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: Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36

Browse 1-25 of 112 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Rachmaninoff & Liszt: Piano Sonatas / Krausz
    Label: Budapest Music Center/Bmc (Hungary)   Catalog: 223 Release Date: 04/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Adrienne Krausz
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  • 2.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 3.
    Rachmaninoff: Complete Piano Works / Pizarro
    Label: Odradek   Catalog: 601 Release Date: 01/22/2016   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Fritz Kreisler
    Performer:  Artur Pizarro
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    CD: $48.99
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  • 4.
    Rachmaninov, Haydn, Ravel / Lefevre
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29296 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Alain Lefčvre
    CD: $18.49
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  • 5.
    Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings (1966-1983)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 305458 Release Date: 10/23/2015   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 6.
    Russian Emigres
    Label: Vivat   Catalog: 109 Release Date: 08/21/2015  
    Composer:  Alissa Firsova,  Elena Firsova,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Dmitri Smirnov
    Performer:  Alissa Firsova
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    Label: Yan Shen   Catalog: 5638540250 Release Date: 05/15/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mily Balakirev,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Roger Sessions
    Performer:  Yan Shen
    CD: $24.99
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  • 8.
    111 - The Piano - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002281002 Release Date: 04/21/2015   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Géza Anda,  Martha Argerich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 9.
    Thunder On The Baltic: Grieg, Rachmaninov, Kutavichius, Chopin
    Label: Es-dur   Catalog: 2024 Release Date: 12/02/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Bronislovas Kutavicius
    Performer:  Petras Geniusas
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Rachmaninoff: Complete Piano Works, Vol 1 / Pizzaro
    Label: Odradek   Catalog: 315 Release Date: 11/03/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Artur Pizarro
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    CD: $28.99
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  • 11.
    Rachmaninov: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002145102 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn,  Peter Jablonski,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Stanislaw Wislocki  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Goldner String Quartet,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 12.
    Medtner: Sonata Romantica; Skazki; Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 2; Corelli Variations
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67936 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Medtner,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Steven Osborne
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  • 13.
    Rachmaninoff: Preludes; Piano Sonatas 1 & 2; Transcriptions
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 65 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Fritz Kreisler,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Sergio Fiorentino
    CD: $27.49
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  • 14.
    Rachmaninov, Gubaidulina, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 70 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sofia Gubaidulina,  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Yulia Chaplina
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  • 15.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas / Wang
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10816 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Xiayin Wang
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  • 16.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Works for Piano / Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002033002 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn,  Vovka Ashkenazy,  Dody Ashkenazy  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $53.99
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  • 17.
    Vladimir Horowitz plays Great Sonatas
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7884092 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 18.
    Lang Lang: The Romance of Rachmaninov
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002003702 Release Date: 03/18/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Vadim Repin,  Mischa Maisky
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Wild Dreams / Joyce Yang
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2261 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Paul Hindemith,  Béla Bartók,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Joyce Yang
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  • 20.
    Romantic Sonatas / Boris Giltburg
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100035 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Boris Giltburg
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  • 21.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition; Rachmaninov: Variations / Grace Francis
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2099 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Grace Francis
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  • 22.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Music / John Lill
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1331 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  John Lill
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  • 23.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Works / Alexei Volodin
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72587 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Alexei Volodin
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  • 24.
    Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Prokofiev
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 735 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Scriabin,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Konrad Skolarski
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    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
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