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: Symphonic Dances, The Bells / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 08/27/2013   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 845192   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18

Browse 76-100 of 193 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Les Rarissimes De Aldo Ciccolini
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 385265 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Borodin,  Anton Arensky,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
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  • 77.
    Rachmaninoff: Concerto No 2;  Tchaikovsky / Pennario, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67315 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario
    Conductor:  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 78.
    Benno Moiseiwitsch Plays Delius And Rachmaninov
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2326 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Hugo Rignold
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 79.
    Addinsell: Warsaw Concerto;  Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 414348 Release Date: 10/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Addinsell,  Louis Moreau Gottschalk,  Henry Charles Litolff,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Cristina Ortiz
    Conductor:  Moshe Atzmón
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 80.
    Basics - Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Etc / Rosel
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8558 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Peter Rösel
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 81.
    Evgeny Kissin- A Musical Portrait
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60567 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  Vladimir Spivakov,  Valery Gergiev,  Andrey Chistiakov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 82.
    Eugene List - The Great Piano Concertos - Grieg, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Mozart
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 3504 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Eugene List
    Conductor:  Matthias Kuntsch,  Zlatko Topolski,  Siegfried Landau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra,  Vienna Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 83.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 2 & 3 / Hough, Litton, Et Al
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67649 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Stephen Hough
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4, Etc / Anievas, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 00871 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Agustin Anievas
    Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,  Moshe Atzmón
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 85.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto 2, Rhapsody On Paganini / Fowke
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 9509 Release Date: 08/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Philip Fowke
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 86.
    John Ogdon - 70th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 92747 Release Date: 08/14/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  John Ogdon,  Henry Charles Litolff,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Louis Frémaux,  Sir John Barbirolli,  John Pritchard,  Paavo Berglund  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 87.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos, Etc / Ian Hobson, Et Al
    Label: Zephyr   Catalog: 7 Release Date: 07/17/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Ian Hobson
    Conductor:  Ian Hobson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
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  • 88.
    William Kapell - Unissued Broadcasts
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1109 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  William Kapell
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 89.
    The Russian Piano Tradition - Richter, Zak, Oborin
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 6005 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Yakov Zak,  Lev Oborin,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Konstantin Ivanov,  Alexander Gauk,  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  USSR Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4 / Nikolai Lugansky
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 63675 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2; Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini
    Label: Naxos Historical   Catalog: 913854 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
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  • 92.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2;  Hummel / Blumental, Et Al
    Label: Brana Records   Catalog: 12 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Felicja Blumental
    Conductor:  Helmuth Froschauer,  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Musikgesellschaft Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Piano Concertos - Beethoven, Haydn, Etc / Rösel, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2832 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Kurt Masur,  Kurt Sanderling,  Herbert Kegel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 94.
    Helene Grimaud - Collected Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 63265 Release Date: 10/17/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Kurt Masur,  David Zinman,  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 95.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4 / Mistchuk, Et Al
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 797600 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Mishtchuk,  Andrei Pisarev,  Peter Dmitriev
    Conductor:  Samuel Friedmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 96.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 2 & 4 / Ashkenazy, Haitink
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000639102 Release Date: 05/16/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 2 & 3 / Berezovsky, Et Al
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 8 Release Date: 03/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Boris Berezovsky
    Conductor:  Dmitry Liss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ural State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 98.
    Gemini - Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos 1-4, Etc / Anievas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76948 Release Date: 02/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Agustin Anievas
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,  Moshe Atzmón,  Aldo Ceccato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1-4, Etc / Marshev, Loughran
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 582/83 Release Date: 02/03/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Oleg Marshev
    Conductor:  James Loughran
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1-4, Etc / Shelley, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 24130 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Howard Shelley
    Conductor:  Bryden Thomson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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