Rachmaninov: Symphonies Nos.1-3; The Bells; Symphonic Dances

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
After his enormously popular piano concertos and the "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" which are always among the most performed concert works, the most admired of Sergey Rachmaninov's large-scale orchestral compositions are his symphonies No. 1-3, the "Symphonic Dances," "The Isle of the Dead," "The Rock," and the choral symphony, "The Bells." They are imbued with the composer's characteristically brooding expressions, rich harmonies, and somber, mysterious themes, and their place among the great post-Romantic masterpieces is unchallenged today, despite a period in the mid-20th century when critical opinion was sometimes unkind. This box set is a good response to any ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
After his enormously popular piano concertos and the "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" which are always among the most performed concert works, the most admired of Sergey Rachmaninov's large-scale orchestral compositions are his symphonies No. 1-3, the "Symphonic Dances," "The Isle of the Dead," "The Rock," and the choral symphony, "The Bells." They are imbued with the composer's characteristically brooding expressions, rich harmonies, and somber, mysterious themes, and their place among the great post-Romantic masterpieces is unchallenged today, despite a period in the mid-20th century when critical opinion was sometimes unkind. This box set is a good response to any rigid prejudices because Mikhail Pletnev's performances with the Russian National Orchestra do full justice to Rachmaninov's music and make the case for his skills as a symphonic composer. Yet Rachmaninov's orchestration is occasionally problematic because it is often dense and situated in the orchestra's middle range, so it takes a conductor of considerable ability to draw out the lines and make the counterpoint as transparent as possible. Pletnev does this with consistency, so the orchestra plays with precision and focused sound, and the textures are further clarified by Deutsche Grammophon's excellent recording. But even more important than the fine sound of the recordings are the sympathetic readings, which show Pletnev to have a thorough knowledge and emotional connection to this composer, which is vital in communicating the spiritual essence of his music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/19/2011
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • UPC: 028947795056
  • Catalog Number: 001538602
  • Sales rank: 82,098

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Saint John of Damaskus, cantata for chorus & orchestra, Op. 1 - Sergei Taneyev & Christian Gansch (22:48)
  2. 2 The Bells, choral symphony for soprano, tenor, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 35 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Konstantin Balmont (37:18)
  3. 3 Symphonic Dances, for orchestra (or 2 pianos), Op. 45 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Nigel Boon (37:35)
  4. 4 Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Nigel Boon (40:48)
  5. 5 The Rock, symphonic poem for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands), Op. 7 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Mikhail Pletnev (12:49)
  6. 6 Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Mikhail Pletnev (51:31)
  7. 7 Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 13 (lost; reconstructed from piano duets and orch. fragments) - Sergey Rachmaninov & Nigel Boon (44:54)
  8. 8 The Isle of the Dead, symphonic poem, Op. 29 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Nigel Boon (18:40)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mikhail Pletnev Primary Artist
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