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 & Etudes-tableaux / Giltburg, Prieto, RSNO
Release Date: 09/08/2017   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573629   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Etudes-tableaux & Moments musicaux / Giltburg
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573469   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Complete Works For Cello And Piano / Grebanier
Release Date: 05/11/1999   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550987   Number of Discs: 1
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Medtner: Piano Concerto No 2;  Rachmaninov / North Carolina Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 11/24/2009   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1728   Number of Discs: 1
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Prokofiev, Rachmaninov: Cello Sonatas / Thedéen, Pöntinen
Release Date: 03/25/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 386   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36

Browse 1-25 of 86 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Cliburn Gold 2017 - 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition / Sunwoo
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002700802 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Marc-André Hamelin,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Yekwon Sunwoo
    CD: $21.99
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  • 2.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2 / Hayroudinoff
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4181 Release Date: 06/23/2017  
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Rustem Hayroudinoff
    CD: $18.99
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  • 3.
    Ruth Laredo plays Rachmaninoff: The Complete Music for Solo PIano
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875168352 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Ruth Laredo
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  • 4.
    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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  • 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   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alissa Firsova,  Elena Firsova,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Dmitri Smirnov
    Performer:  Alissa Firsova
    CD: $18.99
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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: $115.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Rachmaninoff: Sonata No. 2, Op. 36 (First Version)
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47761 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Alessandro Mazzamuto
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  • 18.
    Forgotten Melodies / Polina Leschenko
    Label: Avanti Classic   Catalog: 1039 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mischa Levitzki,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Medtner
    Performer:  Polina Leschenko
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 19.
    Irina Georgieva Plays Rachmaninoff
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 262 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Irina Georgieva
    CD: $15.99
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  • 20.
    Rachmaninoff: Moments Musicaux, Sonata No 2; Kreisler: Liebesfreud & Liebesleid / Rubinova
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553249 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Fritz Kreisler
    Performer:  Evgenia Rubinova
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    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Solo Piano Works
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9192 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez,  Alexander Ghindin,  Nils Franke,  Garrick Ohlsson  ... 
    CD: $44.49
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  • 22.
    Fiorentino Edition Vol 1 - The Berlin Recordings
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 33 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Sergio Fiorentino
    CD: $39.99
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  • 23.
    Simone Leitao Recital
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1405 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Alberto Ginastera,  André Mehmari,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Simone Leitao
    On sale! $16.98
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    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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