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: 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 / Handley, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 09/14/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28220   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 101-125 of 155 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Rachmaninov: Orchestral Works / Mariss Jansons
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75510 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mikhail Rudy
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Goerner, Et Al
    Label: Cascavelle   Catalog: 3051 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Blumenfeld,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nelson Goerner
    Conductor:  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 103.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1-4, Etc / Marshev, Loughran
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 582 Release Date: 09/03/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Oleg Marshev
    Conductor:  James Loughran
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Rachmaninov, Prokofiev: Piano Concertos / Cherkassky, Et Al
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4092 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Shura Cherkassky
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano,  Rudolf Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3;  Et Al / Lang Lang, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80582 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Traditional,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lang Lang
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Gieseking - 3 Legendary Concert Performances
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1095 Release Date: 02/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  César Franck,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No 2 & 3 / Bronfman, Salonen
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 89734 Release Date: 09/11/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Nakamatsu
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907286 Release Date: 09/11/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jon Nakamatsu
    Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 109.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 0897342 Release Date: 08/29/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
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  • 110.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Rhapsody / Pennario, Et Al
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 74522 Release Date: 08/14/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Walter Susskind
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Philips 50 - Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto, Etc / Argerich
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 464732 Release Date: 05/08/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nelson Freire,  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 112.
    Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos / Horowitz, Et Al
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4963 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Serge Koussevitzky,  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Walter Gieseking In Performance- Rachmaninov: Piano Concerti
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4250 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Volodos, Levine
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64384 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Arcadi Volodos
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Music / Idil Biret
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501005 Release Date: 08/15/2000   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  John Stafford Smith,  Franz Behr,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Idil Biret
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
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  • 116.
    Rakhmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Lill, Otaka
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5348 Release Date: 06/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  John Lill
    Conductor:  Tadaaki Otaka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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  • 117.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Horowitz, Ormandy
    Label: Rca Red Seal Hp   Catalog: 663681 Release Date: 06/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 118.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos, Etc;  Tchaikovsky /Rudy, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 73765 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Mikhail Rudy
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 119.
    Rachmaninoff World Premieres / Jeffrey Reid Baker
    Label: Jrb   Catalog: 2002 Release Date: 01/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Jeffrey Reid Baker
    Performer:  Jeffrey Reid Baker
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  • 120.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 2 & 3 / Ashkenazy, Kondrashin
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 466375 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 121.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 2 & 3 / Ogawa, Hughes
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 900 Release Date: 01/25/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Noriko Ogawa
    Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malmö Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 122.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 3 / Glemser, Wit
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550810 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Bernd Glemser
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 123.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Piano Concertos / Vásáry, Ahronovitch
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 453136 Release Date: 07/14/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Tamás Vásáry
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos, Etc / Ashkenazy, Previn
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 455234 Release Date: 08/12/1997   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  André Previn,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4613482 Release Date: 06/30/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Peter Katin,  Alicia De Larrocha
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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