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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
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: Symphony No 3, Symphonic Dances / Slatkin, Detroit
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573051   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2, Vocalise / Slatkin, Detroit Symphony
Release Date: 01/26/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572458   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 1, Isle Of The Dead / Slatkin, Detroit
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573234   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Corelli Variations, Piano Transcriptions / Olga Kern
Release Date: 05/11/2004   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 907336   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Prelude for Piano in G sharp minor, Op. 32 no 12

Browse 1-25 of 120 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sviatoslav Richter - Complete Decca, Philips & DG Recordings [51-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002236002 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mikhail Kopelman,  Valentin Berlinsky,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Kurt Sanderling,  Witold Rowicki,  János Ferencsik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moragues Woodwind Quintet members,  Borodin String Quartet,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $160.49
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  • 2.
    Rachmaninov: Preludes & Etudes-tableaux / Sviatoslav Richter
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350083 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    On sale! $26.98
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  • 3.
    The Complete Warner Classics Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4622737 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Kurt Sanderling,  Kurt Masur,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $35.49
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  • 4.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2; Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Matsuev, Temirkanov
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 75068 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Denis Matsuev
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 5.
    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
    On sale! $89.98
    CD: $75.99
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  • 6.
    Out Of Doors - Bartok, Schubert, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Hummel / Barbara Nissman
    Label: Three Oranges Recordings   Catalog: 5638267042 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Nissman
    CD: $24.99
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  • 7.
    Vladimir Horowitz - Three Classic Albums
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999602 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Franz Liszt,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 8.
    Icon: Witold Malcuzynski - The Polish Master Pianist
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 924428 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Witold Malcuzynski
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Paul Kletzki,  Fritz Rieger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  French National Radio Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 9.
    Emotional Vicissitudes / Yaroslav Senyshyn
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1445 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Atsushi Yoshinaka
    Performer:  Yaroslav Senyshyn
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 10.
    Gary Graffman - The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546239 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Berl Senofsky,  Shirley Trepel,  Dick Hyman  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Enrique Jorda,  Charles Munch,  Walter Hendl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 11.
    Idil Biret: LP Originals Edition 1959-1986 [14-CD Set]
    Label: Iba [idil Biret Archives]   Catalog: 8501402 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Idil Biret
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London String Quartet
    On sale! $59.99
    CD: $49.99
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  • 12.
    Ingenious Opposites Vol 2 / Roman Zaslavsky
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3003 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Roman Zaslavsky
    CD: $19.99
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  • 13.
    Ingenious Opposites Vol 2 / Roman Zaslavsky [blu-ray audio+CD]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2003032 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Roman Zaslavsky
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  • 14.
    Jorge Bolet - The Last Romantic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1037610 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Felix Mendelssohn,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jorge Bolet
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  • 15.
    Voyages / Conrad Tao
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 344762 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Meredith Monk,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Conrad Tao,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Conrad Tao
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  • 16.
    Tsujii At White Nights / Nobuyuki Tsujii
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059358 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nobuyuki Tsujii,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Nobuyuki Tsujii,  Yuri Vorobiev,  Olga Sergeyeva
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Tsujii At White Nights / Nobuyuki Tsujii [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059354 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nobuyuki Tsujii,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Nobuyuki Tsujii,  Olga Sergeyeva,  Yuri Vorobiev
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 18.
    Valentina Lisitsa - Live At The Royal Albert Hall [DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001717409 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Valentina Lisitsa
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 19.
    Valentina Lisitsa - Live At The Royal Albert Hall
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001709102 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Valentina Lisitsa
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Preludes (4)
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350056 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 21.
    Vladimir Horowitz - The Video Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 907209 Release Date: 03/06/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Idil Biret Archive Edition 12 - Rachmaninov
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8571289 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Idil Biret
    On sale! $9.99
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  • 23.
    Ravel: Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte; Jeux D'eau; Rachmaninov: 11 Preludes
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 248 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    CD: $9.99
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  • 24.
    Evening Conversations
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 95992 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Tan Dun,  Robert Schumann,  Domenico Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  David Fung
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    A Tribute To Rachmaninoff / Feltsman, Pletnev, Russian National Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6148 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Feltsman
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
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    CD: $11.99
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