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. 1 - Balakirev: Tamara / Gergiev, London Symphony
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 0784   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Troika
Release Date: 09/30/2016   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 133   Number of Discs: 2
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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: Aleko / Raichev, Gyuselev, Kurshumov
Release Date: 12/23/1997   Label: Capriccio Records  
Catalog: 10782   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Aleko / Noseda, Murzaev, Akimov, BBC Philharmonic
Release Date: 04/27/2010   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10583   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Browse 1-25 of 127 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Julius Katchen: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002543002 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 36
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Katchen,  Thea King
    On sale! $111.98
    CD: $106.49
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  • 2.
    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
    On sale! $49.98
    CD: $47.99
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  • 3.
    Paganini & Beyond: Critic's Choice
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250338 Release Date: 04/15/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Karol Szymanowski  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin,  Géza Anda,  Thomas Zehetmair,  Silke Avenhaus  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Piano Duo
    CD: $22.99
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  • 4.
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-4; Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini
    Label: Philharmonia Records   Catalog: PHR0104 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lise de la Salle
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    CD: $39.99
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  • 7.
    Rachmaninov Variations / Daniil Trifonov
    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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    CD: $21.99
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  • 8.
    From The History Of The Tchaikovsky Competition Phonodocuments
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002349 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Naum Shtarkman,  Stefan Ruha,  Victoria Stefanescu,  Lev Vlasenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Boris Khaikin,  Neeme Järvi,  Fuat Mansurov  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 9.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 1; Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, Vol. 1
    Label: Claudio   Catalog: 6026 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sequeira Costa
    Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
    CD: $17.99
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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
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  • 11.
    Label: Luiz De Moura Castro   Catalog: 5638466297 Release Date: 04/15/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Ligia Amadio,  Sinfonie Orchestra Radio Television Slovenija,  Luiz de Moura Castro
    CD: $15.99
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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  ... 
    CD: $28.99
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  • 14.
    The Complete Rachmaninov Recordings (1937-43)  / Benno Moiseiwitsch
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 5505 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch
    Conductor:  Walter Goehr,  Basil Cameron
    CD: $17.99
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  • 15.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    The Lost Concerto Of Pavel Pabst
    Label: Cameo Classics   Catalog: 9021 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Paul Pabst
    Performer:  Panagiotis Trochopoulous
    Conductor:  Marius Stravinsky
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    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
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    Claudio Abbado: The Complete RCA & 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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    Rachmaninoff: Works For Piano And Orchestra
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2128 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Viktor Yeresko,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Peter Donohoe,  Nikolai Petrov  ... 
    Conductor:  Gennady Provatorov,  Kurt Sanderling,  Vladimir Fedoseyev,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    CD: $44.49
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  • 25.
    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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