^ Back to Top
^ Back to Discography
Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search


After study at the St Petersburg and Moscow Conservatories, Sergei Rachmaninov embarked on a career in Russia as a composer, pianist and conductor. Exile from his own country after the Communist Revolution of 1917 forced an increased concentration on performance as one of the most distinguished pianists of the day, activity that enabled him to support his family but left less time for his work as a composer. For practical reasons he eventually based himself in the United States, while keeping a villa in Switzerland. He died in Beverly Hills in 1943.

Orchestral Music

The second of Rachmaninov’s four piano concertos holds an unchallenged position among Romantic works in this form, its popularity closely rivalled by the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra. While the Symphonic Dances of 1940 enjoy some popularity, as well as the symphonic poem The Rock and the dark-hued Isle of the Dead, with its recurrent motif from the Latin Requiem Mass, the second of his three numbered symphonies is still more familiar. His First Symphony had a disastrous first performance under Glazunov in 1897 but has more to recommend it than critics of the time suggested. Of the other piano concertos, the first, written while he was still a student, proved effective enough; the third, technically demanding for the performer but popular with audiences, is more organically structured than the second; and the fourth, composed abroad in 1926 and revised in 1941, has never found a significant place in solo repertoire.

Piano Music

Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C sharp minor won early popularity that largely outweighed its merits. Other piano works include the Études-tableaux of 1911 and 1916–17, two sonatas, sets of preludes and moments musicaux, transcriptions (including the two Kreisler pieces Liebesleid and Liebesfreud), and the impressive Variations on a Theme of Corelli (his last original composition for solo piano, composed in 1931 and based on the popular Baroque dance theme of La folia, also used by Corelli in a violin sonata).

Chamber Music

Rachmaninov, in his earlier career, wrote a small number of works for instrumental ensemble. Notable among these are the compositions for cello and piano dedicated to Tchaikovsky’s friend, the cellist Anatoli Brandukov. They include a fine sonata as well as the Prelude and Danse orientale that form Opus 2. His Vocalise, originally just that (a wordless song), is also a familiar element in cello repertoire. The second of his two Trios élégiaques, written in 1893, a year after the first, mourns the death of Tchaikovsky.

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
25th Anniversary Boxed Sets - Piano Concertos Naxos 8.501056
25th Anniversary Boxed Sets - Russian Symphonies Naxos 8.572955
Classical Moments 1-3 Naxos 8.506004
Enjoy the Classics (Best of Naxos 1-4) Naxos 8.504003
Idil Biret LP Originals Edition Naxos 8.501402
RACHMANINOV Complete Piano Works Naxos 8.501005
Romantic Piano Favourites Vol 1 Naxos 8.505028
Romantic Piano Favourites Vol 2 Naxos 8.505029

View by Role: Classical Artist | Classical Composer | Arranger | Conductor
Role: Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 

 View Albums

For picture licensing, please contact customer service.

 Tell a Friend |  Bookmark this page Digg It |  Bookmark this page Del.icio.us. |  Add to Facebook Facebook |  FURL FURL |  Add to MySpace MySpace |  Stumbleupon StumbleUpon |  Twitter Twitter

Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
6:21:13 AM, 18 April 2014
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2014 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.