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Rachmaninov: The Bells, Spring, 3 Russian Songs / Dutoit

Release Date: 08/06/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 440355   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Kaludi KaludovAlexandrina PendatchanskaSergei Leiferkus
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia OrchestraChoral Arts Society of Philadelphia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Charles Dutoit's new disc with the Philadelphia Orchestra conveniently couples all three of Rachmaninov's choral works with orchestra. The recording is one of the warmest and most refined to have come from Philadelphia in recent years, and with the composer's favourite orchestra Dutoit draws out comparable qualities in the music, with strings and woodwind solos sensuously beautiful. Compared with other versions, Dutoit's performance of The Bells is remarkable for subtle pianissimos and half-tones rather than for dramatic bite. Previn is more passionate and Ashkenazy more sparkling and volatile, and the recording in both those rival versions gives more sense of presence.

The Ashkenazy—with the Concertgebouw—is also a Decca
Read more digital of the finest quality, but at mid-price the disc offers only the Three Russian Songs as well as The Bells. Similarly, Kitaenko's Chandos version of The Bells has as its only coupling the third and rarest of Rachmaninov's choral-orchestral works, Spring, a setting with baritone soloist of an atmospheric poem by Nikolay Nekrasov. Like the Second Symphony and Second Piano Concerto the piece was written as part of the composer's rehabilitation after his nervous breakdown. It may not be as striking in its musical material as those works, but builds up in Dutoit's fine performance into a magnificent climax and final coda fully worthy of being compared with the more celebrated works. Curiously, the English translation of the text at that climax has the sounds of spring merely ''rustling'', where the music tells you very clearly that the French translation must be closer to the Russian original, ''mugissant'', roaring or bellowing. Sergei Leiferkus sings powerfully in Spring, and in The Bells he is well-matched by the other two Russian soloists, all of them singing with clear tone and idiomatic bite.

In the Three Russian Songs Dutoit and the Philadelphia Choral Arts Society—rather backwardly placed—may not quite match Ashkenazy and the Concertgebouw Chorus in incisiveness but, helped by the dynamic range of the atmospheric recording, it is still an impressive performance.'

Edward Greenfield, Gramophone, 8/1994
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Works on This Recording

The Bells, Op. 35 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Kaludi Kaludov (Tenor), Alexandrina Pendatchanska (Soprano), Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1913; Russia 
Spring, Op. 20 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Sergei Leiferkus (Baritone)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
Russian Songs (3), Op. 41 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; USA 

Sound Samples

The Bells, Op.35: 1. Allegro ma non tanto (Silver Bells)
The Bells, Op.35: 2. Lento (Golden Bells)
The Bells, Op.35: 3. Presto (Alarm Bells)
The Bells, Op.35: 4. Lento lugubre (Iron Bell)
Spring Cantata, Op.20 for baritone & chorus
Three Russian Songs, Op.41: 1. Moderato
Three Russian Songs, Op.41: 2. Largo
Three Russian Songs, Op.41: 3. Allegro moderato

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Rewarding Rachmaninov June 3, 2013 By Richard Holdsworth (Sonning Reading, Berkshire) See All My Reviews "What a rewarding composer Rachmaninov is! Here we have the (relatively) well know major piece, The Bells, but also (for me) the unknown three songs. But what a reward! Beautifully played by the Philharmonia under Charles Dutoit, all pieces on this CDshpow what a great orchestrator Rachmaninov is - just listen to my favorite, the last of the songs. It is a pure delight!" Report Abuse
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