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: All-Night Vigil (Vespers) / Halsey, London Symphony Chorus
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 781   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: The Isle Of The Dead, Etc / Jurowski, Et Al
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 4   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3; Balakirev: Russia / Gergiev, London Symphony
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 779   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Songs / Julia & Elena Sukmanova
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Hänssler Classic  
Catalog: 16024   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No 1, Etc / Martin Cousin
Release Date: 05/30/2006   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 48   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Browse 26-50 of 120 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Paremski Plays Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 44 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Natasha Paremski
    Conductor:  Fabien Gabel
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 28.
    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
    Recommendation
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $195.99
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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $164.49
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  • 31.
    Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos / Lisitsa, Francis, LSO
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001811702 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Valentina Lisitsa
    Conductor:  Michael Francis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $29.99
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  • 32.
    Rhapsodie: Prism Of 20th Century Music
    Label: Origin Classical   Catalog: 33016 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marcel Grandjany,  André Caplet,  Marcel Tournier,  Toshiro Mayuzumi  ... 
    Performer:  Yumiko Endo Schlaffer
    CD: $14.99
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  • 33.
    Icon - John Ogdon
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4637 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Paul Dukas,  Henri Dutilleux,  Florent Schmitt,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Lawrence Foster,  Paavo Berglund,  John Pritchard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $64.49
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  • 34.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 35.
    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: $6.99
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  • 36.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1 & 4, Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini / Ogawa, Hughes
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 975 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Noriko Ogawa
    Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malmö Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $21.49
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  • 37.
    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
    Recommendation
    CD: $43.99
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  • 38.
    Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Lutoslawski / Peter Jablonski
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436239 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Peter Jablonski
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 39.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No  3, Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini / Sudbin, Shui, Singapore Symphony
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1988 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin
    Conductor:  Lan Shui
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Singapore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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
    Recommendation
    CD: $29.99
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  • 42.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $98.99
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  • 43.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1 & 4, Paganini Rhapsody / Trpceski, Petrenko
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2191 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Simon Trpceski
    Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 44.
    Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini; Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 7; Stravinsky: Three Scenes From Petruschka
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5020 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Igor Stravinsky,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Shura Cherkassky
    Conductor:  Zdenek Macal
    CD: $17.99
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  • 45.
    Saint-saens: Piano Concerto No. 2; Liszt; Rachmaninov
    Label: Cascavelle   Catalog: 3151 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Elisso Bolkvadze
    Conductor:  Jansug Kakhidze
    On sale! $27.98
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  • 46.
    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
    CD: $21.99
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  • 47.
    Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff /   Francois Du Toit,  Omri Hadari
    Label: Twopianists (Label)   Catalog: 1039060 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Francois du Toit
    Conductor:  Omri Hadari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cape Town Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 48.
    Great Pianists Vol 1 / Backhaus, Rubinstein, Kraus
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2349 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lili Kraus,  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Guido Cantelli,  Victor De Sabata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
    Recommendation
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  • 49.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Paganini Rhapsody / Matsuev
    Label: Mariinsky   Catalog: 505 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Denis Matsuev
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On A Theme / Jean Philippe Collard
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97170 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard
    On sale! $11.97
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