Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rachmaninoff, my favorite Rach star

It does not get much more Rachmaninoff than listening to him play his own Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor. I'd even settle, in a pinch, for the recordings from the piano rolls, but this is...special. Here, I found a full version of the Concerto, although the user comments say the recording is spliced.

The second could I have survived so many hours this day without hearing its message? It is improbable and impossible.

Two cursory Rachmaninoff-related translations:

Some correspondence between the poet Severyanin and Rachmaninoff is available online. Rachmaninoff provided Severyanin financial assistance on more than one occasion, from pure generosity of heart--and in gratitude for the inspiration the writer provided for his compositions.

Igor Severyanin

They All Say the Same Thing

To S.V. Rachmaninoff

Nightingales in the monastery garden,
Just like all nightingales on earth,
Speak of only one consolation,
And this joy - is in love ...

And the flowers of the monastery meadow,
With a tenderness peculiar to blossoms
Say that there is one merit:
To touch the beloved's mouth ...

The lakes of the monastery forest
Are overflowing with blueness,
They say there is no more azure gaze,
Than of the one in love and the beloved.

Игорь Северянин


                     С. В. Рахманинову

Соловьи монастырского сада,
Как и все на земле соловьи,
Говорят, что одна есть отрада
И что эта отрада - в любви...

И цветы монастырского луга
С лаской, свойственной только цветам,
Говорят, что одна есть заслуга:
Прикоснуться к любимым устам...

Монастырского леса озера,
Переполненные голубым,
Говорят: нет лазурнее взора,
Как у тех, кто влюблен и любим...

I found a recent, affectionate stishok (poem) online in honor of the composer:


(By Ilya Ragulin, dedicated to Natalia Narochnitskaya)

As a favorite son - the best of sons,
Wept the musician Serzh Rachmaninoff,
Shed bitter tears for his native country,
Drenched in blood, and on fire.

He gave a benefit concert for Stalin
So the Red Army could buy a plane.
Chandeliers burned, the floor gleamed -
The famous hall awaited his entrance. *

For the blue sky, for the rustling birches
Is this rain of music - a maelstrom of sweet dreams.
Spikes of darkness ripen in a rye field ...
So many Seryozh put to rest for Berlin.

For those soldiers burn eternal flames.
Every year they'll await his entrance--
To the Second concert, sacred to every Russian,
That Rachmaninoff composed.

*According to the author of this poem, Rachmaninoff gave benefit concerts in Carnegie Hall and donated all of the money to the Red Army Fund; the army was then able to purchase a plane for combat.


Наталии Нарочницкой

Как любимый сын - лучший из сынов,
Плакал музыкант Серж Рахманинофф.
Скорбно слёзы лил по родной стране,
Что в крови была, что была в огне.

В пользу Сталина он концерт даёт:
Красной Армии купят самолёт.
Хрустали горят, и ворсится пол -
Ждет вступления знаменитый холл.*

Небом голубым, шелестом берёз
Льётся музыка - омут милых грёз.
Тьмою колосков зреет в поле рожь...
Столько за Берлин полегло Серёж.

Жгут для тех солдат Вечные огни.
Ждут вступления каждый год они -
Во Второй концерт, что всем русским мил,
Что Рахманинов сочинил.

Piano Concerto No. 3, also performed by Rachmaninoff.


Harlequin said...

I never listened to Rachmaninoff play his own works although I do recall being quite mesmerised by the pianist Lisitsa playing Little Red Riding Hood ... Outstanding

Iulia Flame said...

Oh! Lisitsa--she's incredible. I could listen to her play for hours. :) Thanks!

the song of a shell sapphire melting inside jade a color unnamed Ofra Haza's version of this song defies categoriz...

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