Riccardo Chailly

Fast cars, minimalist design and en suite bathrooms: the real Rachmaninoff

The train from Zurich to Lucerne tips you out right by the lakeside, practically on the steamboat piers. A white paddle-steamer takes you out of the city, past leafy slopes and expensive-looking mansions. Tribschen, where Wagner wrote the ‘Siegfried Idyll’, slides away to the right as you head out across the main arm of the lake. At the foot of Mount Rigi, shortly before the steamer makes its whistle-stop at the lakeside village of Hertenstein, is a promontory where – if the sun is coming from the west – a yellow-coloured cube shines among the trees. This is the house that Sergei Rachmaninoff built between 1931 and 1934: Villa Senar,