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 Concerto No 2; Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Matsuev, Temirkanov
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 75068   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Handley, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 09/14/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28220   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2 / Ardakov, Gibson
Release Date: 01/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 29210   Number of Discs: 1
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Medtner: Sonata Romantica; Skazki; Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 2; Corelli Variations
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67936   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Cura, Sinfonia Varsovia
Release Date: 12/09/2003   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 22   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 5 in G minor, Alla marcia

Browse 1-25 of 108 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Rachmaninov: The Complete Works [32-CD Set]
    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  ... 
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  • 2.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas / Xiayin Wang
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10816 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Xiayin Wang
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    Lang Lang: The Romance Of Rachmaninov
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002003702 Release Date: 03/18/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Vadim Repin,  Mischa Maisky
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic 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.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Label: Viktor Bijelovic   Catalog: 5638144392 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Giovanni Sgambati,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Viktor Bijelovic
    CD: $23.99
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  • 12.
    Ingolf Wunder 300
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001793002 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Raoul Koczalski  ... 
    Performer:  Ingolf Wunder
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  • 13.
    50 Shades Of Classical
    Label: Cleopatra   Catalog: 159 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Danielle Dechenne,  Henrik Lagendaal,  Nora Ksendzov,  Dubravka Tomsic  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Raucheisen,  Zdenek Chabala,  Ferdinand Lang,  Zoltan Kovats  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Caspar da Salo Quartett
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  • 14.
    Russian Treasures
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2572 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Natalie Dessay,  Dmitri Alexeev,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi,  André Cluytens,  Armin Jordan,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
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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.
    Lang Lang - Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001697972 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Guo-Ren Lang,  Wu Yuxia,  Chen Shasha  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Valery Gergiev,  Long Yu,  Christoph Eschenbach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra,  Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China  ... 
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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    The Very Best Of Lang Lang
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1006752 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach,  Zubin Mehta,  Valery Gergiev,  Daniel Barenboim
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  • 19.
    Classical 2012
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001675702 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Georges Bizet,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Andrea Bocelli,  Anna Netrebko,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung,  Antonio Pappano,  Marco Armiliato,  Daniele Callegari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Fagiolini
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Voyage En Russie / Claire-marie Le Guay
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 169 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Scriabin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Claire-Marie Le Guay
    CD: $15.99
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  • 21.
    Label: Dal Segno   Catalog: DSPRCD038 Release Date: 04/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Theodor Leschetizky,  Vassily Sapellnikoff,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Boris Berezovsky - The Teldec Recordings
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 2564664684 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Leopold Godowsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Berezovsky
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff,  Kurt Masur,  Dmitry Liss,  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Ural State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Nicola Hall - Virtuoso
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430839 Release Date: 12/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Manuel de Falla,  Isaac Albeniz,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Hall
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  • 24.
    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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  • 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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