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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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4, Rhapsody / Wild, Et Al
Release Date: 06/24/2003   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10078   Number of Discs: 2
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Rachmaninov: Transcriptions For Orchestra / Järvi, Detroit
Release Date: 03/22/1994   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9261   Number of Discs: 1
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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: The Isle Of The Dead,
Release Date: 06/24/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10475   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Browse 26-50 of 148 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 1918 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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
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    CD: $29.99
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  • 29.
    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  ... 
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  • 30.
    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
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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001533802 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Yuja Wang
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 34.
    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
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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
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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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
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  • 39.
    Simon Rattle - Russian Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97597 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Felix Kok,  Andrei Gavrilov,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    CD: $54.49
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  • 40.
    Rachmaninov Goes To Hollywood
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457132 Release Date: 06/19/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lazar Berman,  Tamás Vásáry
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Yuri Ahronovitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Legendary Russian Pianists
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9014 Release Date: 06/02/2009   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Kerer,  Konstantin Igumnov,  Yakov Flier,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Gauk,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  David Oistrakh,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  USSR Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 42.
    Label: Sally Fletcher   Catalog: 5637320925 Release Date: 05/05/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Giacomo Puccini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Sally Fletcher
    CD: $18.99
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  • 43.
    Best Concertos 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64739 Release Date: 03/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  George Gershwin,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Hough,  Wayne Marshall,  Ralph Markham,  Kenneth Broadway  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Wayne Marshall,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Aalborg Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 44.
    Romantic Adagios / Svetlanov, Marturet, Et Al
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17749 Release Date: 01/13/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Jacques Offenbach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Dubravka Tomsic,  Herbert Waltl,  Marian Pivka,  Marián Lapsansky  ... 
    Conductor:  Frank Shipway,  Eduardo Marturet,  Theodore Bloomfield,  Oliver Dohnányi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 45.
    An Hour With Rachmaninov
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 731246 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Arcadi Volodos,  Shigeo Neriki,  János Starker  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Yuri Temirkanov,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 46.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 2 & 3, Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, Piano Sonata No 2, Etc
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80737 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    CD: $11.99
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  • 47.
    Eva Knardahl - Great Norwegian Performers 1945-2000, Vol 2
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1831 Release Date: 07/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christian Sinding,  Halfdan Kjerulf,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Eva Knardahl
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Basics 25-cd Boxset
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 186002 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 49.
    Rachmaninoff: The Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 765706 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Alexander Brailowsky,  Kathryn Stott,  Anna Moffo,  Alexis Weissenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Enrique Jorda,  Leopold Stokowski,  Eugene Ormandy,  Charles Munch  ... 
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  • 50.
    Melodie D'amore - Liszt, Debussy, Labeniz, Etc / Chiaro
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2906 Release Date: 01/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Offenbach,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Giovanni De Chiaro
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