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: Transcriptions For Orchestra / Järvi, Detroit
Release Date: 03/22/1994   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9261   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Francesca Da Rimini / Noseda, Et Al
Release Date: 12/04/2007   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10442   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Work: Prelude for Piano in G sharp minor, Op. 32 no 12

Browse 76-100 of 121 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Gemini - Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos / Ricardo Muti, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85779 Release Date: 08/10/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Andrei Gavrilov
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 77.
    Expanded Edition - Vladimir Horowitz - A Reminiscence
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 92742 Release Date: 08/03/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Franz Schubert,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 78.
    Expanded Edition - Vladimir Horowitz - Favorite Encores
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 93075 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Vladimir Horowitz,  Moritz Moszkowski  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 79.
    Preludes - Live From Italy
    Label: Julian Lawrence Gargiulo   Catalog: 5637344089 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin,  George Gershwin,  Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lawrence Gargiulo
    CD: $21.99
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  • 80.
    Scriabin, Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas;  Rachmaninov / W. Kocyan
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 389 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Wojciech Kocyan
    CD: $19.99
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  • 81.
    Horowitz - The Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000120102 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 82.
    The Romantic Piano / Gargiulo
    Label: Julian Lawrence Gargiulo   Catalog: 5637344088 Release Date: 10/07/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Alexander Scriabin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lawrence Gargiulo
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  • 83.
    Horowitz Plays Rachmaninov And Liszt
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 90447 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 84.
    In The Hands Of The Master / Vladimir Horowitz
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 93039 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Alexander Scriabin,  Robert Schumann,  Domenico Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 85.
    Rachmaninoff's Greatest Hits
    Label: Cbs Composers'greatest Hits   Catalog: 39437 Release Date: 05/15/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Philippe Entremont
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Busoni, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff / Geoffrey Dorfman
    Label: Aw Promotions   Catalog: 5637306875 Release Date: 12/17/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferruccio Busoni,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Geoffrey Dorfman
    CD: $23.99
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  • 87.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Goerner, Et Al
    Label: Cascavelle   Catalog: 3051 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Blumenfeld,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nelson Goerner
    Conductor:  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 88.
    50 Classical Performances - Romantic Piano
    Label: Bci Music   Catalog: 40184 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Jurgis Karnavichius,  Andrei Ivanovitch,  Sergei Oskolkov,  Elyso Bolkvadze  ... 
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  • 89.
    Vladimir Horowitz - The Original Jacket Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89765 Release Date: 12/04/2001   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Alexander Scriabin,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 90.
    The Kiss - World's Most Romantic Piano Music / Pollack
    Label: Four Winds   Catalog: 3019 Release Date: 11/07/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Erik Satie,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  John Novacek,  Daniel Pollack
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  • 91.
    11th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition / Philippov
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907292 Release Date: 10/09/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Francis Poulenc,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Maxim Philippov,  Antonio Pompa-Baldi
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  • 92.
    Vladimir Horowitz - A Reminiscence
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89669 Release Date: 07/17/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 93.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2, Études Tableux / Grimaud
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 84376 Release Date: 05/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Hélène Grimaud
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia London
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  • 94.
    Philips 50 - Sviatoslav Richter - The Sofia Recital 1958
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 464734 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 95.
    Meditations For All Seasons - Music For Spring, Summer, Etc
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1737 Release Date: 03/06/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Jacques Offenbach,  Michael Tippett,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Judith Hall,  Elinor Bennett,  John Anderson,  Martin Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski,  Michael Tippett,  Simon Wright,  Jaime Laredo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon,  English Northern Philharmonia,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 96.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No 2, Preludes, Etc / Mihailovich
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2483 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Zora Mihailovich
    CD: $17.99
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  • 97.
    Introducing Dmitry Paperno - Selections From The Artist's Recordings
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 5001 Release Date: 09/19/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitry Paperno
    CD: $9.99
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  • 98.
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 946089 Release Date: 07/03/2000   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Johann Pachelbel,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
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  • 99.
    My Favorite Rachmaninoff - Van Cliburn
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63612 Release Date: 05/16/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    CD: $8.99
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  • 100.
    Rachmaninov: Paganini Variations, Corelli Variations, 6 Preludes
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457906 Release Date: 09/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lazar Berman,  Tamás Vásáry
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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