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Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff (1 April [O.S. 20 March] 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness, dense contrapuntal textures, and rich orchestral colours. The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output and he used his skills as a performer to fully explore the expressive and technical possibilities of the instrument.

Born into a musical family, Rachmaninoff began learning the piano at the age of four. He studied piano and composition at the Moscow Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1892, having already written several compositions. In 1897, following the disastrous premiere of his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little, until supportive therapy allowed him to complete his well-received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. Rachmaninoff went on to become conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre from 1904–06, and relocated to Dresden, Germany, in 1906. He later embarked upon his first tour of the United States as a pianist in 1909.

After the Russian Revolution, Rachmaninoff and his family left Russia permanently, settling in New York in 1918. Following this, he spent most of his time touring as a pianist through the US and Europe, from 1932 onwards spending his summers at his villa in Switzerland. During this time, Rachmaninoff's primary occupation was performing, and his compositional output decreased significantly, completing just six works after leaving Russia. By 1942, his declining health led him to move to Beverly Hills, California, where he died from melanoma in 1943.

Birth and Death Data: Born April 1, 1873 (Starorussky Uyezd), Died March 28, 1943 (Beverly Hills)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1908 - 1947

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, composer, arranger, conductor

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 307 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-10322 10-in. 5/12/1911 Prelude in C sharp minor Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor B-10652 10-in. 6/28/1911 Prelude in C sharp minor Charles Gilbert Spross Piano solo composer  
Victor B-10987 10-in. 9/19/1911 Lilacs Emilio de Gogorza Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-15958 12-in. 4/26/1915 Prelude in C sharp minor Julius L. Schendel Piano solo composer  
Victor CVE-15958 12-in. 11/11/1926 Prelude in C sharp minor Julius L. Schendel Piano solo composer  
Victor C-16018 12-in. 5/10/1915 Romance Samuel Gardner Violin solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-17302 10-in. 3/14/1916 V molchanii nochi taĭnoĭ (В молчании ночи тайной) Nina Dimitrieff Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Victor C-18976 12-in. 1/10/1917 Prelude in C sharp minor, op. 3, no. 2 Victor Concert Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-23706 12-in. 1/28/1920 Prelude in C sharp minor, op. 3, no. 2 Alfred Cortot Piano solo composer  
Victor B-23905 10-in. 4/2/1920 When night descends John McCormack Tenor vocal solo, with violin and piano composer  
Victor B-23906 10-in. 4/2/1920 O cease thy singing, maiden fair John McCormack Tenor vocal solo, with violin and piano composer  
Victor B-23956 10-in. 4/26/1920 Menuet Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-23961 10-in. 4/26/1920 F major sonata : Presto Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor C-23962 12-in. 4/26/1920 Valse in B minor Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-23962 10-in. 5/3/1920 Waltz in B minor, op. 69, no. 2 Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-23963 10-in. 5/3/1920 Waltz and elfin dance, op. 12, nos. 2 and 4 Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-23964 10-in. 5/3/1920 Etude G flat major, op. 10 no. 5 (Black keys) Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-23982 10-in. 5/3/1920 Etude in G flat major, op. 10 no. 5 (Black keys) Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor C-23983 12-in. 5/3/1920 Troika en traineaux, op. 37, no. 11 Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CVE-23983 12-in. 3/21/1928 Troika en traineaux, op. 37, no. 11 Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor C-23984 12-in. 5/3/1920 Prelude in G minor, op. 23, no. 5 Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor C-23985 12-in. 5/3/1920 Prelude in G major, op. 32, no. 5 Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor C-23986 12-in. 5/3/1920 La campanella Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-24116 10-in. 5/17/1920 Etude in F minor Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-24117 10-in. 5/17/1920 Rondo capriccioso Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
(Results 1-25 of 307 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rachmaninoff, Sergei," accessed May 19, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102117.

Rachmaninoff, Sergei. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 19, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102117.

"Rachmaninoff, Sergei." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 19 May 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102117

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