Anton Arensky : bridging Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff – Musica Kaleidoskopea
Find out more about the life and music of Serge Rachmaninoff, the composer who studied with Alexander Scriabin and charmed Tchaikovsky, to finding himself in the His relationships are full of fascinating anecdotes, from Rachmaninoff. In Moscow, he met the composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who became an important mentor and commissioned the teenage Rachmaninoff to arrange a piano. The delicate relationship between Rachmaninoff's unrivaled abilities and his caused Tchaikovsky to take notice of the fifteen-year-old Rachmaninoff.
Sadly, it was at the funeral of another ex-student, Scriabin, that he caught the chill that caused his death. The network of relationships between the great musicians who knew and loved Taneyev is fascinating, and makes planning a festival around him especially intriguing. Taneyev's teachers, Tchaikovsky and Nikolai Rubinstein, quarrelled over Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto; Rubinstein, the intended dedicatee, criticised the piece heavily, refused to do the Moscow premiere, and was replaced by Taneyev who was also a brilliant pianist.
Rubinstein and Tchaikovsky patched up their quarrel, however, and seven years later Tchaikovsky, saddened by Rubinstein's early death, wrote a piano trio in his memory - "to the memory of a great artist" - and Taneyev played the piano part at the premiere.
Another 11 years later, Tchaikovsky, having been wonderfully helpful to the young Rachmaninov, ran into him by chance at Taneyev's house. The three men had a fine old time, laughing and joking together. But just a few weeks later, Tchaikovsky was dead, having committed suicide in horrible circumstances. Rachmaninov was devastated, and poured his feelings into a Trio Elegiaque of his own, closely based on Tchaikovsky's, and inscribed with exactly the same dedication: There is another, even more compelling reason for staging a festival around Taneyev: Taneyev the composer is impossible to categorise.
It is true that his music is full of challenging harmonies, learned fugues and complex textures. Even more striking, though - and the reason that performing his music has become something of a mission for many musicians, including the ones taking part in this festival - is his wild dramatic flair, his crazy humour, and the samovar-like warmth of his musical heart. It is music like no other.
Quite why it has never become more widely known is a mystery. Perhaps that was down to Taneyev himself - he was certainly no self-publicist.
He spent most of his time at his house in the country, being looked after by his former nanny, and had a placard permanently nailed to the door: Ancestry and early years, —[ edit ] Rachmaninoff at age ten He was born into a family of the Russian aristocracy in Russian Empire.Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff: Two Hour + Playlist
In their first known genealogy, compiled in the s by Perfiliy Rakhmaninov, the family derives its own origin from the Moldovan rulers Dragoshiwho ruled Moldavia and Wallachia from to  descending from Vasile, nicknamed Rachmaninov "Rachmanin" in Old Russian, meaning lazy  a son of the Moldavian prince Stephen the Great.
His paternal grandfather, Arkady Alexandrovich, was a musician who had taken lessons from Irish composer John Field. The couple had three sons and three daughters, Rachmaninoff being their fourth child. It is unclear which of two family estates he was born on: His birth was registered in a church in the latter,  but he was raised in Oneg until age nine and cited it as his birthplace in his adult life. Upon hearing news of the boy's gift, Arkady suggested she hire Anna Ornatskaya, a teacher and recent graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatoryto live with the family and begin formal teaching.
Sergei Rachmaninoff - Tchaikovsky Research
Rachmaninoff dedicated his piano composition "Spring Waters" from 12 Romances, Op. Rachmaninoff remained critical of his father in later life, describing him as "a wastrel, a compulsive gambler, a pathological liar, and a skirt chaser". Later that year his sister Sofia died of diphtheria and his father left the family for Moscow. InRachmaninoff suffered further loss when his sister Yelena died at age eighteen of pernicious anemia.
She was an important musical influence to Rachmaninoff who had introduced him to the works of Tchaikovsky.
