Серге́й Васи́льевич Рахма́нинов
Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Considered as one of the finest pianists of all time, and as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music.
Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness, and his use of rich orchestral colors.
Rachmaninoff was born at a family estate of Semyonovo near Veliky Novgorod in north western Russia.
His family was Russian and distant Moldavian descent who was part of the Russian aristocracy, having been in the service of the Russian tsars since the 16th century, and had strong musical and military leanings.
Rachmaninoff began playing the piano at age four; his mother gave him casual lessons before his paternal grandfather, Arkady Alexandrovich, brought Anna Ornatskaya, a teacher from Saint Petersburg, to teach him formally in 1882.
Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C# minor
This piece is also known as 'The Bells of Moscow'. It is the second of five 'Morceaux de Fantaisie,' or Fantasy Pieces. This work, in terms of gravity of tone, is the most Russian of the five, and Rachmaninoff is at his best when composing heavier music. This is considered to be one of his best works.