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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: The Complete Works
Release Date: 09/23/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002145102   Number of Discs: 32
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Rachmaninov: Piano Trios / Moscow Rachmaninov Trio
Release Date: 08/13/2013   Label: Helios  
Catalog: 55431   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Etudes-tableaux / Howard Shelley
Release Date: 09/13/2011   Label: Helios  
Catalog: 55403   Number of Discs: 1
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Medtner: Sonata Romantica; Skazki; Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 2; Corelli Variations
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67936   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos, Etc / Hough, Litton, Et Al
Release Date: 10/12/2004   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67501/2   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 3 no 2

Browse 51-75 of 158 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes Pour Piano / Mathieu Gaudet
    Label: Xxi   Catalog: 1622 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Mathieu Gaudet
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  • 52.
    Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 748971 Release Date: 09/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
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  • 53.
    Rachmaninov Goes To Hollywood
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457132 Release Date: 06/19/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lazar Berman,  Tamás Vásáry
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Yuri Ahronovitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Legendary Russian Pianists
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9014 Release Date: 06/02/2009   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Kerer,  Konstantin Igumnov,  Yakov Flier,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Gauk,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  David Oistrakh,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  USSR Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 55.
    Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes / Osborne
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67700 Release Date: 05/12/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Steven Osborne
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  • 56.
    Reference Gold - Mozart, Rachmaninov / Anna & Ines Walachowski
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 115092 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Anna Walachowski,  Ines Walachowski
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  • 57.
    Rachmaninov Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 742566 Release Date: 03/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Ruth Laredo,  Yefim Bronfman,  Emanuel Ax,  Barry Douglas  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Yuri Temirkanov,  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Best Encores 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64752 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Alexander Goedicke,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Teodor Grigoriu,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  Ole Edvard Antonsen,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Placido Domingo,  Cheryl Studer  ... 
    Conductor:  John Barker,  Asher Fisch,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Franz Welser-Möst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris  ... 
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  • 59.
    Emil Gilels - Live In Moscow Vol 3
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4468 Release Date: 07/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
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  • 60.
    Romantic Music For Two Pianos / Pierce, Jonas
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1260 Release Date: 06/17/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Arthur Benjamin,  Benjamin Britten,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Jonas,  Joshua Pierce
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  • 61.
    Rachmaninov: Chopin Variations, 5 Preludes / Jorge Bolet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421061 Release Date: 06/10/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Fritz Kreisler
    Performer:  Jorge Bolet
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  • 62.
    Concertos Under The Stars / Pennario, Dragon, Hollywood Bowl
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63661 Release Date: 03/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Addinsell,  Franz Liszt,  Christian Sinding  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario
    Conductor:  Carmen Dragon,  Miklós Rózsa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Stokowski Encores
    Label: London/Decca Weekend Classics   Catalog: 433876 Release Date: 02/06/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Igor Stravinsky,  Claude Debussy,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    The Russian Piano Tradition - Yakov Flier
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 5665 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Yakov Flier
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  • 65.
    Orchestrations By Sir Henry Wood / Braithwaite, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 216 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Franz Xaver Scharwenka,  Edvard Grieg,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No 1-4, Etc / Anievas, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 00871 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Agustin Anievas
    Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,  Moshe Atzmón
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 67.
    The Essential Van Cliburn
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 709585 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Symphony of the Air,  RCA Symphony Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Rachmaninov: Complete Preludes / Eldar Nebolsin
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570327 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Eldar Nebolsin
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  • 69.
    Schubert, Grieg, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Et Al / Martin Werner
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7310 Release Date: 04/03/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Felder,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Edvard Grieg,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Werner
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  • 70.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2; Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini
    Label: Naxos Historical   Catalog: 913854 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  William Kapell
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  • 71.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No 2, Preludes / Marietta Petkova
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72168 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Marietta Petkova
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  • 72.
    The Complete Leopold Godowsky Vol. 3
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 53008 Release Date: 02/12/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Leopold Godowsky,  Franz Schubert,  Isaac Albeniz,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Shura Cherkassky,  Leff Pouishnoff,  Wilhelm Backhaus  ... 
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Best Piano Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70886 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini,  John Ogdon,  Stanislav Bunin,  Moura Lympany  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Simon Rattle,  Riccardo Muti,  George Szell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Borodin String Quartet members,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 75.
    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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