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Topic: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff  (Read 4539 times)

Offline hodi

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Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
on: December 31, 2004, 03:56:34 PM
i see that some people spell rachmaninov.. some rachmaninoff.. on some cd's it's rachmaninov and on some rachmaninoff.. i'm confused.. how to write rach..?

Offline Motrax

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #1 on: December 31, 2004, 04:16:42 PM
Рахманинов

That's how it's spelled in Russian. Phonetically, this would be Rachmaninov. This actually comes as a surprise to me - I've always called him "Rachmaninoff," but this is not correct. I guess I'll have to change my ways!  :)
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline olivarius

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #2 on: December 31, 2004, 04:24:01 PM
Rachmaninoff in Russian is spelled with the terminal letter "в" that
corresponds to our "v".  but, the terminal "v" is pronounced like a
double "f" in Russian.  that's why the often use the transliteration "Rachmaninoff",
which may have been the transliteration that the composer preferred.

i personally prefer rachmaninoff ;),

Offline Motrax

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #3 on: December 31, 2004, 04:25:59 PM
Oops. Well, I didn't grow up over there - my apologies!  :-[
But now I don't have to rename everything in itunes.  :P
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline olivarius

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #4 on: December 31, 2004, 04:29:38 PM
if the artist himself preferred -ff , then it can't be wrong   ;)
anyway, the only mistake would be to "pronouce" it with a "v"

Offline xvimbi

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #5 on: December 31, 2004, 04:33:49 PM
i see that some people spell rachmaninov.. some rachmaninoff.. on some cd's it's rachmaninov and on some rachmaninoff.. i'm confused.. how to write rach..?

Some translations use the spelling "Rakhmaninoff", but it doesn't really matter! The original is in Russian and therefore uses the Cyrillic alphabet. Because there is no exact equivalence between the Russian and Latin alphabets (or Greek or any other for that matter), any translation to any other language must suffer somehow. There is also no exact equivalence between the sounds in the different languages. Some languages pronounce the "off" like the English "ff", others like the English "ve". IMO, it's more important to learn how to pronounce the various names correctly. English speakers usually can't pronounce the "R", the "a" or the "ch", because there are no equivalent sounds in the English language. They say "Rack". The French tend to say "Rasch". The Germans can do it well, because they share a lot of the sounds with the Russian language.

Offline m

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #6 on: December 31, 2004, 09:21:43 PM
Rachmaninoff in Russian is spelled with the terminal letter "в" that
corresponds to our "v".  but, the terminal "v" is pronounced like a
double "f" in Russian.  that's why the often use the transliteration "Rachmaninoff",
which may have been the transliteration that the composer preferred.

i personally prefer rachmaninoff ;),

In Russian the terminal "v" is definitely not pronounced like a double "f". It is more like in between "v" and "f".
Yes, Rachmaninov himself signed as "Rachmaninoff". On the other hand his English was not the best, esp. when he came to US, and frankly, I don't think he really cared that much as for how to spell his name.   

Personally, I prefer Rachmaninov.

Offline Rach3

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #7 on: January 01, 2005, 04:56:03 AM
Rachmaninoff is much more common. Martha Argerich spells it 'ff' on her 3rd concerto cd. If it matters, so does Horowitz, at least on the 1978 recording. Oddly enough, Argerich's recording of the piano suites with Rabinovitch spells it 'v'. My personal favorite Rachmaninoff recording, the Slatkin orchestral works, spells it 'ff'. Emanuel Ax's recordings always spell it 'ff.' Orozco's concerto recordings spell if 'ff'; Zimmerman spells it 'ov'. All of my printed music uses the 'ff' spelling.

By habit I prefer 'Rachmaninoff'.
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Offline midid876

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #8 on: January 01, 2005, 05:23:19 AM
In Rachmaninoff's tome stone it is spelled Rachmaninoff.

Offline chozart

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #9 on: January 01, 2005, 05:37:19 AM
all that taken into account, I'm still much more accustomed to Rachmaninov

can't really say whether or not I prefer one of the other though :roll:
Music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music."
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Offline allchopin

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #10 on: January 01, 2005, 07:35:38 AM
Rachmaninoff is too long, I think we can all agree: Rach seems to be the most convenient surname.
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Offline Nightscape

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #11 on: January 01, 2005, 08:38:57 AM
So do you pronounce Rach "Rock" or "Rah-ch"?

