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Sergey Vassilievich Rachmaninov

Sergey Vassilievich Rachmaninov (1873-1943)

Composer

Probably best known as a composer of stirringly Romantic orchestral and piano works (he was an accomplished concert pianist himself, as well as a composer), Sergei Rachmaninov is one of the most enduringly popular Russian composers of the Twentieth Century. Aside from his four piano concertos and three symphonies, he wrote a large amount of vividly pictorial programme music, two sets of formidably difficulty Preludes for the piano (just the tip of a considerable iceberg of solo-piano works) and chamber music.

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Although his writing for the voice is less prolific than that for instruments, there are nevertheless a fair number of solo songs that show an evolution from Tchaikovsky-inspired idioms to a more personal style, two large-scale choral works (the ever-popular All-Night Vigil or Vespers, and the less well-known Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, and three operas - all of which show a deep understanding of how to write for the voice in Russian and Church Slavonic.


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