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Thread: Rachmaninoff's Operas

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Default Rachmaninoff's Operas

    Rachmaninoff wrote 5 operas. In my time here, I haven't seen these really discussed at all. Does anybody have any exposure?
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Senior Member Barelytenor's Avatar
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    Sorry Couchie, I have never heard of nor heard a Rachmaninoff opera.

    Kind regards,

    George

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    I've heard some music from them. There seem to be some attractive bits, but I have no idea how they'd play as theater pieces. I think they're all early works - in my memory they're very dark and Russian "oriental" - and don't represent Rachmaninoff at his best, which may be why we never hear of performances and why he didn't return to the form in later life. I realize this isn't very helpful.

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    I'm hoping to see a double bill of Francesca da Rimini and Aleko in Kiel soon. There's a nice performance of FdR on YouTube at the moment. Both worthwhile in my opinion.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I have Aleko, which was composed in 1892. Musically I find it a reasonable listen without being earth-shattering (understandable given the composer was still in his teens when he wrote it), but in practical terms it was a worthwhile endeavour for Rachmaninov as it found success as a graduation piece. Although the plot is faithfully based on a Pushkin poem the ending seems too bathetic for a musical drama which features a double murder.
    Last edited by elgars ghost; Mar-13-2018 at 21:07.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

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    I only know the three one acters (Aleko, Francesca da Rimini and The miserly knight). The only one I've seen was Aleko in Saint Petersburg in a double bill with Iolanta. I enjoyed it, although it isn't earth shattering.

    N.

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