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Sergey Rachmaninov

April 1, 1873 - March 28, 1943
born in Semyonovo, Russia, composed during the Romantic period
Sergey 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, where Sergey studied with Vladimir Delyansky at the Conservatory. As his star continued to rise, Sergey 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. ~ Michael Rodman, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Evening Star: The Rachmaninov Vespers

Title: Vespers (All-night Vigil), For Alto, Tenor & Chorus, Op. 37
x

Track List: Rachmaninoff: Moments Musicaux; Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 33; Variations On A Theme Of Corelli

Title: Moments Musicaux (6) For Piano, Op. 16
Title: Etudes-tableaux, For Piano, Op. 33
Title: Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42
x

Track List: Rachmaninoff: Preludes (complete)

Title: Prelude For Piano No.1 In C Sharp Minor ("The Bells Of Moscow"), Op. 3/2
Title: Preludes (10) For Piano, Op. 23
Title: Preludes (13) For Piano, Op. 32
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes/Piano Sonata No.2

Disc 1
Title: Prelude For Piano No.1 In C Sharp Minor ("The Bells Of Moscow"), Op. 3/2
Title: Preludes (10) For Piano, Op. 23
Title: Preludes (13) For Piano, Op. 32
Disc 2
Title: Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op.36
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: All-Night Vigil, "Vespers"

Title: Vespers (All-night Vigil), For Alto, Tenor & Chorus, Op. 37
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Complete Operas (Aleko, The Miserly Knight, Francesca di Rimini)

Disc 1
Title: Aleko, Opera, TN Ii/70
Disc 2
Title: The Miserly Knight, Opera, Op. 24
Disc 3
Title: Francesca Da Rimini, Opera, Op. 25
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Complete Piano Concertos / Rhapsody

Disc 1
Title: Piano Concerto No. 1 In F Sharp Minor, Op. 1
Title: Piano Concerto No. 2 In C Minor, Op. 18
Disc 2
Title: Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 30
Title: Piano Concerto No. 4 In G Minor, Op. 40
Disc 3
Title: Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini (Introduction And 24 Variations), In A Minor For Piano & Orchestra, Op. 43
Title: Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42
Title: Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op.36
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Music For 2 Pianos

Disc 1
Title: Suite No. 1 ("Fantaisie-tableaux") For 2 Pianos In G Minor, Op. 5
Title: Suite No. 2 For 2 Pianos In C Major, Op. 17
Title: Etudes-tableaux, For Piano, Op. 33
Disc 2
Title: Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45
Title: Russian Rhapsody, For 2 Pianos In E Minor, TN Ii/23
Title: Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Opera Highlights

Title: Aleko, Opera, TN Ii/70
Title: The Miserly Knight, Opera, Op. 24
Title: Francesca Da Rimini, Opera, Op. 25
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Paganini Rhapsody, 6 Preludes, Etc

Title: Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini (Introduction And 24 Variations), In A Minor For Piano & Orchestra, Op. 43
Title: Variations On A Theme Of Corelli, For Piano, Op. 42
Title: Morceaux De Fantaisie (5), For Piano, Op. 3
Title: Preludes (10) For Piano, Op. 23
Title: Preludes (13) For Piano, Op. 32
Title: Preludes (10) For Piano, Op. 23
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2

Title: Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini (Introduction And 24 Variations), In A Minor For Piano & Orchestra, Op. 43
Title: Piano Concerto No. 2 In C Minor, Op. 18
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini

Title: Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini (Introduction And 24 Variations), For Piano & Orchestra In A Minor, Op. 43
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2; Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini

Title: Piano Concerto No. 2 In C Minor, Op. 18
Title: Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini (Introduction And 24 Variations), In A Minor For Piano & Orchestra, Op. 43
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: The Symphonies

Disc 1
Title: Symphony No. 1 In D Minor, Op. 13 (Lost; Reconstructed From Piano Duets And Orch. Fragments)
Title: Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27
Title: The Isle Of The Dead, Symphonic Poem, Op. 29
Disc 3
Title: Symphony No. 3 In A Minor, Op. 44
Title: The Bells, choral symphony for soprano, tenor, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 35
x

Track List: Rachmaninov: Vespers (All-Night Vigil)

Comments

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slsmith0745
Excellent composer and musician!
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comp2td
Sergey Rachmaninoff
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lanievesrosi l l o
The greatest to this day!
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Rachmaninoff has been my inspiration and love since I was a young child. Can the greatness of his magnificent musical genius be completely and accurately expressed in any language? I think not except through the heart's reaction when hearing or performing his heavenly masterpieces .
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Rachae


