View Poll Results: Who wins the battle of musical genius?

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  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    31 70.45%
  • Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninov

    13 29.55%
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Thread: Tchaikovsky Vs. Rachmaninov

  1. #1
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    Default Tchaikovsky Vs. Rachmaninov

    Here's a very simple question: who do you prefer?

    The question isn't loaded with the assumption that any objective opinion can be reached etc., I'm just curious (and spurred on by a discussion in another thread!) to see which of these proves most popular among our oh so precious TC members.

    Vote away! Give reasons if you want

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    Rachmaninoff. In many ways he is continuant of Tchaikovsky's output and he got much further with many elements of his style, his melodies are much more melodramatic and rending, his piano music is much more virtuosic, expressive and wild ARGH!!GTYU7JCHVGXXRFTGXZFDR4DFTY765UI8GFHY6UJFGHJK L

    That is why I choose Rachmaninoff over Tchaikovsky, but still regarding and loving the latter from behind.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    RAACH Man,

    in agreement with many of the above reasons.

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    Rachmaninoff is to me, what Brahms is to you, Polednice. Does that answer your question?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mueske View Post
    Rachmaninoff is to me, what Brahms is to you, Polednice. Does that answer your question?
    It both answers my question and makes my blood boil

    I can't believe that after such a short time since asking the question, Tchaikovsky already only has 20% of the vote! I wish I never said anything You're all wrong!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    It both answers my question and makes my blood boil

    I can't believe that after such a short time since asking the question, Tchaikovsky already only has 20% of the vote! I wish I never said anything You're all wrong!
    You just made my blood boil.

    But seriously, how can we be wrong?

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    Senior Member tgtr0660's Avatar
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    Tchaikovsky. I grew up listening to his music and I'm a lover of his melodies, some of the best ever. (Really, few composers have had Tchaikovsky's ability to write beautiful melodies...)

    Rachmaninov is great but I know him much less than I do good old Piotr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mueske View Post
    You just made my blood boil.

    But seriously, how can we be wrong?
    Well, I could just as easily turn around the things that Aramis said!

    Tchaikovsky's melodies are far more melodramatic and rending. Again, I return to the notion that Rachmaninov's are emotionally disingenuous. They give the illusion of being bottom-of-the-heart, gut-wrenching melodies, but they are facile and simple. Tchaikovsky shows us true despair and agony with unrivalled melodic genius. Perhaps it depends what you turn to these composers for - after all, neither of them are my 'favourite' composers (although Tchaikovsky easily ranks among the top in my list), but I turn to Tchaikovsky when I want raw, untainted emotion - when I'm searching for music that is best described as 'devastating'. Of course, he is also filled with nostalgia and joy when it comes to things like the Nutcracker. All Rachmaninov offers are a few Piano Concertos that I mistakenly liked when I was a teenager!

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Rachmaninov's melodies pull your heart out and shred it to pieces yet they appear so simple! How is this possible? The answer to me (in the 2nd symphony anyway) lies in the incredibly rich counterpoint which surrounds every tune he wrote - he learnt counterpoint from the best (Taneyev) and it definitely shows, but his music is so much more organic and pure than Taneyevs very methodical composition.
    Rachmaninovs orchestration is thick and slushy, and while it is hard to see all the voices within the text I think it adds a certain atmosphere. This is what Tchaikovsky lacks; occasionally the odd instrument adds an extra charm but this is a superficial Timbral matter, and often-times his orchestral landscape sounds coarse, rough and bare - im certain this is hardly what the desired effect.

    As for piano and chamber music... lets not get started on that..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    Rachmaninov's are emotionally disingenuous.
    IMHO the problem with understanding his emotional language lies in his personality. Rachmaninoff is considered (by biographers etc) as very, maybe even over-sensitive kind of man. It echoes in his works, someone could think that emotions that he shows there are... too emotional, hyperbolic maybe, but that is very relative and if you will be able to catch proper point of view, you will see them in completely diffrent way.

    when I was a teenager!
    You still are a teenager, are you in kitchen? I'll seek you in the elephant's trumpet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    IMHO the problem with understanding his emotional language lies in his personality. Rachmaninoff is considered (by biographers etc) as very, maybe even over-sensitive kind of man. It echoes in his works, someone could think that emotions that he shows there are... too emotional, hyperbolic maybe, but that is very relative and if you will be able to catch proper point of view, you will see them in completely diffrent way.



    You still are a teenager, are you in kitchen? I'll seek you in the elephant's trumpet.
    I'm only a teenager for another 9 weeks I'm talking about liking Rachmaninov in my severely immature teenage years!

    I don't think there's an issue with Rachmaninov's emotional language due to his personality, because Tchaikovsky offers the same kind of thing. If anything, Tchaikovsky is much more hyperbolic and sensitive, which is no surprise given the immense and overwhelming depression that he suffered throughout his lifetime - that's what draws me to his music. Rachmaninov should offer the same, but he doesn't come close. The best Rachmaninov can achieve is something low for Tchaikovsky like the 1812 overture.

    Although, I do have to concede that Rachmaninov is (probably!) greater when we turn away from orchestral works

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    In many ways he is continuant of Tchaikovsky's output
    That's my big problem with Rachmaninoff, he's such a continuant of Tchaikovsky that at times I can't help but feel he's a Tchaikovsky wannabe, only nowhere near as daring and innovative. I personally never felt that Rachmaninoff is on the same level as Tchaikovsky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scytheavatar View Post
    That's my big problem with Rachmaninoff, he's such a continuant of Tchaikovsky that at times I can't help but feel he's a Tchaikovsky wannabe, only nowhere near as daring and innovative. I personally never felt that Rachmaninoff is on the same level as Tchaikovsky.
    I'm sure that this "wannabe" is over-statement. In many ways he definitively followed Tchaikovsky, but it was not total commitment - for example, he lacked his classicism influence which was very important part in works of T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    I'm only a teenager for another 9 weeks I'm talking about liking Rachmaninov in my severely immature teenage years!

    I don't think there's an issue with Rachmaninov's emotional language due to his personality, because Tchaikovsky offers the same kind of thing. If anything, Tchaikovsky is much more hyperbolic and sensitive, which is no surprise given the immense and overwhelming depression that he suffered throughout his lifetime - that's what draws me to his music. Rachmaninov should offer the same, but he doesn't come close. The best Rachmaninov can achieve is something low for Tchaikovsky like the 1812 overture.

    Although, I do have to concede that Rachmaninov is (probably!) greater when we turn away from orchestral works
    I hate how you spew everything around like it's a fact.

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    What did Rachmaninoff do that Tchaikovsky didn't do better, only 30 or 40 years before him.

    Both are great, but Tchaikovsky is on another level.

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