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: Symphony No 3, Symphonic Dances / Slatkin, Detroit
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573051   Number of Discs: 1
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Yevgeny Sudbin plays Medtner & Rachmaninov
Release Date: 02/12/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1848   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Paganini Rhapsody / Jandó
Release Date: 06/30/1992   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550117   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite;  Rachmaninov / Argerich
Release Date: 11/04/2008   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 410616   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 1, Isle Of The Dead / Slatkin, Detroit
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573234   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Browse 1-25 of 113 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Rhapsody & The Two Pigeons / Ashton, Wordsworth, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7180 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  André Messager
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 2.
    Rhapsody & The Two Pigeons / Ashton, Wordsworth, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House [DVD]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1187 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  André Messager
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 3.
    Royal Ballet: The Collection [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7210 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Adolphe Adam,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Clark,  Anssi Karttunen
    Conductor:  Boris Gruzin,  Valeriy Ovsyanikov,  Martin Yates,  Koen Kessels  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Max Richter Quintet
    Blu-ray Video: $148.99
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  • 4.
    Royal Ballet: The Collection [DVD]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1222 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Adolphe Adam,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Clark,  Anssi Karttunen
    Conductor:  Boris Gruzin,  Valeriy Ovsyanikov,  Martin Yates,  Koen Kessels  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Max Richter Quintet
    DVD: $148.99
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  • 5.
    Julius Katchen: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002543002 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Katchen,  Thea King
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    On sale! $111.98
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  • 6.
    Simon Rattle & His Soloists: The CBSO Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555058 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Nigel Kennedy,  Lynn Harrell,  Marielle Labčque  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta
    CD: $49.99
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  • 7.
    Rachmaninoff: Paganini Rhapsody; Dohnanyi: Variations on a Nursery Song; Dvorak: Symphonic Variations / Sargent, Smith, Philharmonia
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2420 Release Date: 02/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ernö von Dohnányi,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Cyril Smith
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 8.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1-4, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini / Luisi, De La Salle, Philharmonia Zurich
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 104 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lise De la Salle
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Zürich
    CD: $39.99
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  • 9.
    Rachmaninov Variations / Nezet-Seguin,Trifonov, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002335702 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Daniil Trifonov
    Performer:  Daniil Trifonov
    Conductor:  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Rachmaninov: Complete RCA Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88843073922 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Fritz Kreisler,  Natalie Rachmaninov,  Nadezhda Plevitskaya
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Eugene Ormandy,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 11.
    Claudio Abbado New Years Eve Concerts Box [3 Blu-rays]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2013504 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Bryn Terfel,  Roberto Alagna,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $88.99
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  • 12.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Concertos
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 6005 Release Date: 01/20/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Byron Janis,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Abbey Simon  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Pavel Kogan,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Piano Concertos [Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002155902 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Tamás Vásáry
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch,  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $57.49
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  • 15.
    Rachmaninov: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002145102 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn,  Peter Jablonski,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Stanislaw Wislocki  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Goldner String Quartet,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 16.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete DG Recordings, Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $175.98
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  • 17.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Piano Concertos / Rudy, Jansons, 	St. Petersburg Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 627827 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Mikhail Rudy
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    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
    On sale! $51.98
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  • 19.
    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
    CD: $53.99
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    Liszt: Paganini Variations; Rachmaninov: Paganini Rhapsody / Tzimon Barto
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1230 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Tzimon Barto
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 23.
    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! $119.98
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  • 24.
    Fritz Reiner - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 370198 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 63
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Rolf Liebermann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz,  Emil Gilels,  Inge Borkh  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Lyric Theatre Chorus,  Studio Orchestra
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    On sale! $199.98
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  • 25.
    Leon Fleisher - The Complete Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 545997 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  César Franck,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Jules Eskin,  Benita Valente,  Harold Wright  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Seiji Ozawa,  Leon Fleisher,  Szymon Goldberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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