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; Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Matsuev, Temirkanov
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 75068   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: 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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Medtner: Sonata Romantica; Skazki; Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 2; Corelli Variations
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67936   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Cura, Sinfonia Varsovia
Release Date: 12/09/2003   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 22   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36

Browse 1-25 of 118 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Rachmaninov: The Complete Works [32-CD Set]
    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  ... 
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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
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  • 4.
    John Ogdon - The Complete Rca Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 1222573 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Mennin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Charles Valentin Alkan  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Igor Buketoff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    Liszt; Rachmaninov / Nikolai Lugansky
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 211 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No 2, Etc / Santiago Rodriguez
    Label: Elan Recordings   Catalog: 82248 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    Rachmaninoff: Complete Works For Piano Solo
    Label: Etcetera Records   Catalog: 1450 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Mariana Izman,  Pieter-Jelle De Boer,  Thomas Beijer,  Hanna Shybayeva  ... 
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  • 17.
    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
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  • 18.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas 1 & 2 / Lugansky
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 208 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    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  ... 
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  • 20.
    Irina Georgieva Plays Rachmaninoff
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 262 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Irina Georgieva
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    First Choice: Chopin, Rachmaninov
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001662602 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Hélène Grimaud
    CD: $11.99
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  • 23.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Piano Works /  Lugansky, Ohlsson, Ponti
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9192 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky,  Garrick Ohlsson,  Michael Ponti
    CD: $44.49
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  • 24.
    David Pasbrig Plays Schubert, Respighi & Rachmaninoff
    Label: Disc Makers   Catalog: 50166602 Release Date: 01/15/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ottorino Respighi,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  David Pasbrig
    CD: $13.99
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  • 25.
    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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