Essential Rachmaninoff

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Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
The cover of this album is graced with a sepia-toned photograph of a couple entwined in a passionate kiss as ocean waves crash behind them. It is a quintessentially romantic image -- and an appropriate one for this compilation, perhaps, because for many, Rachmaninoff's music is the very soul of romanticism. The Adagio of the Second Symphony, for example, fairly oozes with sensuality: Listen to the liquid sound of the solo clarinet caressing phrases and flowing over the strings, and you will be immediately swept up into its amorous atmosphere. Rachmaninoff wrote more than love themes, though; Variation 18 from the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini may be drenched ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
The cover of this album is graced with a sepia-toned photograph of a couple entwined in a passionate kiss as ocean waves crash behind them. It is a quintessentially romantic image -- and an appropriate one for this compilation, perhaps, because for many, Rachmaninoff's music is the very soul of romanticism. The Adagio of the Second Symphony, for example, fairly oozes with sensuality: Listen to the liquid sound of the solo clarinet caressing phrases and flowing over the strings, and you will be immediately swept up into its amorous atmosphere. Rachmaninoff wrote more than love themes, though; Variation 18 from the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini may be drenched in moonlight, but the surrounding music is edgy and intense. Essential Rachmaninoff goes beyond the composer's greatest hits -- though they are all here -- to give us a broader picture. In addition to the Rhapsody, there is the almost jazz-like first movement of the Symphonic Dances, a movement of his extraordinary Vespers a sonorous choral work in the Russian Orthodox tradition, as well as an example of Rachmaninoff's own inimitable playing. The performances, most featuring pianist/conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, are consistently fine. No notes are provided, but this is music that speaks quite eloquently for itself.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/15/2002
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028947045724
  • Catalog Number: 470457

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Vladimir Ashkenazy (34:20)
  2. 2 Vocalise, song for voice & piano, Op. 34/14 - Sergey Rachmaninov & English Chamber Orchestra (5:38)
  3. 3 Prelude for piano No.1 in C sharp minor ("The Bells of Moscow"), Op. 3/2 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Vladimir Ashkenazy (4:32)
  4. 4 Suite No. 1 ("Fantaisie-tableaux"), in G minor for 2 pianos, Op. 5: 4, Paques: Allegro maestoso - Sergey Rachmaninov & André Previn (2:28)
  5. 5 Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27: 3, Adagio - Sergey Rachmaninov & Valery Gergiev (13:07)
  6. 6 Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40: 2, Largo - Sergey Rachmaninov & Vladimir Ashkenazy (7:38)
  7. 7 Symphonic Dances, for orchestra (or 2 pianos), Op. 45: No. 1, Non allegro - Sergey Rachmaninov & Vladimir Ashkenazy (11:21)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), in A minor for piano & orchestra, Op. 43 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Edo de Waart (22:30)
  2. 2 Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30: No. 1, Allegro ma non tanto - Sergey Rachmaninov & Vladimir Ashkenazy (16:44)
  3. 3 Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44: No. 2, Adagio ma non troppo-Allegro vivace - Sergey Rachmaninov & Vladimir Ashkenazy (12:33)
  4. 4 Vespers (All-Night Vigil), for alto, tenor & chorus, Op. 37 - Sergey Rachmaninov & St. Petersburg Chamber Choir (3:45)
  5. 5 Prelude for piano No.6 in G minor, Op. 23/5 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Rafael Orozco (3:26)
  6. 6 Lied (Romance), for cello & piano in F minor, TN ii/32 - Sergey Rachmaninov & John Lenehan (2:06)
  7. 7 Transcription for piano of Kreisler's "Liebesfreud", TNiii/5 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Sergey Rachmaninov (5:46)
  8. 8 Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 13 (lost; reconstructed from piano duets and orch. fragments): No. 4, Allegro con fuoco - Sergey Rachmaninov & Vladimir Ashkenazy (12:39)
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A must have for classical lovers!!

    Rachmaninoff is a great composer, and some of his best works are on this cd, my favorite song is Prelude in C# minor (a peice I am working on in my piano lessons) which really brings out how morbid and romantic this composer is! Hope you enjoy

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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