A Lifetime in Music
Sergei Bertensson and Jay Leyda, with the assistance of Sophia Satina
With a new introduction by David Butler Cannata
An indispensable and captivating document, now back in print!
Throughout his career as composer, conductor, and pianist, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943) was an intensely private individual. When Bertensson and Leyda's 1956 biography appeared, it lifted the veil of secrecy from several areas of Rachmaninoff's life, especially concerning the genesis of his compositions and how their critical reception affected him.
The authors consulted a number of people who knew Rachmaninoff, who worked with him, and who corresponded with him. Even with the availabilty of such sources and full access to the Rachmaninoff Archive at the Library of Congress, Bertensson, Leyda, and were tireless in their pursuit of privately held documents, particularly correspondence. The wonderfully engaging product of their labors masterfully incorporates primary materials into the narrative. Almost half a century after it first appeared, this volume remains essential reading.
Sergei Bertensson, who knew Rachmaninoff, published other works on music and film, often with a documentary emphasis.
Jay Leyda wrote extensively on Russian music and film, as well as on American literature.
David Butler Cannata is Professor of Music at Boyer College of Music, Temple University.
Sophia Satina was Rachmaninoff's sister-in-law and cousin.
Russian Music Studies—Malcolm Hamrick Brown, founding editor
Introduction to the 2000 Reprint, by David Cannata
1. Zverev and His Cubs
2. A New Family
3. Aleko and "Free Artist"
4. Deaths and Failure
5. Second Concerto
6. Imperial Theater
7. Operas and Projects
10. First American Tour
11. "Re" and The Bells
12. War and Night Vigil
14. Ties with Russia
15. The Composer Resumes
16. Work and Rest
17. Exile Reinforced
18. Senar and Rapsodie
19. The "Russian" Symphony
20. The Composer Rebuffed
21. Retreat from Europe
22. Symphonic Dances
Notes on the Text
Appendix 1. Works