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Krasovsky, Emanuel

Picture: Krasovsky, Emanuel

Vilna (Lithuania). null

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RACHMANINOV, Sergey

Picture: RACHMANINOV, Sergey

Semyonovo, 1873 - Beverly Hills, 1943. Russian composer, pianist and conductor, naturalized American. Although known worldwide for his Piano Concerto No. 2, Sergei Rachmaninov has been relegated by some historians to the role of a mere epigone of Romanticism, of Tchaikovski in particular, for whom he professed deep admiration. Nevertheless, the music by the composer of the Symphonic Dances is among the most appreciated by performers and audiences, for its singular melodic inspiration and emotional expressivity. Born to a family of landowners, his early interest in music came from his father and grandfather, both competent amateur musicians. In spite of his extraordinary gift as a piano performer, composition was, from the beginning, young Rachmaninov’s main aim. His career in that field was threatened to end prematurely after the disastrous premiere of his Symphony No. 1. This setback plunged the composer into a deep crisis, which he only overcame after the successful reception of his Piano Concerto No. 2, which gave him international recognition. The Russian revolution put an end to this period and the composer was forced to leave his country with his family. He first travelled to Switzerland and, after 1935, settled in the United States. Whereas in his country he had focused on composition, the need to make a living in exile led him to take up his piano career again. The demanding career as soloist, together with a deep longing for his country were among the causes for the noticeable decrease in his output between 1917 and 1943, the year of his death: only six compositions from that period as opposed to the nearly forty he had produced in former times.

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