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 Concerto No 2 / Ardakov, Gibson
Release Date: 01/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 29210   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 / Wang, Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO
Release Date: 10/08/2013   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001910202   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Paganini Rhapsody / Matsuev
Release Date: 02/09/2010   Label: Mariinsky  
Catalog: 505   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Handley, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 09/14/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28220   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Gergiev, London SO
Release Date: 05/11/2010   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 677   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Browse 76-100 of 147 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Label: Pomaton   Catalog: 3489232 Release Date: 11/18/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Johann Pachelbel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Queffélec,  Cécile Ousset,  Giulio Franzetti,  Izzy  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Simon Rattle,  Riccardo Muti,  Michael Nyman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic soloists
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  • 77.
    Rachmaninov: Paganini Rhapsody; Dohnanyi, Liszt, Lutoslawski / Jablonski, Schiff, Et Al
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4767671 Release Date: 08/15/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt,  Ernö von Dohnányi,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Peter Jablonski,  Peter Katin,  András Schiff
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Jean Martinon,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philarmonic Orquestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 78.
    Surround Yourself With Rachmaninov / Otaka, Lill
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 9003 Release Date: 05/10/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  John Lill
    Conductor:  Tadaaki Otaka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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  • 79.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Etc / Lang Lang, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000427836 Release Date: 04/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lang Lang
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
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  • 80.
    Maksim - (The) Piano Player
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57522 Release Date: 03/01/2005  
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Edvard Grieg,  Ernest Gold,  Tonci Huljic  ... 
    Performer:  Maksim
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  • 81.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Etc / Lang Lang, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000390202 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lang Lang
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 82.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Variations, Etc / Lugansky, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 60613 Release Date: 10/12/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 83.
    Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos, Etc / Hough, Litton, Et Al
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67501/2 Release Date: 10/12/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Stephen Hough
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Degaetano Plays Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No 2, Etc
    Label: Crystonyx   Catalog: 1005 Release Date: 10/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Robert DeGaetano
    Conductor:  Kirk Trevor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 85.
    Gemini - Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos / Ricardo Muti, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85779 Release Date: 08/10/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Andrei Gavrilov
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Arthur Rubinstein Plays
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4275 Release Date: 05/25/2004  
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein
    On sale! $29.95
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  • 87.
    Producers' Showcase - Festival Of Music Volume 2
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4245 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Various Artists  ... 
    Performer:  Andrés Segovia,  Boris Christoff,  Artur Rubinstein,  Marian Anderson  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Showcase Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 88.
    Original Masters - Ferenc Fricsay - A Life In Music
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085402 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Frank Martin,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Gottfried von Einem,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Performer:  Irmgard Helmis,  Gerty Herzog,  Sylvia Kind,  Diana Eustrati  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus  ... 
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  • 89.
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5513662 Release Date: 07/19/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin,  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Kazakevich,  Ricardo Castro,  Ewa Poblocka,  Alfredo Perl  ... 
    Conductor:  Tadeusz Wojciechowski,  Leonard Slatkin,  Jonathan Sheffer,  Géza Anda  ... 
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  • 90.
    Rachmaninov / Degoumois, Vlaiculescu, Bulgarian Radio So
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 84 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Roland Degoumois
    Conductor:  George Vlaiculescu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4, Rhapsody / Wild, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10078 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Earl Wild
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 92.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Rhapsody On Paganini  / Ashkenazy, Previn, Lso
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 000055202 Release Date: 06/10/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 93.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Etc / Haas, Inbal, Et Al
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186114 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Werner Haas
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Trio - Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos, Etc / Ashkenazy, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473251 Release Date: 01/14/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $23.99
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  • 95.
    Rachmaninov: Orchestral Works / Mariss Jansons
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75510 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mikhail Rudy
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 96.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1-4, Etc / Marshev, Loughran
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 582 Release Date: 09/03/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Oleg Marshev
    Conductor:  James Loughran
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 97.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1 & 4 / Entremont, Ormandy
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 89962 Release Date: 08/06/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Philippe Entremont
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $6.99
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  • 98.
    A Bride's Guide To Wedding Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503134 Release Date: 02/19/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  Théodore Dubois,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
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  • 99.
    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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  • 100.
    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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