View Full Version : Rachmaninoff is overrated

Aug-18-2004, 04:58
I find rachmaninoff's compositions to be kind of one-dimensional; i don't know how to describe it, but i think they lack the depth that one would find in, say, brahms, beethoven, or bach. what do you guys think?

Aug-18-2004, 10:58
what kind of depth do you mean?

Oct-22-2004, 16:15
I think hIis melodic writing is very strong and bold, very good at making the hairs stand on the back of your neck or giving a quick glimpse of something larger at work.

This though in my opinion only lasts for a short period of time.

At times later in his symphonic works and concerti his orchestral writing becomes weak and almost lacklustre, as if he is filling in the gaps. Often the structure he imposes upon his developmental sections is easy to track from work to work, rythmically I feel he has a template that offers little change across much of his output.

Bach wins hands down!!!

Only joking I know it's not a competition.


www.matthewmcallister.com (http://www.matthewmcallister.com)

Sep-27-2005, 02:20
I can see why you judge Rachmaninoff as coming up short. I disagree that he is somehow not a giant in music. In some places, his poinency is so simple just like a Brahms and firey manic crashing sounds as one who has lived with severe depression. Let's just call him unique and be glad that he was a composer instead of a factory worker. Oh, V. Horowitz thought his material was worthy of study.

Oct-17-2005, 07:26
I would have to agree with 4fingers. I do think Brahms works have more depth in many cases, but Rachmaninoff's piano concertos are so lush and romantic. Rachmaninoff was instantly appealing to me , the first time I heard his music. Brahms I sometimes had to listen to several times before I felt that same connection.

Oct-17-2005, 16:12
Rachmaninoff Rawks

It's Mozart that's overrated... (ducks... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif)

Oct-17-2005, 18:01
I agree with 4fingers and Grinnin. (Hey, there seems to be a lot of agreement here). While Rachmaninov`s works may lack the complexity of other composer`s works, the sheer emotional effect of his works place him as a worthy composer in my eyes. Isn`t music (often) about creating an emotional reaction in the listener? If so, then Rachmaninov is not overrated.

I also somewhat agree with KBOC- I think Mozart bacame very popular after the movie Amadeus came out, which is not a bad thing in itself, but perhaps exaggeratedly so, possibly placing him as more significant than other composers. Not to say that he wasn`t a fabulous composer, he certainly was. But I think some people were more interested in his life story than his actual works. Many of his works are absolutely fantastic, but not all, just like other composers. So I guess I find Mozart somewhat overpopularized, as compared to other composers, but not necessarily overrated.

I hope that made sense. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Oct-17-2005, 18:04
It made sense.

But Mozart was popular in the U.S. long before the movie. There were tinfoil-hat style books on how playing Mozart to babies made them more intelligent...

A Little Night Music is the only Mozart piece I find remotely appealing... I never understood his popularity otherwise...

Oct-17-2005, 19:23

I`m no expert, but I still think Mozart had more widespread popularity after the movie.

Funny, I find A Little Night Music is sort of one of his dorkier works, if I remember correctly. I love his Piano Concerto No. 20, 1st mvt. Rather heavy for Mozart; it`s in a minor key. In all fairness, he composed many, many works, some of which are super! https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Oct-17-2005, 19:32
I don't find Mozart Offensive https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif (Like I do Sousa)

Nov-21-2005, 12:48
I can't deny that there are a lot of defect in Rachmaninov's compositions, but I really like them. You know when I once heard his works I was deeply impressed by them, maybe they're sad but they're really beautiful.
And I think I like Mozart,as well.They sound beautiful ,too.

Nov-21-2005, 12:53
Hi Ilona,

What kind of "defects" are you refering to?

Nov-24-2005, 09:57
I mean that most of his compositions are pessimistic, it's both his defect and his merit.I think some of his early works are not so mature.
I like his"variations on a theme of Corelli"and Concerto for piano No.3 and "Variations on a theme of Chopin" etc.

Dec-23-2005, 18:04
What bothers me about Rachmaninoff is his lack of contemporary musical imagination and hopeless reliance on composers who lived long before him, but I acknowledge the value of his compositions for what they are. His piano concertos and some of his symphonic music are extremely effective - only is it hard to muster a great deal of respect for a composer who never ventured into even his own time. It would be fair, I think, to label most of his music 'good classical pop'.

