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: All-Night Vigil (Vespers) / Halsey, London Symphony Chorus
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 781   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3; Balakirev: Russia / Gergiev, London Symphony
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 779   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Songs / Julia & Elena Sukmanova
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Hänssler Classic  
Catalog: 16024   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No 1, Etc / Martin Cousin
Release Date: 05/30/2006   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 48   Number of Discs: 1
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Music Of Strauss And Rachmaninov / Lazaridis, Zhislin, Et Al
Release Date: 06/06/2006   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 46   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 5 in G minor, Alla marcia

Browse 76-99 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Historic Two-piano Wizardry - Morley & Gearhart Rediscovered
    Label: Ivory Classics   Catalog: 72004 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Egbert Anson Van Alstyne,  John Waldo Green,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Zoltán Kodály  ... 
    Performer:  Virginia Morley,  Livingston Gearhart
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  • 77.
    Ethel Leginska - The Complete Columbia Masters (1928-29)
    Label: Ivory Classics   Catalog: 72002 Release Date: 02/20/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Ethel Leginska
    On sale! $16.98
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  • 78.
    Grand Piano - Chopin & Encores / Josef Hofmann
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 8819 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Constantin Sternberg,  Anton Rubinstein,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Hofmann
    CD: $14.99
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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    The Best Of Rachmaninov
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556682 Release Date: 09/21/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Bernd Glemser,  Idil Biret,  Jénö Jandó,  Maria Kliegel  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Enrique Bátiz,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  György Lehel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 81.
    A Window In Time- Rachmaninoff Performs His Solo Piano Works
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80489 Release Date: 08/25/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stafford Smith,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    CD: $16.99
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  • 82.
    Sviatoslav Richter - In Memoriam
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 457667 Release Date: 03/17/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    CD: $19.99
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  • 83.
    Classic Piano Favorites / David Watkins
    Label: Aca Digital   Catalog: 20059 Release Date: 12/16/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  David Watkins
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 84.
    Rachmaninoff - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68788 Release Date: 04/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario,  Kathryn Stott,  Byron Janis,  Alexis Weissenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Charles Munch,  Eugene Ormandy,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 85.
    Festive Duo / Alan And Jeannine Morrison
    Label: Aca Digital   Catalog: 20050 Release Date: 02/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marcel Dupré,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Harold Stover,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jeannine Morrison,  Alan Morrison
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 86.
    Sviatoslav Richter In The 1950s Vol 1
    Label: Parnassus Records   Catalog: 96001/2 Release Date: 01/21/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    CD: $24.49
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  • 87.
    David Helfgott Plays Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 40378 Release Date: 12/17/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  David Helfgott
    Conductor:  Milan Horvat
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Copenhagen Philharmonic
    CD: $9.99
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  • 88.
    Frederick Fennell Conducts Carousel Waltz, Etc
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434356 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jaromir Weinberger,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Reinhold Gliere  ... 
    Conductor:  Frederick Fennell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Pops,  Eastman-Rochester Pops
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  • 89.
    The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol 4 - Brunswick Recordings
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1047 Release Date: 06/02/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Carl Tausig,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Rubinstein  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Hofmann,  Josef Hofmann
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  • 90.
    The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol 2
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1020 Release Date: 09/01/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Moritz Moszkowski,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Hofmann
    Conductor:  Ignace Hilsberg,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Curtis Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $34.98
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  • 91.
    The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol 3 - Chopin, Liszt
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1036 Release Date: 09/01/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Constantin Sternberg,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Carl Tausig  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Hofmann
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  • 92.
    Greatest Hits - Rachmaninov
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64056 Release Date: 08/09/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Ruth Laredo,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Zubin Mehta,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Lazar Gosman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tal & Groethuysen Duo,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 93.
    The Best Of Rachmaninoff
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 438383 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Rafael Orozco,  Zoltán Kocsis
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 94.
    Favourite Rachmaninov / Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436386 Release Date: 01/19/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 95.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No 2, Etc / John Browning
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3044 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  John Browning
    CD: $17.99
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  • 96.
    Van Cliburn Collection - The World's Favorite Piano Music
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60973 Release Date: 07/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    CD: $9.99
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  • 97.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, Etc / Graffman, Szell
    Label: Cbs Great Performances   Catalog: 37263 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Gary Graffman
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 98.
    Rachmaninov Plays Rachmaninov - Ampico Recordings (1919-29)
    Label: London/Decca Historic Series   Catalog: 425964 Release Date: 03/30/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    CD: $12.99
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