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Biography of Sergei Rachmaninoff (Essay Sample)

Discuss the biography and career of the artist and situate him or her in his social and political context. For whom was the musician working? Did the composer also write about his music? If so, what did he/she say? Was the composer well-received in his/her time? Give an overview of the composer\'s compositional style in relation to preceding and contemporary composers. Then discuss one or two recorded works of the composer. In your own words, describe how you found the work. Using some music vocabulary, give details about the work, its context and instruments - eg. tempo, dynamics, melody, harmony, rhythms, orchestration, texture. What mood does the piece create? How does the composer do this? What do you like about the music? Are there many recordings or YouTube performances of this piece? If so, what are they? Your thesis/conclusion should state why the composer and the music are important. also Use at least TWO of the following sources, but no articles prior to 1970: The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada; The Garland Encyclopedia of Music Vol. 3 The U.S. and Canada; The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (on-line and hard copy); New Grove Dictionary of Jazz; Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians; The New Oxford History of Music; JSTOR for music journal articles (only articles AFTER 1970). source..
Biography of Sergei Rachmaninov
Sergey Vasilyevich Rachmaninov was a Russian pianist maestro whose musical prowess has immortalized his name among the stellar composers of his time. His musical career transcends a rich musical family history coupled with the best training from his childhood. Sergei brought freshness in musical composition by using his ingenuity and originality that he blended with the traditional Russian classical music composition combined with German and Finnish sounds to produce some of the of the internationally acclaimed symphony, Acapella, piano, orchestra etc. This paper critique Biography of Sergei and his musical career during his life time.
Born in 1873 April in Russia, Sergey Vasilyevich Rachmaninov was blessed to have been raised in a musical family. The young Sergei received his first piano lessons as a young man from his mother who was also a pianist herself. From his grandfather to father and mother, Sergey was surrounded by people whose profound interest in music would later on come to influence the life of a young Sergei. He later moved to Moscow where he took piano lessons at the conservatory under the supervision of one strict disciplinarian Zverev. According to (Cunningham, 2001) Zverev was one of the excellent performers of his time. In essence it would be said that the young pianist was undergoing refinement through some of the finest in the trade. Sergei along side other two trainees; Leonid Maximov and Matvei Pressman were given early exposure to performances that Zverev described as giving his boys a cultural orientation into the authenticity of Russian music” (Cunningham, 2001) Zverev cultivated a classical music taste in the boys according to Cunningham ( 2001). The teacher brought in an elderly pianist, Belopolskaya who trained the boys on the classical and symphonic music. Zverev also exposed the boys to performance on Sundays and especially before accomplished musicians themselves noted (Cunningham, 2001). This kind of practice arguably instilled the musical character that was later to develop in the great pianist and composer.
Early years of Piano Training in Moscow
In his early years Sergei emerged as an astute composer whose works bore the marks finest quality of training instilled in him by the Zverev (Cunningham, 2001). Sergei composition was received with utmost fascination and a liking from the audiences across Moscow in his formative years. His first composition ever as a trainee was Aleko, an adaptation of Puskin’s poem Gypsies. Sergei performed this piece at the graduation party at the conservatory where he had been training. The masterpiece earned one of the highest awards at time. Sergei’s work was a fine blend of idiomatic zeal on writing and sure melody (Cunningham, 2001). Sergei was later placed under the mentorship of Tchaikovsky, a socialite of Moscow musical scene. After arranging what was an arguably the first challenging ballet assignment with an amazing ease, sleeping beauty. Seregei’s request to his old trainer to be allowed time and a favorable environment to venture in composition ironically would cut the budding rapport between teacher and his student. According to Cunningham (2001) Zverev only viewed Sergei as a pianist and not a composer.
Socio-Political Context of Sergei’s Musical Career
Sergei’s musical composition played an intricate role in reflecting experiences his times. In memory of his departed mentor in 1893, Sergei composed Trio elegiaque that was featured in symphony performances across Russia. Unfortunately, some of the long time composers who critiqued the work likened in to melancholic plague of Egypt that only would get appreciation of music lovers in hell. It eventually heralded a new daw...
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