RACHMANINOV Sergey Vassilievich (1873-1943)

Sergey Rachmaninov was a Russian virtuoso pianist, composer, and conductor of the late-Romantic / Early 20th Century period. He left Russia, after the revolution, and settled in the United States; initially in New York and finally in Beverly Hills, California.

In America he was greatly in demand both as a soloist and as a highly regarded conductor. He led a number of orchestras; most notably xxx . Between his arrival in the United States in 1918 and his death in 1943, he completed just six compositions. This was largely down to the demands of performing, but his continued longing for Russia probably also played a part.

He composed some of the most popular works in the classical music repertoire.

Sergey Rachmaninov had very large hands, which might explain why some of his piano works are so challenging for less well-endowed pianists. He could span twelve piano keys from the tip of his little finger to the tip of his thumb!

Key Works.

If you are building a collection of works composed by Rachmaninov, then you might well consider the following as a springboard for further listening:

  • Piano Concertos Nos. 1 – 4
  • Symphonies Nos. 1 – 3
  • Preludes op. 23 & op.32 for the piano
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36
  • Trio élégiaque No. 2 in D minor, Op. 9
  • Vespers, Op. 37 (All-Night Vigil)