. He made enough money from piano concert performances to build a house in Los Angeles that was an exact replica of his home in Moscow.
For this challenge, I’m keeping a playlist of the videos I’m using plus some extras for anyone who wants to hear more. I will update with the latest letter each day. For today’s extra video, I added Rock Meets Rachmaninoff by The Piano Guys. It is based on Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C sharp minor and done in a soft rock style. The Piano Guys take classical pieces and rework them into modern styles and pop culture music. They also do a lot of movie themes.
Do you know your hand span on a piano? Mine is an octave (8 keys). Trivia: Rachmaninoff was tall and he rarely smiled for photographs, what nickname did this earn him?