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 / Ardakov, Gibson
Release Date: 01/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 29210   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 / Wang, Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO
Release Date: 10/08/2013   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001910202   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 3, Paganini Rhapsody / Matsuev
Release Date: 02/09/2010   Label: Mariinsky  
Catalog: 505   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 / Gergiev, London SO
Release Date: 05/11/2010   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 677   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 5 in G minor, Alla marcia

Browse 51-75 of 107 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Rachmaninov: Preludes, Etudes Tableaux / Sviatoslav Richter
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1310227 Release Date: 01/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 52.
    Vladimir Horowitz - The HMV Recordings 1930-1951
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 63538 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Albert Coates
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Ruth Slenczynska - Tribute To Rachmaninoff
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 4412 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Ruth Slenczynska
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  • 54.
    Tribute To Rachmaninov / Ruth Slenczynska
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4412 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Ruth Slenczynska
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  • 55.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Music / Nikolai Demidenko
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55239 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nikolai Demidenko
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  • 56.
    Recital / Adriel Gomez-mansur
    Label: Avanti Classic   Catalog: 1025 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Alexander Scriabin,  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Adriel Gomez-Mansur
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  • 57.
    Ultimate Piano Classics - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000766402 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Rhondda Gillespie,  Julius Katchen,  András Schiff  ... 
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  • 58.
    Rachmaninov, Chopin, Liszt / David Tong
    Label: Melba   Catalog: 301086 Release Date: 09/05/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  David Tong
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  • 59.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures;  Rachmaninov: Preludes / Schepkin
    Label: Northern Flowers   Catalog: 9939 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sergey Schepkin
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  • 60.
    Gemini - Violin Encores / Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76957 Release Date: 02/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Maurice Ravel,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Ernesto Halffter  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Sanders,  Itzhak Perlman
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  • 61.
    Legendary Treasures - Sviatoslav Richter Archives Vol 10
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7864 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 62.
    Rachmaninov, Mussorgsky / David Allen Wehr
    Label: Connoisseur Society   Catalog: 4252 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  David Allen Wehr
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  • 63.
    Philadelphia Organ Builder / Parrott, Glandorf
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 780 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Matthew Glandorf,  Béla Bartók,  Herbert Howells  ... 
    Performer:  Matthew Glandorf,  Wesley Parrot
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  • 64.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Works / Beata Bilinska
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 438 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Beata Bilinska
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  • 65.
    The Very Best Of Rachmaninov
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8552113-14 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
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  • 66.
    Rachmaninov / Laure Favre-khan
    Label: Transart Live   Catalog: 108 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Laure Favre-Kahn
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  • 67.
    50 Most Loved Piano Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 34410 Release Date: 08/30/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Maurice Ravel,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
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  • 68.
    Russian Music For Brass Quintet / Montanus Brass Quintet
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 20022 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Victor Grishin,  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Alyabyev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montanus Brass Quintet
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  • 69.
    Simon Trpceski Plays Rachmaninov
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57943 Release Date: 02/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Simon Trpceski
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  • 70.
    Julie Cheek In Concert
    Label: Lml Music   Catalog: 182 Release Date: 09/07/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Béla Bartók,  Franz Liszt,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Julie Cheek
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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    Beethoven - Brahms - Rachmaninoff
    Label: Fabio Parrini   Catalog: 5637294610 Release Date: 03/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Vienna Brahms Trio,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Fabio Parrini
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  • 73.
    Emil Gilels Legacy Vol 7 - Rachmaninov
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7815 Release Date: 09/02/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    The #1 Piano Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472589 Release Date: 11/12/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  George Gershwin,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Olli Mustonen,  Werner Haas,  Martha Argerich,  Zoltán Kocsis  ... 
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