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 / Bruffy
Release Date: 03/10/2015   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5148   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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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: Songs / Sergei Leiferkus, Howard Shelley
Release Date: 08/22/1995   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9374   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: The Piano Trios / Borodin Trio
Release Date: 09/30/1992   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 8341   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Browse 26-50 of 113 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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  ... 
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    CD: $164.49
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  • 27.
    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
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    CD: $29.99
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  • 28.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
    CD: $154.99
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  • 29.
    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: $58.99
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    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
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    CD: $21.49
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  • 32.
    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: $44.49
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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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,  Evgeny 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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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    Simon Rattle - Russian Music
    Label: Warner 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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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Rhapsody / Ousset, Rattle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 47223 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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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.
    Benno Moiseiwitsch Plays Delius And Rachmaninov
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2326 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Benno Moiseiwitsch
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Hugo Rignold
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 49.
    Basics - Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Etc / Rosel
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8558 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Peter Rösel
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 50.
    Rachmaninov: Rhapsody On Paganini / Plasson, Collard
    Label: Emi Laser Series   Catalog: 62745 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
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