Dec-26-2005, 01:46
There is Mozart everything in Sarsburg (I think thats how you spell it) you can smell Mozart (brand of perfume) hear Mozart (blaitingly obvious) eat Mozart (brand of chocolate) and buy from Mozart (cafe's there are named after him) They are quite going overboard there I would think, you can like an artist so much that was born in your country but maybe not to the extremity of that.

Dec-26-2005, 02:37
Hi Gareth,

You must be talking about Salzburg - Yes, it is a town living in the aura created by *Wolfie* Amadei!!!

To the dear members of this forum who find Rachmaninoff's music pessimistic - how would you feel to be in a country that was being torn apart at the seams by the Bolshevik rabble? What about the millions of people killed in the name of the *peace-loving* thought construct written by Marx and Engels?

What about being separated from one of your children and never seeing them again because of *that* brain-less brain-fart Bolshevism? A clue to understanding Rachmaninoff's music is to be found in reading the works of the poets Rachmaninoff used in his art songs (romansy) or (lieder) if you will.

Having performed as accompanist and also having sung many of his art songs has *put me in touch* with the composer who mourns for his country - Nostalghia - that might be a more proper term to use in contemplating Rachmaninoff and his art. We must remember the personal suffering Sergei went through during his early years when *measuring* his early output.

Just some thoughts I respectfully share with the distinguished members of this forum.

Blessed Peace To All,

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif

Dec-26-2005, 02:38
You can hardly blame Mozart for the extreme commercial abuse of his name two centuries after his death. Unlike Rakhmaninov, Mozart was very much a composer of his time, his work was original and his compositional mastery complete.

I highly doubt that you will be able to buy Rachmaninoff-chocolate-balls in a hundred years' time. By then, no one will ever have heard his name, or even less likely, his music. Well, maybe the 3rd piano concerto... https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Dec-26-2005, 02:52
Who is blaming Mozart for the folly we see today in Salzburg and that which is being exported around the world?

Thank goodness there are no Rachmaninoff Chocolate balls to be found - that would be out of character with the composer. Nah - Sergei is a stiff single Scottish Malt - something like Laphroaigh https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif Ahhhhhhhh - smooth and contemplative https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

There are things that can only be understood through Faith - You can never understand Russia through your mind, only through Faith. When one contemplates Russia, you must remember that it is a country which stretches across 12 time-zones. It cannot be embraced over afternoon tea and crumpets.

Blessed Peace,

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

btw - Rachmaninoff will be remembered long after this forum starts pushing up daisies https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Dec-27-2005, 02:28
I heard excepts of his Piano Concerto no 2 in D minor, they sounded pretty good, but from the sounds of that, they might last if us as classical musicians or partly classical musicians keep playing their music.

Dec-27-2005, 02:42
Hi Gareth,

Especially his 2nd and 3rd piano concerti are most wanted by a swooning concert public who will pay good money to hear music that will carry them away from their temporal duties if only for a little while. Of course, there have to be musicians willing to practice the keyboard parts - not exactly easy for all pianists.

There must be artists who are willing to practice all the different literature and play it in recitals, otherwise John and Mary Q. Public will settle for recordings of the great piano titans of the 20th century - nothing wrong with that per se but it feeds into the vicious cycle/circle that new artists have to breakthrough to become known.




Dec-27-2005, 03:29
IMO, best Sergey is his Symphonic Dances, his piano solo works and his 2 piano trios.

Dec-27-2005, 07:23
Yeah, they are awesome works. His trios are a marvel of compositional skill and his Symphonic Dances are wonder of orchestrational prowess. The piano solo works do wonders for one's building of stamina and ability to shape and color piano sound.

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers444.gif

Oct-27-2006, 18:34
I think both Mozart&Rachmaninov provides some excellent melodic writing and under right baton(Karajan for Mozart&Jansons for Rachmaninov i really like) they are endless to listen

Oct-28-2006, 01:05
I'm not for or against Rachmaninov - But check out his arrangements of Fritz Kreisler's Liebesfreud and Liebeslied... they're so gorgeous...

I don't mind Rachmaninov but sometimes it gets over chromatic and I have to listen to some Dvorak instead...