As a respite, his grandmother took him to a farm retreat by the Volkhov River where Rachmaninoff developed a love for rowing. In the autumn ofRachmaninoff moved in with Zverev and stayed for almost four years, during which he befriended fellow pupil Alexander Scriabin. Zverev, who believed composition was a waste for talented pianists, refused to speak to Rachmaninoff for some time and organised for him to live with his uncle and aunt Satin and their family in Moscow.
Despite little faith from Siloti and Conservatory director Vasily Safonov as he had just three weeks' preparation, Rachmaninoff received assistance from a recent graduate who was familiar with the tests, and passed each one with honours in July Three days later, he passed his annual theory and composition exams. Problems playing this file? Upon graduating, Rachmaninoff continued to compose and signed a rouble publishing contract with Gutheil, under which Aleko, Two Pieces Op.
He was paid 50 roubles for his appearance. InRachmaninoff spent a productive summer with friends at an estate in Kharkiv Oblast where he composed several pieces, including Fantaisie-Tableaux aka Suite No. During his subsequent trip to Kiev to conduct performances of Aleko, he learned of Tchaikovsky's death from cholera. He lacked the inspiration to compose, and the management of the Grand Theatre had lost interest in showcasing Aleko and dropped it from the program.
The tour was not enjoyable for the composer and he quit before it ended, thus sacrificing his performance fees. In a more desperate plea for money, Rachmaninoff pawned his gold watch given to him by Zverev. Among the pieces composed were Six Choruses Op.
- Rachmaninoff and his contemporaries
- Sergei Rachmaninoff
- The loved one
Rachmaninoff's fortunes took a turn following the premiere of his Symphony No. Other witnesses suggested that Glazunov, an alcoholic, may have been drunk, although this was never intimated by Rachmaninoff.
For God's sake, do try to find me, or devise yourself, a subject that isn't fantastic — something like Carmen and Cavalleria rusticana. Now don't you think you've done enough with the scenario as it is?
The loved one | Music | The Guardian
Do you really have to write verses for Rachmaninoff? Why not simply let someone else versify your scenario for him. Please, my dear fellow, don't be cross with me and don't feel upset.
Rachmaninoff duly received the Undina scenario and was sufficiently pleased with the idea that in October he wrote to Modest Tchaikovskyasking him for more material. But the projected opera was soon abandoned . Like the rest of the audience that evening, Tchaikovsky applauded enthusiastically at the end of the performance, and, as Rachmaninoff later recalled, he had suggested to the younger composer that Aleko should be performed together with Iolanta as a double-bill at the Bolshoi Theatre .
If this idea had worked out, it might have provided Russia with her very own counterpart to the famous pairing of Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci which were not in fact shown together until 22 December in Rome.
In contrast to these two verismo operas, Iolanta and Aleko would probably have been rather mismatched, but it is interesting that Tchaikovsky made such a suggestion in the first place. It seems that there were indeed plans to pair Aleko with Iolanta at the Bolshoi Theatre where Tchaikovsky's last opera had not yet been performedbut such a double-bill, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky were informed by the management, would not be possible until December However, nothing came of this project, and meanwhile the fortunes of Aleko also experienced an unexpected setback: When the new season began in September Aleko was not included in the repertoire, and in fact it would not be staged in Moscow again untilnow with Feodor Chaliapin in the title role .
Tchaikovsky was not satisfied with his work and kept interrupting the two pianists to correct this or that detail. The young Rachmaninoff had also been invited to play some of his latest compositions: Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanovwho was also present on that occasion, later recalled the favourable impression which these works had made on Tchaikovsky: The Rock, based on a poem by Lermontov and undoubtedly written under the influence of N.
Anton Arensky : bridging Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff
The symphonic poem went down very well with everyone, especially with Pyotr Ilyich, who was fascinated by its colouring. This performance of The Rock and the ensuing discussion helped to take Pyotr Ilyich's mind off the symphony and restored him to his previous agreeable mood" .
Rachmaninoff himself would later recall this evening in a letter: Tchaikovsky for the last time; I played him The Rock, and he said with that nice grin of his: A symphonic poem, a concerto, a suite, etc etc! All I've managed to write is just this one symphony!