Essay On The Last Of Romanticism

Satisfactory Essays
Tanner Perry
Music 101
Composer Presentation
The Last of Romanticism
Sergei Rachmaninoff, a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor, is widely known as one of the last connections between 19th century romanticism and modern times. While growing up it was discovered that he had a natural talent for playing the piano. While being influenced by many people including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Anna Ornatskaya, and others he was able to create his own unique style notable for its expressiveness, song like melodicism, and his use of rich orchestral colors.
Sergei was born on April 1, 1873 in Semyonovo, Russia. He was born into an aristocratic family where both his father Vasily and his mother Lubov were amateur pianists. While being an amateur pianist his father was also an army officer. Vasily and Lubov gained five estates as a dowry, and eventually found themselves with three boys and three girls. When Sergei was four years old his mother gave him casual piano lessons in their home. After discovering his natural talent his grandfather, Arkady Alexandrovich, went out and found Anna Ornatskaya to teach Sergei in 1882. Ornatskaya remained his teacher for around three years until their family ran into financial trouble where they could no longer afford these lessons.
These financial troubles got so bad for the family that they were forced to auction off their homes in order to pay off their debt. Frustrated and embarrassed by this situation, the Rachmaninoffs moved to St. Petersburg. Sergei began to study at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory where he was granted a scholarship making it possible for him to attend at age ten. Soon after moving Sergei and his family went through a rough time in the...

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...y worked as a concert pianist, conductor, and teacher. He then decides his only hope was to seek help. Sergei began undergoing hypnotic treatment with psychologist Nicolai Dahl. Slowly he started to recover and began work on his Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1900. Some say that that piece is arguably the most beloved concerto in western music. For this piece the second and third movements were first performed separately with Sergei himself as the soloist. The complete work was premiered, again with Sergei as the soloist, on November 9, 1901. This time he had his cousin Alexander Siloti conducting not putting his faith in anyone he did not know well. This second piano concerto confirmed his recovery from his prior depression segment as well as forgoing his writer's block. Rachmaninoff dedicated the concerto to Nikolai Dahl, his therapist that restored his self-confidence.
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