Sergei Rachmaninov

Biography

Born: Apr 1, 1873; Russia   Died: Mar 28, 1943; USA   Period: 20th Century
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninov, born in Semyonovo, Russia, on April 1, 1873, is today remembered as one of the most formidable pianists of all time and the last truly great composer in the Russian Romantic tradition. Rachmaninov came from a music-loving, land-owning family; young Sergey's mother fostered the boy's innate talent by giving him his first piano lessons. After a decline in the family fortunes, the Rachmaninovs moved to St. Petersburg, Read more where Sergei studied with Vladimir Delyansky at the Conservatory. As his star continued to rise, Sergei went to the Moscow Conservatory, where he received a sound musical training: piano lessons from the strict disciplinarian Nikolay Zverev and Alexander Siloti (Rachmaninov's cousin), counterpoint with Taneyev, and harmony with Arensky. During his time at the Conservatory, Rachmaninov boarded with Zverev, whose weekly musical Sundays provided the young musician the valuable opportunity to make important contacts and to hear a wide variety of music.

As Rachmaninov's conservatory studies continued, his burgeoning talent came into full flower; he received the personal encouragement of Tchaikovsky, and, a year after earning a degree in piano, took the Conservatory's gold medal in composition for his opera Aleko (1892). Early setbacks in his compositional career -- particularly, the dismal reception of his Symphony No. 1 (1895) -- led to an extended period of depression and self-doubt, which he overcame with the aid of hypnosis. With the resounding success of his Piano Concerto No. 2 (1900-1901), however, his lasting fame as a composer was assured. The first decade of the twentieth century proved a productive and happy one for Rachmaninov, who during that time produced such masterpieces as the Symphony No. 2 (1907), the tone poem Isle of the Dead (1907), and the Piano Concerto No. 3 (1909). On May 12, 1902, the composer married his cousin, Natalya Satina.

By the end of the decade, Rachmaninov had embarked on his first American tour, which cemented his fame and popularity in the United States. He continued to make his home in Russia but left permanently following the Revolution in 1917; he thereafter lived in Switzerland and the United States between extensive European and American tours. While his tours included conducting engagements (he was twice offered, and twice refused, leadership of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), it was his astounding pianistic abilities which won him his greatest glory. Rachmaninov was possessed of a keyboard technique marked by precision, clarity, and a singular legato sense. Indeed, the pianist's hands became the stuff of legend. He had an enormous span -- he could, with his left hand, play the chord C-E flat-G-C-G -- and his playing had a characteristic power, which pianists have described as "cosmic" and "overwhelming." He is, for example, credited with the uncanny ability to discern, and articulate profound, mysterious movements in a musical composition which usually remain undetected by the superficial perception of rhythmic structures.

Fortunately for posterity, Rachmaninov recorded much of his own music, including the four piano concerti and what is perhaps his most beloved work, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934). He became an American citizen a few weeks before his death in Beverly Hills, CA, on March 28, 1943. Read less

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2 / Ardakov, Gibson
Release Date: 01/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 29210   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 / Wang, Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO
Release Date: 10/08/2013   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001910202   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Handley, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 09/14/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28220   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Paganini Rhapsody / Matsuev
Release Date: 02/09/2010   Label: Mariinsky  
Catalog: 505   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Gergiev, London SO
Release Date: 05/11/2010   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 677   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Browse 1-25 of 155 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Simon Rattle - Berlin Philharmoniker [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 59734 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Lisa Batiashvili,  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $99.99
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  • 2.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Works For Piano / Vladimir Ashkenazy  [11-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002033002 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn,  Vovka Ashkenazy,  Dody Ashkenazy  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $89.98
    CD: $71.99
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  • 3.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $125.98
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  • 4.
    William Kapell - Complete Recordings 1944-1953
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5431362 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell,  Jascha Heifetz,  William Primrose,  Edmund Kurtz
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Fritz Reiner,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Antal Doráti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Lang Lang: The Romance Of Rachmaninov
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002003702 Release Date: 03/18/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Vadim Repin,  Mischa Maisky
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Icon: Witold Malcuzynski - The Polish Master Pianist
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 924428 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Witold Malcuzynski
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Paul Kletzki,  Fritz Rieger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  French National Radio Orchestra
    On sale! $38.99
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  • 7.
    Piano Works 5: Rachmaninoff
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38505 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Boris Bloch
    Conductor:  David De Villiers
    On sale! $24.99
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  • 8.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 / Wang, Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001910202 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Yuja Wang
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548417 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Oratorio Society of New York
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  • 10.
    75 Years Ysaye & Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition [cd & Book]
    Label: Muso   Catalog: 5 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Pierre-Alain Volondat,  Wolfgang Manz,  Andrei Nikolsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz André,  Georgea Octors,  Edo De Waart,  Gilbert Varga  ... 
    CD: $55.49
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  • 11.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Rodriguez, Et Al
    Label: Elan Recordings   Catalog: 82412 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez
    Conductor:  Paul Anthony McRae
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lake Forest Symphony
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 12.
    Byron Janis - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 548440 Release Date: 04/16/2013   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  George Gershwin,  Ferde Grofé  ... 
    Performer:  Byron Janis
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $64.98
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  • 13.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 14.
    Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos / Lisitsa, Francis, LSO
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001811702 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Valentina Lisitsa
    Conductor:  Michael Francis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Van Cliburn - The Complete Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 540723 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 29
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  RCA Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $83.98
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  • 16.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 2 & 3 / Prats, Batiz, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1270 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jorge Luis Prats
    Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $13.98
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  • 17.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 / Rodriguez, Tabakov, Sofia Philharmonic
    Label: Elan Recordings   Catalog: 2220 Release Date: 12/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez
    Conductor:  Emil Tabakov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 18.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 19.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3; Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Argerich, Chailly, Kondrashin
    Label: K2 Hd   Catalog: 651 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Kiril Kondrashin
    On sale! $52.98
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  • 20.
    Eugene Ormandy Conducts 20th Century Classics
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5417202 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Van Cliburn,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Rutgers University Chorus
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  • 21.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto Nos. 1 & 3
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742702 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    CD: $8.99
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  • 22.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Piano Concertos / Andsnes, Pappano, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 19385 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Van Cliburn: Great Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7742852 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Eugene Ormandy,  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 24.
    Lang Lang - Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001697972 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Guo-Ren Lang,  Wu Yuxia,  Chen Shasha  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Valery Gergiev,  Long Yu,  Christoph Eschenbach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra,  Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China  ... 
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  • 25.
    Nikolai Lugansky Plays Chopin, Rachmaninov, Beethoven & Prokofiev
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 666189 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky,  Alexander Kniazev
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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