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spackfam
Let us not forget his choral Vespers. Join a choir and sing it, and your life will be changed. He must have believed it to write music with such depth and devotion.
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You da bomb baby
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rosemaryharw o o d
Not to sound picky but don't you spell Sergei. S E R G E I not Sergey
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These inspiring 'musicologis t s ' for me catalyze the Holy Spirit working in us, needing to be manifested in our lives, sanctifying the depths of one's being, giving testimony of the Truth of our Father in Heaven as He plants His Word in the psyche of those whom are receptive and amenable to thrive optimally...
Report as inappropriate
These inspiring 'musicologis t s ' for me catalyze the Holy Spirit working in us, needing to be manifested in our lives, sanctifying the depths of one'sbeing,; giving testimony of the Truth of our Father in Heaven as He plants His Word in the psyche of those whom are receptive and amenable to thrive optimally...
Report as inappropriate
jessicaosser
Yes I think Rachmaninov was left-handed. y e a r s ago I played a couple of his preludes and they were very heavy on the left hand.
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Now doubt about it piano cncto #2 is an absolute masterpiece filled with every emotion under the sun...or under the moon etc,an entity unto its self,isle of the dead "rachs" as well,us classical music lovers are simply unrivaled in my humble,yet pompous opinion.
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His concerto #2 is one of my favs.
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I MUST have lived a past life,most all classical music just brings me to tears at times,but I can't compose note arrangements , I can white very stirring and sad lyrics that's for sure.
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When I grow up gonna be a Serge Rachmaninoff ! !
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But for now ,I'll just keep a rachin&a Rollin' I'll rach out,baby
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One day while I'm still breathing my bucket list,hate using that term,would be to drink aged wine,like presumably I would be,with a lovely old-fashione d lass while picnicking on a wooded hill full of daisies and all the beauty nature has to offer,and enjoy life,instead of dreaming about it,dreams are good,but sometimes dreams need to come true ONCE in a while,I find his works very romantic and stirring,obv i o u s l y
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Very seasonal evoking to me,like summers twilight,aft e r the thick of the humidity has succumbed to autumns approach and one feels the cool evening breeze
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One of the most talented,sop h i s t i c a t e d , s i n c e r e s t and was an outstanding pianist,pian o cntrto #2 is filled with much emotion,as is sym. No. 3,they are my faces also rhapsody on theme,they often make my tear-eyed,ra c h - n - r o l l
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My favorite composer.
Period.
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I have adored Rachmaninoff since I first heard his music as an infant. I love his Piano Concerto #2 most of all.
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nortonwayne7
along with the Paganini variation clearly the two most beautiful compositions in all of classical music literature. J.Wayne
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Yep, Eric Carmen borrowed much of this song for All By Myself. Shameless!
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And.... We do need to know who's the pianist on this piece!!! My guess....Ka. . . . n a . . . Z ! ! !
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The absolute best!!! My wife plays his music for me as a trade off for dinner!! I think I have a better deal!!! Go to juliecheek.c o m and check her out
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rowlandsandr a v
The most wonderful pianist ,I love his music!!!
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Who are the performers?? ? ? ? ? ?
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I thank Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead " for introducing, Serget Rachmaninoff , to my attentive listening of classical music.
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lkgrebnel
would like to know something of Ms Wang. nice lite touch, clean and dz well w/the heavy stuff.
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lisadps34
My mom played this for us as children. I took it for granted then....what a blessing.... H e is pure genius.
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Play only Rachmaninoff ' s music
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kaydogssss1
He is the best
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Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto. Could any 20th century composer write more beautiful melodies then him ? I don't think so.I just love the 2nd movement of the concerto. Gorgeous.
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crsundstrom
I understand the greatness of many composers though I am only 11. Rachmaninov is my favourite.
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Eric Carmen may have convinced a lot of people that he wrote All By Myself all by himself, but I noticed that Rachmaninoff - and his Piano Concerto #2 - were born first.
Report as inappropriate
So beautiful so amazing. One of my all time favorite piano concertos.
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rdueck357
Horowitz admired him for his greatness in Composition, Conducting, and Performance- - s o rare to find true greatness in all of these.
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Now I know where Eric Carmen got his inspiration for "All by myself"
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DA, Y'ALL!!! :-~~~~~RACH & ROOOOOOOLL!! ! (let's not hurt ourselves,no w . . . .......t`wou l d be.....unsee m l y . )
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Memorable melodies, great piano concertos, superb orchestrator . One of the all time great composers.
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oriana.padil l a 0 8 3
Rachmaninov is majestically inspiring to begin the day♥♥♥
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Rachmaninov rachs.
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Gorgeous! Thanks
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mattsegel

One of my
most awesome composers...
Report as inappropriate
jpheiser2
Vladimir Ashkenazy was a friend of Rachmaninoff ' s , so it's only appropriate for him to be playing his music. Great stuff.
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Really helps me concentrate when I am studying for a test
Report as inappropriate
Who but Rachmaninov could write some of the most beautiful melodies ever created? His melodies are even well known in todays' culture, in movies and even rock songs, think of All By Myself by Eric Carmen. He was also a brilliant orchestrator and of course a brilliant piano writer and performer.
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chainreactio n 9 0 8
georgeous
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would also like to hear popular music
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Maggie Zhang, no, your hands don't die. Studying Rachmaninoff right now, he's an absolute joy to play!
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