The Harvest of Sorrow

Brilliant documentary on Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), the Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. It traces his life and times and his musical journey from Russia to when the family had to flee Russian due to the Russian revolution and take refuge in Stockholm and later in US. Throughout, Sergei pined for his beloved Russia and could never adjust to a life outside his motherland, though he had the comforts and lifestyle to afford. He had composed a total of 3 symphonies, five works for piano and orchestra, piano solo, orchestra solo, operas, choral works, chamber music, quite a prodigious output. His Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, 3rd symphony, No. 2 in C#minor, 2nd concerto, 3rd concerto, Aleko the opera, are all sublime music. There is beauty in his music, but at the same time a certain kind of fiery in it, a kind of haunting, sad melody in it. Apparently Tchaikovsky’s influence is there in his music. The documentary is told in first person and there are numerous photographs and some videos as well all beautifully juxtaposed with his various musical pieces, all very well done. Beautiful documentary to watch. I watched it here on youtube.

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