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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Emil Gilels Legacy Vol 7 - Rachmaninov
Release Date: 09/02/2003   Label: Doremi Records  
Catalog: 7815   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No  3, Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini / Sudbin, Shui, Singapore Symphony
Release Date: 02/28/2012   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1988   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Trios / Ashkenazy, Visontay, Lidstrom
Release Date: 09/17/2013   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001903402   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Etudes-tableaux / Nicholas Angelich
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 951547   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Browse 101-125 of 149 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 1, Paganini Rhapsody / Pletnev
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 61976 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Conductor:  Libor Pesek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 102.
    101 Great Orchestral Classics
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550001 Release Date: 01/25/2002   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Erik Satie,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
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  • 103.
    Essential Rachmaninoff - 15 Of His Greatest Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470457 Release Date: 01/15/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Fritz Kreisler
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber,  John Lenehan,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Rafael Orozco  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Nikolai Korniev,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Edo De Waart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Chamber Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 104.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Nakamatsu
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907286 Release Date: 09/11/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jon Nakamatsu
    Conductor:  Christopher Seaman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Rhapsody / Pennario, Et Al
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 74522 Release Date: 08/14/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Walter Susskind
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Rachmaninov: Great Works For Solo Piano / John Lill
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1736 Release Date: 04/03/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  John Lill
    Conductor:  Tadaaki Otaka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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  • 107.
    Eloquence - Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467446 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Richard Addinsell,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cristina Ortiz
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Moshe Atzmón,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 108.
    New Years Gala 1997 - A Tribute To Carmen / Abbado
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 100027 Release Date: 10/03/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Manuel de Falla,  Maurice Ravel,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Gil Shaham,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Bryn Terfel,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 109.
    Rachmaninov Panorama / Richter, Ashkenazy...
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469178 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Ryszard Karczykowski,  Tom Krause,  Natalia Troîtskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  André Previn,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Stanislaw Wislocki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 110.
    The Only Classical Album You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5513322 Release Date: 09/02/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Antonín Dvorák,  Edvard Grieg,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
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  • 111.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1 And 4, Etc/ Glemser, Wit
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550809 Release Date: 08/23/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Bernd Glemser
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 112.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Music / Idil Biret
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501005 Release Date: 08/15/2000   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  John Stafford Smith,  Franz Behr,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Idil Biret
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
    CD: $88.99
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  • 113.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 35 - Rachmaninoff / Reiner
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63035 Release Date: 08/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Rhapsody / Rösel, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3205 Release Date: 05/23/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Peter Rösel
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos, Etc;  Tchaikovsky /Rudy, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 73765 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Mikhail Rudy
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 116.
    William Kapell Edition Vol 3 - Rachmaninoff: Concerto No 2
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68992 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  William Kapell
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia
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  • 117.
    Warsaw Concerto / Jean-yves Thibaudet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460503 Release Date: 06/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  George Gershwin,  Richard Addinsell
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 118.
    William Kapell Edition
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68442 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 9
    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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  • 119.
    Rachmaninov: Paganini Variations, Corelli Variations, 6 Preludes
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457906 Release Date: 09/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lazar Berman,  Tamás Vásáry
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 120.
    The Berlin Gala - A Salute To Carmen / Abbado, Von Otter, Terfel, Pletnev, Shaham, Bpo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457583 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Gil Shaham,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra,  South Tirol Children's Choir
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  • 121.
    Saint-saëns: Piano Concerto No 2;  Rachmaninoff / Davidovich
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 410052 Release Date: 10/30/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Bella Davidovich
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 122.
    Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody;  Falla, Chopin / Rubinstein, Reiner
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 68886 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Manuel de Falla,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein,  Enrique Jorda,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 123.
    Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos, Etc / Ashkenazy, Previn
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 455234 Release Date: 08/12/1997   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2 / Katchen
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448604 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ernö von Dohnányi
    Performer:  Julius Katchen
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Rachmaninoff - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68788 Release Date: 04/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario,  Kathryn Stott,  Byron Janis,  Alexis Weissenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Charles Munch,  Eugene Ormandy,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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