Vibrant, soulful, strongly communicative Rachmaninov – and a bargain to boot.
Hard to believe performances as vibrant, soulful and involving as these have never previously made it onto CD (they were recorded in Moscow in October 1990). Pavel Kogan (son of virtuoso fiddler Leonid) moulds genuinely compelling, authentically tangy accounts of these two Rachmaninov masterworks, penetrating to the core of their homesick melancholy with often devastating candour.
Kogan is not afraid to take risks, and I particularly adore the way he teases out and caresses the Third Symphony’s achingly tender string cantilenas. From the violins’ memorably rapt and songful descending “sigh” barely a minute in, you instinctivelyRead more know you’re in for a heart-tugging treat, and there are countless other enticements in an exceptionally well prepared reading which in its edge-of –seat spontaneity, characterful profile and yearning lyrical flow held me captive throughout.
A comparable emotional and intellectual charge courses through the Symphonic Dances. Kogan’s fired-up Moscow band again delivers the goods in another excitingly flexible ride, and although you may not agree with every daring interpretative ploy, the volatile thrust and full-throated ardour of the music-making are impossible to resist. The brass are inclined to blare within the rather hollow and over-reverberant acoustic, but the experienced production team of Joanna Nikrenz and Marc Aubort ensure that string timbre has ample warmth and that textures glow as they must in this repertoire. Among digital contenders, I’d definitely want Kogan’s incident-packed versions on my shelves alongside those of Ashkenazy (Decca) and Jansons (EMI) – and at super budget price, they’re an absolute steal. Can we now expect the other two Rachmaninov symphonies from this same partnership?
Symphony no 3 in A minor, Op. 44by Sergei Rachmaninov Conductor:
Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1936/1938; USA Length: 41 Minutes 22 Secs.
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45by Sergei Rachmaninov Conductor:
Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1940; USA Length: 34 Minutes 27 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
A Vibrant and Soulful ThirdApril 6, 2016By owen ryan (lakewood, CA)See All My Reviews"Rob Barnett (MusicWeb Int.) comments that the three Rachmaninoff Symphonies by Kogan/Moscow State Symphony ''are gutsy performances recorded in sound seething with virile detail and heaving impact.''Gramophone finds the Third to be ''a seemingly unstoppable stream of original ideas and impressions.'' The Third is a shorter work than the Second and in my opinion the better for it. As much as I may like the three symphonies I can only take all that sentimentality and melancholy in measured doses. You get a little less of that with this Third; it is a vital performance that ranks among the best. Like Kogan's recording of the First, it was laid down by the Elite Recording team of Joanna Nickrenz and Marc Aubort. At the bargain price of this issue it should not be overlooked. Let me state here that when it comes to what is an authentic Rachmaninoff symphonic performance, I think this is a question wide open to differing opinions. For the ''best'' Third run down EMI's 2004 remastering of the Jansons/St. Petersburg 1992 performance. After listening to the 4 Rach. CD's reviewed as well as others, I strongly agree with the remarks of James Leonard on Allmusic: ''Rachmaninov Symphonies come in different flavors depending on who interprets them. Jansons and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic offer a lean, mean, tight, and tough approach.'' This EMI CD (62810) is no longer in production but is widely available.PS 09-15-16, After reviewing the smooth analogue recordings with Slatkin/St. Louis I am reminded of Rob Barnett's comment on MusicWeb Int ''The Rachmaninov discs have a technicolor glare--not disagreeable but certainly marmite--distinctive.''"Report Abuse