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
Mozart & Rachmaninov: Concertos - A Conversation That Never Was / Sokolov
Release Date: 03/10/2017   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002635200   Number of Discs: 2
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Yevgeny Sudbin plays Medtner & Rachmaninov
Release Date: 02/12/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1848   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov / Sandro Russo
Release Date: 03/17/2017   Label: Steinway & Sons  
Catalog: 30077   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Paganini Rhapsody / Jandó
Release Date: 06/30/1992   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550117   Number of Discs: 1
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The Best Of Rachmaninov
Release Date: 09/21/1998   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8556682   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27

Browse 1-25 of 80 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    New York Philharmonic: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 533636 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Oscar Levant,  Robert Casadesus,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Josef Stransky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 2.
    Rachmaninov: The 4 Piano Concertos & The 3 Symphonies / Lugansky, Previn
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 559984 Release Date: 03/24/2017  
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky,  Alexander Kniazev
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $23.99
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  • 3.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 & Vocalise / Marriner, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 8010 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 4.
    Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 / Jansons, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 16004 Release Date: 06/24/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $21.49
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  • 5.
    Europakonzert: 25 DVD Anniversary Box (1991-2015) / Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26098 Release Date: 04/29/2016  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Violeta Urmana,  Elke Wilm Schulte  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Pierre Boulez,  Gustavo Dudamel,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
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  • 6.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $145.99
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  • 7.
    Kurt Sanderling Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13037 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Antonio Meneses,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Annette Markert
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 8.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 / Feltz, Dortmund Philharmonic
    Label: Dreyer-gaido   Catalog: 21090 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Gabriel Feltz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    Mariss Jansons Live: The Radio Recordings, 1990-2014 [13-CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 15002 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Louis Andriessen,  Hector Berlioz,  Anton Bruckner,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky,  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Ferruccio Furlanetto,  Leo van Doeselaar  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $158.99
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  • 10.
    Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Rozhdestvensky, London Symphony
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1260 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $12.99
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  • 11.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 3
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 002275902 Release Date: 03/23/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Lehár,  Emil Waldteufel,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Rafael Druian,  Georges Miquelle,  Eugene List,  Alfred Mouledous  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Frederick Fennell,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 12.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Concertos
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 6005 Release Date: 01/20/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Byron Janis,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Abbey Simon  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Pavel Kogan,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $28.99
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  • 13.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies & Piano Concertos [Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002155902 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Tamás Vásáry
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch,  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $57.49
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  • 14.
    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  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 17.
    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: $6.99
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  • 18.
    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
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 19.
    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
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $68.99
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  • 22.
    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: $15.99
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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 Cańizares
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    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 Cańizares
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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