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Rachmaninov: The Bells, The Rock / Anissimov, Field, Et Al

Release Date: 09/01/2001 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8550805   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Ivan ChoupenitchOleg MelnikovHelen Field
Conductor:  Alexander Anissimov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of IrelandDublin Radio Telefis Eireann Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 52 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In his atmospheric rendition of Rachmaninov's The Rock, conductor Alexander Anissimov delights in the Rimsky-Korsakov-style fantasy of the music while emphasizing its drama, making this one of the best recordings since Walter Weller's fluid and expressive reading on Decca (which, along with his Rachmaninov symphonies has yet to see laser light). Though it might not seem so at first, The Rock actually makes a nice lead-in to The Bells, with its somber sounds gently usurped by the joyful ringing of the celesta and flutes. Joyful also describes Anissimov's performance of The Bells' first movement. After tenor Ivan Choupenitch's record long-held note on "Slyshish", the chorus enters exuberantly though not with the voluminous massed Read more sonority of the Russian Republican Capelle for Kondrashin.

The RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, an Irish-based ensemble, makes a pretty impressive show of itself throughout this performance, not least for its convincingly Slavic sound. Ireland's National Symphony also transcends geography, paradoxically sounding more Russian than Pletnev's Russian National band does on his recent Deutsche Grammophon recording. For this Anissimov certainly deserves the credit: listen to how his trumpets peal against the strings in the second movement's great ascending orchestral interlude, or how in the finale the winds and brass snarl like ghostly specters from the yet-to-be-composed Symphonic Dances. Helen Field's singing in the wedding song is at once soothing and seductive, while Oleg Melnikov intones the bells of death with the requisite gravity and sense of finality. Despite the enormous dynamic range inherent in this work, Naxos' recording captures it all vividly, managing to convey both size and detail. Budget or no, these are Bells you ought to hear.
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

The Rock, Op. 7 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Alexander Anissimov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1996-97 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 14 Minutes 33 Secs. 
The Bells, Op. 35 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Ivan Choupenitch (Tenor), Oleg Melnikov (Bass), Helen Field (Soprano)
Conductor:  Alexander Anissimov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland,  Dublin Radio Telefis Eireann Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1913; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1996-97 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 37 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Russian 

Sound Samples

Utyos (The Rock), Op. 7: The Rock, Op. 7
Kolokola (The Bells), Op. 35: I. Allegro, ma non tanto
Kolokola (The Bells), Op. 35: II. Lento
Kolokola (The Bells), Op. 35: III. Presto
Kolokola (The Bells), Op. 35: IV. Lento lugubre - Allegro - Andante - Tempo I

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