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Rakhmaninov (Life & Times) Paperback – 19 Jul 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Haus Publishing; New edition edition (19 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904341500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904341505
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"(A)n approach that avoids any stuffiness and aims for an easy readability and understanding of the composer's background and creative juices."

About the Author

Andreas Wehrmeyer is a researcher and teacher of Russian music of the 20th century. In this biography he draws extensively on primary sources, letters and diaries studied at the time.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Sergey Vassilievich Rakhmaninov was born on 20 March 1873 in Semyonovo, one of his parents' estates in the Staraya Russa region to the south of Lake Ilmen. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pauline Westbury on 28 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this for a friend and she loves it! Also it arrived within a couple of days. Excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By W. BUTLER - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I HAD to buy this little paperback after enjoying Haus's one about "Prokofiev" in their "Life and Times" series. The justification for both being no record cover or CD insert tells you enough - yet on the other hand the music is the thing and one doesn't need to be weighed down with every detail of a composer's life in some monster volume such as one finds devoted to Mozart and Stravinsky. Those who love Rackmaninov's music do not need to be told he wrote even more beautiful melodies than his immediate predecessor Tchaikovsky.

What's so interesting about him is he was by no means a typical Russian. He only found his true voice after moving to Dresden. Where he recovered his confidence, composed his Piano Concerto #2 and the rest as they say is History. What all "blocked" artists might find most encouraging about his career is after mainly earning a living as a virtuoso concert pianist and conductor (and moving to America) in his 67th year (2 years before his death in 1943) he composed 3 incredibly dynamic "Symphonic Dances". One wonders from what part of his brain did this fountain-of youth spring? Do all 60-year-olds have this capacity - but don't know how to tap into it?

This entire book is a treat - written by a Russian music expert. It has a terric addendum detailing his compositions, plus a timeline explaining all his travels - which were considerable. Nowhere was there anything but affection shown for Rackmaninov and his contribution to prolonging the Romantic tradition in classical music. It's noticable in the last 50 years his stature has remained constant whereas so called advanced "modern" composers' relevance continues to wain. The obvious reason being the gift of writing long romantic melodic lines (tunes) is handed out very very rarely. It's no co-incidence Harold Arlen had Russian heritage, as did Gershwin, etc.

The only advice I feel it's necessary to add is DO NOT BUY the "Life and Times" Orwell paperback on the strength of this one as I did. To hire a biographer who actually has the nerve to think he's a smarter than Orwell was a deplorable faux-pas by the Haus editors. But at least it gave me a golden opportunity to "vent". Do please refer to my critique on Amazon. I promise it will be to your advantage.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Short and thorough Rachmaninoff 14 Aug 2012
By Dr. Marie Jureit-Beamish - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having just completed teaching a course on Rachmaninoff, I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting a clear understanding of the man and his music within the context of his times. Translated from the German, nothing is lost in translation. It is a joy to read such a concise, informative, and thorough book about the legendary Russian pianist. In addition to the content, I greatly appreciated the labeling of each topic of the page at the bottom that highlighted the important organizational points made. I also highly appreciated the thorough time-line at the end setting the complete historic and cultural context of his life. A relatively short book, it is also very accessible for all readers. Outstanding book for all the insights gained about Rachmaninoff as a pianist, composer, conductor, family man, Russian citizen, and global personality.
Good enjoyable book 15 Sep 2014
By Becker_Books - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book was easy to read and gave a good overview of his life. Not knowing much about the composer, I feel I have a general understanding now of what was going on in his life as I listen to his music.
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