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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: Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27

Browse 1-25 of 86 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Piano Concertos
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002155902 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Tamás Vásáry
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch,  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $51.98
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  • 2.
    Rachmaninov: The Complete Works
    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  ... 
    On sale! $109.98
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  • 3.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Piano Concertos / Rudy, Jansons, 	St. Petersburg Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 627827 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Mikhail Rudy
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
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  • 5.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 / Maazel, Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001909702 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 6.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Rozhdestvensky, Lso
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1210 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Petrenko
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 15473 Release Date: 10/22/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Bernstein: Candide Overture; Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Svetlanov
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5078 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 1068189 Release Date: 07/03/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Tadaaki Otaka
    CD: $22.49
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  • 10.
    Great Russian Symphonies
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501059 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper,  Gerard Schwarz,  Antoni Wit,  Theodore Kuchar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Katowice Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 11.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2; Vocalise  / Previn, Lso
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85289 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 12.
    Icon: William Steinberg
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 26486 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Rudolf Firkusny
    Conductor:  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $63.99
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  • 13.
    Europa Konzert 2011 - Madrid / Canizares, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058398 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Juan Manuel Cañizares
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Europa Konzert 2011 - Madrid / Canizares, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058394 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Juan Manuel Cañizares
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 15.
    Rachmaninov Edition: Complete Works
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9071 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Earl Wild,  Olga Lutsiv-Ternovskaya,  Leonid Bomstein,  Viacheslav Pochapsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Leonard Slatkin,  Valeri Polyanskii  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802082 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2; Vocalise
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 31 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Dmitry Yablonsky,  Farhad Badalbeyli
    Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Rachmaninov: Symphonies No 1-3 / Pletnev, Russian NO [4-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001538602 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2; Liadov: The Enchanted Lake / Pappano
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 49462 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Anatole Liadov
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Orchestral Works / Dutoit, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802021 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia
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  • 21.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Handley, RPO
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28220 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Orchestral Works
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 18 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ottorino Respighi
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sydney Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Gergiev, London SO
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 677 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2, The Rock / Noseda, BBC PO
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10589 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2, Vocalise / Slatkin, Detroit Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572458 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
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