This historical example should help us to better realize just how damaging our words can be to others. It’s probable that Cesar Cui never intended to bring about such a negative psychological reaction in Rachmaninoff. He probably thought that such criticism was for Rachmaninoff’s own good. That’s how many of us sometimes justify the unkind way in which we speak to or write about others.
Words really can hurt others – just as much as they can heal when wisely chosen.
Ultimately, with the supportive words of others, Rachmaninoff emerged from his depression, and in 1901, he completed and performed his Piano Concerto No.2 which was enthusiastically received. Then followed his illustrious career as a composer who performed all over the world.