Offline chozart

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #12 on: January 01, 2005, 07:24:58 PM
uh I'm not sure how the latter is supposed to go, but I say "Ra-h" with like a sort of strong h.. the same way I say Bach (not with the k sound).
Music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Glissando

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #13 on: January 01, 2005, 07:50:06 PM
So do you pronounce Rach "Rock" or "Rah-ch"?

I pronounce Rach like Bach- sounds kewlest IMO. :)
I want a t shirt that says "Rach On!" LOL only problem is that hardly anyone would get the joke and I'd get a *lot* of strange looks. hehehe. :D

Offline squinchy

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #14 on: January 01, 2005, 09:07:08 PM


I pronounce Rach like Bach- sounds kewlest IMO. :)
I want a t shirt that says "Rach On!" LOL only problem is that hardly anyone would get the joke and I'd get a *lot* of strange looks. hehehe. :D

It'd be a great way to identify pianists and musicians, though! :-D
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Offline willcowskitz

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #15 on: January 01, 2005, 09:46:43 PM
Рахманинов

That's how it's spelled in Russian. Phonetically, this would be Rachmaninov.

Actually, each letter transliterated to latin alphabet would go Rahmaninov. Russian "v" is harder than in English, same goes for "r", which means that if you're native English speaker you probably are pronouncing it wrong anyway, so we shouldn't care too much about how to "correctly" write it. Personally I hate it when names are translated to different languages, like Jean Sébastien Bach, Jean Sibelius (Johan Sibelius), Sergey/Sergei/Serge Prokofiev/Prokofieff/Prokofiew/Prokofjev, Cziffra György -> Georges Cziffra (György being spelled D-yoe-rd-y-), etc.  Its very confusing sometimes.

Offline anda

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #16 on: January 01, 2005, 09:50:36 PM

Personally I hate it when names are translated to different languages, like Jean Sébastien Bach, Jean Sibelius (Johan Sibelius), Sergey/Sergei/Serge Prokofiev/Prokofieff/Prokofiew/Prokofjev, Cziffra György -> Georges Cziffra (György being spelled D-yoe-rd-y-), etc.  Its very confusing sometimes.

isn't it "jan sibelius"?

Offline willcowskitz

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #17 on: January 01, 2005, 09:57:45 PM
isn't it "jan sibelius"?

It is possible that Johan became Jean (just like Johann Bach became Jean Bach) and Jean became Jan, or it was originally Jan and I've been getting misinformation. If anyone has knowledge, please share.

Offline xvimbi

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #18 on: January 02, 2005, 02:22:02 AM
It is possible that Johan became Jean (just like Johann Bach became Jean Bach) and Jean became Jan, or it was originally Jan and I've been getting misinformation. If anyone has knowledge, please share.

Sibelius' name is Johan Julius Christian Sibelius. The "Jean" is not a translation into French. He was called "Janne" as a child and later adopted the first name of an uncle, Jean Sibelius.

Offline willcowskitz

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #19 on: January 02, 2005, 02:28:49 AM
Johan Julius Christian, that's right I thought I had heard that somewhere! The name "Jean" was indeed from his uncle, but even his name was originally Johan, until he started to write his name as "Jean" in French style because it was popular at the time, and more cosmopolitan or whatever vain reasons they had.

Offline Bacfokievrahms

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #20 on: January 02, 2005, 07:14:40 AM
I read a biography of rachmaninoff where it said that one day he was signing his name in english with both his hands with his eyes closed and his left hand signed the name Rachmaninov and his right hand signed the name Rachmaninoff, i'm pretty sure that's why his name's spelled different ways.

Offline aki

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #21 on: January 03, 2005, 06:51:11 AM
According to GoogleFight, "rachmanivov" wins over "rachmaninoff"
Here's the proof:
https://www.googlefight.com/cgi-bin/compare.pl?q1=rachmaninoff&q2=rachmaninov&B1=Make+a+fight%21&compare=1&langue=us

But I prefer Rachmaninoff..

Offline donjuan

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Re: Rachmaninov or Rachmaninoff
Reply #22 on: January 03, 2005, 07:21:54 AM
I read once that the composer signed his name -ff and in the book was even a picture of the signature. 
so just use Rachmanino"ff" okay??
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