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Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3; Vocalise / Stokowski, National Philharmonic

Stokowski / Rachmaninoff / Nlo
Release Date: 10/26/2010 
Label:  Newton Classics   Catalog #: 8802024   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"In the case of Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony, there is the purely historical advantage of having a generally well-engineered stereo recording by the man who had conducted the world premiere back in 1936." - Gramophone, [07,1998]

Leopold Stokowski was a close friend and champion to many composers, especially the Russians who where exiled in the USA after the revolution. Chief among them were Stravinsky and Rachmaninov. The US premiere of The Rite of Spring was conducted by Stokowski, and in 1920 the US premiere of Rachmaninov’s choral symphony ‘The Bells’ was given by Stokowski, who together with the composer had premiered the revised version of the first Piano Concerto.

It was natural that when
Read more Rachmaninov completed his Third Symphony in 1935, Stokowski would give the premiere, which took place on 6 November 1936. Although the work is the composer’s orchestral masterpiece, it was met with a lukewarm reception, and Stokowski never conducted it again in public. Rachmaninov’s music seemed in danger of falling out of favour, and the appalling Grove 5th edition entry on the composer may well have coloured Stokowski’s decision to reduce the number of the composer’s works he programmed.

However, at the age of 93 Stokowski returned to the studio, and to his friend’s Third Symphony with an orchestra of hand-picked London musicians. The recording is a remarkable achievement. Stokowski proved that he had new things to say about this masterpiece, and the performance bristles with excitement and tension.

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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 3 in A minor, Op. 44 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1936/1938; USA 
Songs (14), Op. 34: no 14, Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912-1915; Russia 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A NEW SLANT ON AN OLD FAVORITE January 1, 2016 By Zita Carno (Tampa, FL) See All My Reviews "I just happened to hear this on my old reliable Classical Masterpieces TV station, and it was an eye- and an ear-opener. Stokowski certainly had something new and exciting to say about this symphony---as he so often did about many of the works he conducted---and as I was listening I found a lot of things jumping into focus that I had missed in previous hearings. He took what amounted to a more classical approach to the work, and it was as if I were hearing it for the first time. So I decided I had to hop out of bed and get to my computer and place my order for this incredible CD. Stokie, you scored a grand-slam home run with this performance!" Report Abuse
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