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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
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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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 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: Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 3 no 2

Browse 1-25 of 160 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
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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.
    Rachmaninoff: Preludes; Piano Sonatas 1 & 2; Transcriptions
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 65 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Fritz Kreisler,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Sergio Fiorentino
    CD: $27.49
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  • 4.
    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
    On sale! $89.98
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  • 5.
    Love & Loss: Music Of Rachmaninoff, Vol. 1 - Preludes / Barbara Nissman
    Label: Three Oranges Recordings   Catalog: 5638267737 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Barbara Nissman
    CD: $24.99
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  • 6.
    Out Of Doors - Bartok, Schubert, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Hummel / Barbara Nissman
    Label: Three Oranges Recordings   Catalog: 5638267042 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Nissman
    CD: $24.99
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  • 7.
    William Kapell - Complete Recordings 1944-1953
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5431362 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell,  Jascha Heifetz,  William Primrose,  Edmund Kurtz
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Fritz Reiner,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Antal Doráti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 8.
    Creating Timeless Classics
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186531 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Helmchen,  Alexei Ogrintchouk,  Vesko Eschkenazy,  Jonathan Gilad  ... 
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Lawrence Foster,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Jurowski  ... 
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  • 9.
    The American Symphonic Organ / Jean-Baptiste Robin
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94726 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Isaac Albeniz,  Béla Bartók,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Baptiste Robin,  STacey Rishoi
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  • 10.
    Autograph / Alexandre Tharaud
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 34137 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gabriel Fauré,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud
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  • 11.
    The Britannic Organ, Vol. 6: Welte's British Organists; Five Victorian Virtuosi
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 845 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Alfred Hollins,  George Elbridge Whiting,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Hollins,  Harry Goss-Custard,  William Wolstenholme,  Herbert Walton  ... 
    SuperAudio CD: $34.99
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  • 12.
    Idil Biret: LP Originals Edition 1959-1986 [14-CD Set]
    Label: Iba [idil Biret Archives]   Catalog: 8501402 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Idil Biret
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London String Quartet
    On sale! $59.99
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    Piano Rhapsody / Roland Pontinen
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 9044 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Roland Pöntinen
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 15.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Works / Alexei Volodin
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72587 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Alexei Volodin
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  • 16.
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 17.
    Anniversary Series - Piano Collection
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 305 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  James Rhodes,  John Lill,  Jeremy Filsell,  Jill Crossland  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zoo Duet
    CD: $9.99
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  • 18.
    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  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Wilhelm Backhaus - The Virtuoso
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 12052 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Riccardo Pick-Mangiagalli,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 20.
    Russian Piano Marathon / Ilya Itin
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4561 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Ilya Itin
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 21.
    Discovering A Legend: Vera Gornostaeva, Vol. 2
    Label: Lp Classics   Catalog: 5638000238 Release Date: 09/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Vera Gornostaeva
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  • 22.
    Organ Extravaganza! / Kevin Bowyer
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1187 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremy Nicholas,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Charles Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
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  • 23.
    Piano Encores
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001701502 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Anatol Ugorski,  Aloys Kontarsky,  Alfons Kontarsky  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 24.
    The Russian Archives - Emil Gilels Plays Russian Music
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9265 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Scriabin,  Nikolai Medtner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    CD: $16.99
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  • 25.
    Jimmy - James Rhodes Live In Brighton
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 308 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Moritz Moszkowski,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  James Rhodes
    CD: $25.49
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