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Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances / Petrenko, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Rachmaninoff / Rlpo / Petrenko
Release Date: 02/09/2010 
Label:  Avie   Catalog #: 2188  
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This is a perfectly planned Rachmaninov orchestral music CD, offering works that span his entire career, from his first major orchestral piece, the Tchaikovskian tone poem The Rock, to his fully characteristic maturity in The Isle of the Dead, and culminating in the instrumental sophistication and hard-edged glitter of his last big project, the Symphonic Dances. Happily, the performances are just as wonderful as the programming concept.

Vasily Petrenko digs deep into the Symphonic Dances right from the initial outburst. He seems to have figured out the first movement's puzzling "non allegro" marking particularly well, finding a bracing tempo that doesn't compromise rhythmic
Read more accent. The second-movement waltz features an amazing range of tempo within a phrase, but Petrenko never sounds mannered or loses the pulse. The finale blazes, particularly in the closing pages, while the moody central interlude never sags. Through it all the orchestra plays magnificently: velvet strings, clean and clear winds, powerful brass, and crisp percussion.

The two tone poems are just as fine. The Rock (just which rock Rachmaninov had in mind we're not quite sure) seldom has sounded so confident and cohesive (as well as exciting), but this version of The Isle of the Dead really is special. Check out the pulverizing return of the main theme, forte, about nine minutes in, or the devastatingly intense final climax followed by the numb muttering of the "Dies irae" chant melody in the strings. It's exhausting and exhilarating at the same time, helped in no small degree by really excellent sonics that let the strings soar and the bass frequencies really throb. None of this music lacks for excellent performances, but you'd be hard pressed to find demonstrably superior versions of any of these pieces gathered together on a single disc.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1940; USA 
2.
Isle of the Dead, Op. 29 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; Russia 
3.
The Rock, Op. 7 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 

Featured Sound Samples

Symphonic Dances: I. Non allegro
The Isle of the Dead

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Bravo !!! July 31, 2013 By William O'Connell (Floral Park, NY) See All My Reviews "Rachmaninov would be quite pleased with Maestro Petrenko's performance of his Symphonic Dances. As he was completing the Allegro vivace, he had me on my feet cheering him on!!!" Report Abuse
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