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Rachmaninov: Symphonies 1-3 / Ashkenazy, Concertgebouw

Album Summary

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Symphony no 1 in D minor, Op. 13 (lost; reconstructed from piano duets and orch. fragments)
>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27
>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Symphony no 3 in A minor, Op. 44
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Ashkenazy has made few more distinguished discs as conductor than his Rachmaninov symphony recordings of the early 1980s. The downside of the repackaging in this 2CD format is that you have to put up with a change of disc half-way through the Second Symphony and lose the shorter orchestral works included in the Previn set. Previn is the most natural but not always the most electrifying of Rachmaninov interpreters and many will find Ashkenazy preferable, particularly in No 1. Although some of Ashkenazy's speeds seem unnaturally pressed - he fairly tips us into the first movement reprise having declined to cap the climax with unvalidated bells - the excitement is infectious. Previn's LSO isn't at its best in the Larghetto, but in the corresponding movement of the Second Symphony the boot is on the other foot. Not that Ashkenazy isn't convincing too - so long as you can forget the Previn. Ashkenazy's volatile approach is at its most extreme in the Third, the mood much less autumnal than it usually is, with the fruity Concertgebouw brass unconstrained.

Such an unashamedly episodic rendering of the score has its drawbacks, but the virtuosic energy and Romantic gush are hard to resist. The recordings sound very well indeed.



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Works Details

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Symphony no 1 in D minor, Op. 13 (lost; reconstructed from piano duets and orch. fragments)
  • Conductor: Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Ensemble: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1895.
  • Running Time: 41 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1895

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27
  • Conductor: Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Ensemble: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Running Time: 55 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1906-1907

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Symphony no 3 in A minor, Op. 44
  • Conductor: Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Ensemble: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1935-36.
  • Running Time: 41 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1935-1936