The Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov, considered by many to be the natural successor to Tchaikovsky, was responsible for some of the most powerful romantic works written in the first part of the 20th century. His first popular success came in 1892 with the Prelude in C sharp minor for solo piano, but it was his Second Piano Concerto (1901) that fully established him as a major composer. Its haunting themes are heard on this beautiful two and a half hour collection called Essential Rachmaninov. Film fans will remember the profound impression of his Third Piano Concerto in the 1996 movie Shine, featuring Geoffrey Rush as the brilliant and tormented pianist David Helfgott, winning Rush the Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for Best Actor.
Extracts from these and other foundational compositions are performed on Essential Rachmaninov by leading artists including pianists Leif Ove Andsnes, Cécile Ousset and Andrei Gavrilov, singers Natalie Dessay and Nicolai Gedda, and conductors Sir Simon Rattle, André Previn, Mariss Jansons and Stephen Cleobury.