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 Sonatas / Xiayin Wang
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10816   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4, Rhapsody / Wild, Et Al
Release Date: 06/24/2003   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10078   Number of Discs: 2
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Rachmaninov: The Isle Of The Dead,
Release Date: 06/24/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10475   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Trios / Ashkenazy, Visontay, Lidstrom
Release Date: 09/17/2013   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001903402   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Songs / Sergei Leiferkus, Howard Shelley
Release Date: 08/22/1995   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9374   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Prelude for Piano in G sharp minor, Op. 32 no 12

Browse 1-25 of 121 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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
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  • 3.
    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
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  • 4.
    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
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  • 5.
    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
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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
    CD: $58.99
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  • 8.
    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
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  • 9.
    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
    Blu-ray Audio: $19.99
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Rodriguez, Et Al
    Label: Elan Recordings   Catalog: 82412 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez
    Conductor:  Paul Anthony McRae
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lake Forest Symphony
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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
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  • 17.
    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
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 20.
    Ravel: Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte; Jeux D'eau; Rachmaninov: 11 Preludes
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0248 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov
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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001030 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
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  • 24.
    Pure... Classical
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7915022 Release Date: 07/05/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Alicia De Larrocha,  André Watts,  Anthony Newman  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Spivakov,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Robert Salter,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Tafelmusik,  Brandenburg Collegium
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  • 25.
    Russian Piano Music Vol 6 - Rachmaninov / Sergei Dukachev
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25095 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sergei Dukachev
    CD: $18.99
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