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 Sonatas / Xiayin Wang
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10816   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4, Rhapsody / Wild, Et Al
Release Date: 06/24/2003   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10078   Number of Discs: 2
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Rachmaninov: Transcriptions For Orchestra / Järvi, Detroit
Release Date: 03/22/1994   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9261   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Francesca Da Rimini / Noseda, Et Al
Release Date: 12/04/2007   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10442   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: The Isle Of The Dead,
Release Date: 06/24/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10475   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18

Browse 1-25 of 202 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Complete Rca And Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 2.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos, Rhapsody / Ashkenazy, Previn [2 CDs + 1 Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002033502 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 2 (1969-1984)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633624 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 4.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Works for Piano / Ashkenazy
    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
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  • 5.
    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  ... 
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    The Westminster Legacy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999302 Release Date: 02/18/2014   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Lucretia West,  Hans Loeffler,  Frederick Guthrie  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Pierre Monteux,  René Leibowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 9.
    Sergiu Celibidache In Caracas, 1956
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 543 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Judith James,  Albert Ferber
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
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  • 10.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 11.
    Gary Graffman - The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546239 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Berl Senofsky,  Shirley Trepel,  Dick Hyman  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Enrique Jorda,  Charles Munch,  Walter Hendl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    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,  Rene Defossez  ... 
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  • 13.
    Label: Elan Recordings   Catalog: 82402 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Santiago Rodríguez
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 14.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 4229 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Alexander Brailowsky
    Conductor:  Enrique Jorda
    CD: $13.99
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  • 15.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1402 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $9.99
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  • 16.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2; Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue / Matsuev, Gilbert
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 549260 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Denis Matsuev
    Conductor:  Alan Gilbert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $12.99
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  • 17.
    Label: Audiophile Classics   Catalog: 7704142 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Max Trapp,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
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  • 18.
    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  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
    On sale! $201.98
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  • 21.
    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! $18.98
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    Richter Plays Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninov
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002017 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 24.
    The Art Of Valery Gergiev
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1083441 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Olga Borodina,  Lang Lang,  Sergei Levitin,  Alexander Toradze  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra  ... 
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    On sale! $61.99
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  • 25.
    Icon - John Ogdon
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 4637 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Paul Dukas,  Henri Dutilleux,  Florent Schmitt,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Lawrence Foster,  Paavo Berglund,  John Pritchard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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