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

Work: Prelude for Piano in G sharp minor, Op. 32 no 12

Browse 26-50 of 117 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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    Blu-ray Audio: $19.99
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  • 29.
    Jorge Bolet - The Last Romantic
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 1037610 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Felix Mendelssohn,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jorge Bolet
    Recommendation
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    $69.99
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  • 30.
    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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    CD: $16.99
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  • 31.
    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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    DVD: $24.99
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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: $32.99
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  • 34.
    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
    CD: $14.99
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  • 35.
    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
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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: $18.99
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  • 40.
    Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001030 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    CD: $14.99
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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    Rachmaninoff Recital / Vassily Primakov
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9348 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vassily Primakov
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    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 43.
    Rachmaninov: Music For Piano / Jeremy Filsell
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 230 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jeremy Filsell
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  • 44.
    David Bismuth Plays Saint-saens & Rachmaninov
    Label: Ameson   Catalog: 1020 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  David Bismuth
    CD: $17.99
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  • 45.
    Horowitz - The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001491202 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    On sale! $54.98
    CD: $52.99
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  • 46.
    Pearls
    Label: Www.classicpro.com   Catalog: 5637692071 Release Date: 11/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Turina,  Enrique Granados,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Astor Piazzolla  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Muench
    CD: $15.99
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  • 47.
    Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes / Steven Osborne
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 30015 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Steven Osborne
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    CD: $13.99
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  • 48.
    Jorge Bolet - The Romantic Virtuoso
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001479502 Release Date: 10/05/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Paul de Schlözer,  Isaac Albeniz,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Jorge Bolet
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 49.
    Daniel Pollack In Moscow
    Label: Classical Records   Catalog: 136 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  César Franck,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Daniel Pollack
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    On sale! $23.98
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  • 50.
    Alexander Gavrylyuk In Recital
    Label: Video Artists Int'l   Catalog: 1272 Release Date: 07/20/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arcadi Volodos,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Mily Balakirev,  Moritz Moszkowski  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Gavrylyuk
    On sale! $16.98
    CD: $14.99
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