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 26-50 of 202 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Clifford Curzon Edition - Complete Recordings [23 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728400 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon,  Irmgard Seefried,  Horst Günther,  Julius Patzak  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  George Szell,  Benjamin Britten,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Paganini Rhapsody / Orozco, De Waart
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001707102 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Rafael Orozco
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    CD: $8.99
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  • 31.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Preludes (4)
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350056 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    Great Piano Concertos
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501056 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Stefan Vladar,  Idil Biret,  Eldar Nebolsin  ... 
    Conductor:  András Ligeti,  Mátyás Antal,  Barry Wordsworth,  Antoni Wit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concentus Hungaricus,  Capella Istropolitana,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 34.
    Icon - Alexis Weissenberg: The Champagne Pianist
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6790862 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Herbert von Karajan,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 35.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2 / Andsnes, Pappano, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6027595 Release Date: 03/13/2012  
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos / Rudy, Jansons, Leningrad Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85198 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    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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  • 37.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0104 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
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  • 38.
    Grieg, Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos / Sa Chen, Lawrence Foster, Gulbenkian Orchestra
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186444 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sa Chen
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Ultimate Piano Concerto Collection (W/Cdrom) (Box)
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9098 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Derek Han,  Evgeni Kissin,  Karin Lechner,  Klára Würtz  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Dmitri Kitayenko,  Eduardo Marturet  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Israel Chamber Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 40.
    Rakhmaninov: The Piano Concertos / John Lill, Tadaaki Otaka
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1720 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  John Lill
    Conductor:  Tadaaki Otaka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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  • 41.
    Rachmaninov Edition: Complete Works
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9071 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Earl Wild,  Olga Lutsiv-Ternovskaya,  Leonid Bomstein,  Viacheslav Pochapsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Leonard Slatkin,  Valeri Polyanskii  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 42.
    Piano Concertos - Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94095 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Karin Lechner,  Paolo Giacometti,  Nelson Freire  ... 
    Conductor:  Willfried Boettcher,  Heinz Wallberg,  Eduardo Marturet,  Arie Van Beek  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 43.
    Willen Van Otterloo: The Original Recordings: 1951-1966
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72383 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  César Franck,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Feike Asma,  Cor de Groot,  Theo Olof,  Herman Krebbers
    Conductor:  Willem van Otterloo
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  • 44.
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001533802 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Yuja Wang
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 45.
    Rachmaninov / Yuja Wang, Claudio Abbado, Mahler Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001533802 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Yuja Wang
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2;  Liszt: Piano Pieces / Nobuyuki Tsujii, Yutaka Sado
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72371 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Nobuyuki Tsujii
    Conductor:  Yutaka Sado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
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  • 47.
    Essential Rachmaninov
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07144 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Natalie Dessay,  John Ogdon,  Jean-Philippe Collard  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Michael Schoenwandt,  Stephen Cleobury,  Mariss Jansons  ... 
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  • 48.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2 / Ardakov, Gibson
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 29210 Release Date: 01/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Alexander Ardakov
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 49.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos 2 & 3
    Label: Cembal D'amour   Catalog: 155 Release Date: 12/21/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Shura Cherkassky
    Conductor:  Sergiu Comissiona,  Sten Frykberg
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  • 50.
    Zubin Mehta & The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra - Live Recordings 1963-2006 [12-CD Set]
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 9625 Release Date: 12/07/2010   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Radu Lupu,  Arie Vardi,  Yefim Bronfman,  Alicia De Larrocha  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonic Choir,  Scottish National Chorus  ... 
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