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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: Piano Concerto No. 3; Symphonic Dances

Title: Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 30

1. Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 30: I. Allegro Ma Non Tanto

2. Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 30: II. Intermezzo: Adagio

3. Piano Concerto No. 3 In D Minor, Op. 30: III. Finale: Alla Breve

Title: Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45

4. Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45: I. Non Allegro

5. Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45: II. Andante Con Moto (Tempo Di Valse)

6. Symphonic Dances, For Orchestra (Or 2 Pianos), Op. 45: III. Lento Assai - Allegro Vivace

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: Oeuvres pour piano

Title: Etudes-tableaux, For Piano, Op. 33
Title: Morceaux De Fantaisie (5), For Piano, Op. 3
Title: Preludes (10) For Piano, Op. 23
Title: Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22

12. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Thème: Largo

13. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation I

14. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation II

15. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation III

16. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation IV

17. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation V

18. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation VI

19. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation VII

20. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation VIII

21. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation IX

22. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation X

23. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XI

24. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XII

25. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XIII

26. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XIV

27. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XV

28. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XVI

29. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XVII

30. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XVIII

31. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XIX

32. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XX

33. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XXI

34. Variations On A Theme Of Chopin, For Piano, Op. 22: Variation XXII

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: Ou la pudeur romantique

Title: Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op. 36

1. Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op. 36: I. Allegro Agitato

2. Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op. 36: II. Non Allegro

3. Piano Sonata No. 2 In B Flat Minor, Op. 36: III. Allegro Molto

Title: Moments Musicaux (6) For Piano, Op. 16

4. Moments Musicaux (6) For Piano, Op. 16: I. Andantino In B Flat Minor

5. Moments Musicaux (6) For Piano, Op. 16: III. Andante Cantabile In B Minor

6. Moments Musicaux (6) For Piano, Op. 16: IV. Presto In E Minor

Title: Preludes (10) For Piano, Op. 23

7. Preludes (10) For Piano, Op. 23: No.5 In G Minor

8. Preludes (10) For Piano, Op. 23: No.6 In E Flat Major

Title: Preludes (13) For Piano, Op. 32

9. Preludes (13) For Piano, Op. 32: No.10 In B Minor

Title: Etudes-tableaux, For Piano, Op. 33

10. Etudes-tableaux, For Piano, Op. 33: III. Grave

Title: Etudes-tableaux, For Piano, Op. 39

11. Etudes-tableaux, For Piano, Op. 39: I. In C Minor (Allegro Agitato)

12. Etudes-tableaux, For Piano, Op. 39: V. In E-flat Minor (Appassionato)

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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Congratulati o n s Martha Argarich on winning Kennedy Award
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I grew up both listening and later playing this music. HIs music fills my soul and playing it has always lifted me beyond earthly realms - truly ecstatic !.
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@billy.valen t i n o In Russian we spell it Сергей. Й makes dipthongs (-ай, -ей, - ой) and can be translated either as Y or I. So Sergei and Sergey are both correct. Translation of the letter seems to depend upon personal preference.
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You spelled his first name wrong.
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Remarkable. The notes he plays swing me like I'm back as a child on an old tire. I feel he is one with the piano. A symbiotic relationship . Absolutely breathtaking .
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Such overwhelming talent. Absolutely one of the (Greatest) composers)
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He is just one of the most memorable pianist his music is just beautiful to listen and enjoy....
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benjamincask e y 0 2
He is a great composer
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I have always been fascinated by the profound musical composition of Sergey Rachmaninov. I become completely lost in his music. So precise yet full of intricate nuances! Love him
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mf_dork
Rachmaninov was Rach & Role before it was cool.
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Amazing! Truly amazing.
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I wonder what else rach could do with those fingerzzz right?
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The most a amazing music
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saintsaens
If you look at the sheet music of Rachmaninoff ' s 3rd concerto it is truly amazing that any human can master such complexity on a keyboard especially the ending of the piece. I never tire of listening to this great piece of music. It is unfortunate that our young people of today aren't exposed to classical music as they were years ago. They have no idea what they are missing.
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The most beautiful music ever to be given to the world.
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My Most Favourite Of Composers I Must Say Is Sergey Rachmaninov! I To Watch His Music Played on U-Tube.
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Those who can't do.... Criticize. Those who can't do and humble themselves, admire.... And have a chance to attain.
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I hear a little All By Myself by Eric Carmen.
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the second concerto is goat
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Magnificent
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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...
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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'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...
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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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