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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
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 3, Symphonic Dances / Slatkin, Detroit
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573051   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 151-161 of 161 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    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  ... 
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  • 152.
    Romantic Piano Favorites Vol 6 / Balázs Szokolay
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550215 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Edvard Grieg,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Balázs Szokolay
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  • 153.
    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
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  • 154.
    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
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  • 155.
    Rakhmaninov: 24 Preludes / Marta Deyanova
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5094 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Marta Deyanova
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  • 156.
    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
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  • 157.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 2 & 3, Etc / Janis, Dorati
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 432759 Release Date: 11/08/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Byron Janis
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 158.
    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,  Franz Schubert,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
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  • 159.
    Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff: Solo Works & Transcriptions
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 7766 Release Date: 11/14/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
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  • 160.
    20th Century Romantic Music For Two Pianos / Pierce, Jonas
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7013 Release Date: 08/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Benjamin Britten,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Pierce,  Dorothy Jonas
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  • 161.
    Rachmaninov: The Preludes / Maxim Philippov
    Label: Arktos Recordings   Catalog: 200150 Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Maxim Philippov
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