RAKHMANINOV: THREE VICTORIES OVER YOURSELF
Probably many of us made mistakes. The ancient sages said: “It is human nature to make mistakes.” Unfortunately, there are also such serious wrong decisions or actions that can harm our whole future life. We ourselves choose which way to go: the difficult one that leads us to a cherished dream, a wonderful goal, or, on the contrary, we prefer a beautiful and easy road, which often turns out to be false, deadlock. One very talented boy, my neighbor, was not accepted into the aircraft modeling club because of his own laziness. Instead of overcoming this shortcoming, he chose a pleasant cycling section in all respects and even became a champion. After many years it became clear that he has phenomenal mathematical abilities, and airplanes – this is his vocation. It remains only to regret that his talent was not in demand. Maybe now in the sky would fly completely new types of aircraft? However, laziness defeated talent. Another example. Before the girl, my classmate, with a coefficient of mental development of an extra-talented person, thanks to her well-read and purposefulness, a wonderful road opened to the future. Her grandfather and dad were career diplomats. The doors to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, further, to the United Nations Security Council were opened before her. Maybe it would make a decisive contribution to the process of weakening international security and would go down in the history of world diplomacy. But this girl could not overcome selfishness in herself, did not develop the ability to find a compromise solution in herself, and without this diplomacy is impossible. The world has lost for itself a talented erudite peacemaker. And here is the music? – you ask. And, probably, having thought a little, you yourself will find the right answer: Great musicians grew out of little boys and girls. Hence, they also sometimes made mistakes. Another thing is important. They seem to have learned to overcome the barriers of error, to break through a wall made of bricks of laziness, disobedience, anger, arrogance, lies and meanness. Many illustrious musicians could serve for us young people as an example of timely correction of our mistakes, the ability not to make them again. Perhaps, a vivid example of this is the life of an intelligent strong man of a talented musician Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninov. For his life he was able to accomplish three feats, three victories over himself, over his mistakes: in childhood, adolescence and already in adulthood. All three dragon heads were defeated by him … And now everything is in order. Sergey was born in 1873. in the village of Semenovo, Novgorod province, in a noble family. The history of the Rachmaninovs has not yet been fully studied; many mysteries remain in it. Having guessed one of them, you will be able to understand why, being a very successful musician, and having a strong character, he nevertheless doubted himself all his life. He confessed to his closest friends: “I do not believe in myself.” The family legend of the Rachmaninovs says that five hundred years ago, a descendant of the Moldavian ruler, Stephen III the Great (1429-1504) Ivan Vechin, came from Moscow to the Moldavian state. At the baptism of his son, Ivan gave him the baptismal name Vasily. And as the second, worldly, he was chosen the name of Rakhmanin. This name, which came from Middle Eastern countries, means: “meek, quiet, merciful.” Soon after arriving in Moscow, the “messenger” of the Moldovan state apparently lost its influence and significance in the eyes of Russia, since Moldova became dependent on Turkey for several centuries. The musical history of the Rachmaninoff family, perhaps, begins with Arkady Alexandrovich, who was Sergey’s paternal grandfather. He learned to play the piano from the Irish musician John Field who came to Russia. Arkady Alexandrovich was considered a talented pianist. I saw my grandson several times. He approve of Sergey’s music classes. Sergey’s father, Vasily Arkadevich (1841-1916), was also a gifted musician. He did not do much with his son. In his youth he served in the hussar regiment. He loved to have fun. He led a reckless, frivolous lifestyle. Mom, Lyubov Petrovna (nee Butakova), was the daughter of the Director of the Arakcheevsky Cadet Corps, General P.I. Butakova. She began to make music with her son Seryozha when he was five years old. Very soon he was recognized as a musically gifted boy. In 1880, when Sergei was seven years old, his father went bankrupt. The family was left almost without a livelihood. The family estate had to be sold. The son was sent to St. Petersburg to relatives. By this time, the parents separated. The reason for the divorce was the frivolity of his father. It is regrettable to state that the boy actually did not have a strong family. In those years, Sergei was described as a thin, tall boy with large expressive features, large long arms. So he met his first serious test.