Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Bio-Bibliography

Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Bio-Bibliography

Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Bio-Bibliography

Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Bio-Bibliography


Sergei Rachmaninoff was a renowned composer, pianist, and conductor. Because he was a member of the Russian aristocracy, he fled the country after the tsar's abdication, and eventually relocated in the United States. Many of his compositions are for piano, yet he also composed orchestral and symphony works, three operas, choral and liturgical works, some chamber works, and numerous songs. This guide catalogues his numerous works and performances, provides a detailed bibliography, and includes a discography of recordings released within the last half-century.

Cross-referenced throughout, this volume should appeal to music and Rachmaninoff scholars who are looking for a comprehensive guide to further research.


Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943) was one of the most eminent musicians of his time. His accomplishments as a composer, pianist, and conductor are world-renowned; indeed, his achievements in any one of these three careers might have sufficed to merit his inclusion in this Bio-Bibliographies in Music series. Although long appreciatedby the concert public and pianists, his legacy has drawn wide interest among scholars only comparatively recently. the last three decades have witnessed a spate of books and articles about Rachmaninoff and his music, as well as many new recordings of his works. the most comprehensive previous survey of the literature was a research guide by Robert Palmieri, published in 1985. the present volume's Bibliography encompasses a much wider range of sources, classified by category and extensively crossreferenced. the Discography, unlike those of Palmieri and other authors, is quite large in scope and includes not only Rachmaninoff's own recordings but also recordings of his works by other performers.

Because several excellent biographies are widely available, the Biography chapter presented here is relatively short. After an abbreviated account of events in the composer's life, it endeavors to shed light on his stylistic evolution, his personality, his perspectives on his art and on musical trends of his time, and the Rezeptionsgeschichte of his works. Readers seeking further information about Rachmaninoff's life story may wish to consult Sergei Bertensson's and Jay Leyda's highly detailed biography, Geoffrey Norris's concise scholarly volume, or Barrie Martyn's monumental study.

Robert Palmieri, Sergei Vasil' evich Rachmaninoff: a Guide to
(New York: Garland Publishing, 1985). Cf. B29 in the Bibliography.

Sergei Bertensson and Jay Leyda, Sergei Rachmaninoff: a Lifetime in
(New York: New York University Press, 1956; reprint, London: Allen

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