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 Sonatas / Xiayin Wang
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10816   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4, Rhapsody / Wild, Et Al
Release Date: 06/24/2003   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10078   Number of Discs: 2
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Rachmaninov: Transcriptions For Orchestra / Järvi, Detroit
Release Date: 03/22/1994   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9261   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Francesca Da Rimini / Noseda, Et Al
Release Date: 12/04/2007   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10442   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: The Isle Of The Dead,
Release Date: 06/24/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10475   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 3 no 2

Browse 26-50 of 168 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Icon - Alexis Weissenberg: The Champagne Pianist
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6790862 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Herbert von Karajan,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 28.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Piano Works /  Lugansky, Ohlsson, Ponti
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9192 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky,  Garrick Ohlsson,  Michael Ponti
    CD: $44.49
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  • 29.
    The 50 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 108 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Ponti,  Finghin Collins,  Roland Pöntinen,  Emmy Berhey  ... 
    Conductor:  Volke Schmidt-Gertenbach,  Heribert Beissel,  David Parry,  James DePreist  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moyzes String Quartet,  Camerata Antonio Lucio,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
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  • 30.
    Rachmaninov Edition: Complete Works
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9071 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Earl Wild,  Olga Lutsiv-Ternovskaya,  Leonid Bomstein,  Viacheslav Pochapsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Leonard Slatkin,  Valeri Polyanskii  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001030 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    Rachmaninoff Recital / Vassily Primakov
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9348 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Vassily Primakov
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  • 34.
    El Sonar De Las Campanas Rusas
    Label: Urtext   Catalog: 197 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Mily Balakirev,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Medtner  ... 
    Performer:  Irina Shishkina
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  • 35.
    Rachmaninoff: Complete Piano Music / Michael Ponti
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 198 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Taneyev
    Performer:  Michael Ponti,  Robert Leonardy
    CD: $28.99
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  • 36.
    Rachmaninov: Music For Piano / Jeremy Filsell
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 230 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Jeremy Filsell
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  • 37.
    The Rachmaninov Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 80816 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Nikolai Lugansky,  Ulrich Koneffke,  Kalevi Olli,  Alexandre Rabinovitch  ... 
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Sakari Oramo,  Edward Higginbottom
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  • 38.
    Classical Piano
    Label: Tgg Direct   Catalog: 60213 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert  ... 
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  • 39.
    Essential Rachmaninov
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07144 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Natalie Dessay,  John Ogdon,  Jean-Philippe Collard  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Michael Schoenwandt,  Stephen Cleobury,  Mariss Jansons  ... 
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  • 40.
    David Bismuth Plays Saint-saens & Rachmaninov
    Label: Ameson   Catalog: 1020 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  David Bismuth
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  • 41.
    Idil Biret Plays Myakovsky, Liszt & Scriabin
    Label: Iba [idil Biret Archives]   Catalog: 8571281 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolay Myaskovsky,  Franz Liszt,  Alexander Scriabin,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Idil Biret
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  • 42.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 776616 Release Date: 10/19/2010  
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Ingryd Thorson,  Julien Thurber,  David Gardiner
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  • 43.
    Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes / Steven Osborne
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 30015 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Steven Osborne
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  • 44.
    Jorge Bolet - The Romantic Virtuoso
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001479502 Release Date: 10/05/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Paul de Schlozer,  Isaac Albeniz,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Jorge Bolet
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 45.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Works For Two Pianos / Nina Schumann, Luis Magalhaes
    Label: Twopianists (Label)   Catalog: 1039039 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Luis Magalhaes,  Nina Schumann
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  • 46.
    Essential Piano
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27925 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Daniel Adni,  John Ogdon,  Jean-Philippe Collard  ... 
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  • 47.
    Byron Janis: The Legendary Concerto Recordings
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 6591822 Release Date: 06/01/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Byron Janis
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Herbert Menges
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Classical Favourites Sampler
    Label: Avid   Catalog: 577 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Giacomo Puccini,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claudia Muzio,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Nils Grevillius,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Arturo Toscanini  ... 
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  • 49.
    Dance! - The World's Favorite Ice-Skating Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58906 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jerry Herman,  Frédéric Chopin,  Vittorio Monti,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon,  Vag Papian,  Maxim Vengerov,  Tasmin Little  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Kelly,  Yuri Temirkanov,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Matt Dunkley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Piccadilly Theatre Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 50.
    In Thee Is Gladness, Vol. 2
    Label: Exultate   Catalog: 5637583717 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Gabrielsen,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Christian Sinding,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Gabrielsen,  William Strom
    Conductor:  Andrew Barrett
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