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Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2; Dances from Aleko / Royal Liverpool PO, Petrenko

Album Summary

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Aleko
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Vasily Petrenko conducts the RLPO for Rachmaninov's much loved and best known symphony - No. 2 in E minor. Also included are the Dances form Rachmaninov's one act opera, "Aleko", the work which effectively launched the young composer's professional career. This is the second in this series of releases highlighting the Russian music of the conductor's heritage.

Since Petrenko took up the baton of the RLPO's Principal Conductor in 2006 (and then Chief Conductor in 2009), this partnership has flourished; and the orchestra is now considered Premier League. The partnership of Petrenko and the RLPO have been making critics and audiences sit up and take notice, particularly in their interpretations of music by the Russian masters.

EMI recently released Petrenko's new recording of Rachmaninov Symphony No. 3 (50999679019200), which received wonderful reviews. Hugh Canning writer for the Sunday Times Culture Section mentioned, "The RLPO strings... have never seemed more sumptuous than in the long melodies of the long melodies of the central adagio, and their brilliant articulation of virtuoso allegro passages at Petrenko's fast tempi brings exhilarating dividends. In this magnificently played account, the stature of the music is never in doubt." While Gramophone magazine noted, "The RLPO play magnificently, responding to Petrenko's purposeful beat and to the sort of judgment in terms of melodic shaping that also makes the orchestral arrangement of the Vocalise sound so pure and unfettered in its allure." Classic FM raved, "Petrenko and the RLPO walk the tightrope of romanticism with perfect poise... This is a beautifully balanced performance, exquisitely recorded."

Sunday Times, 4th November 2012
The RLPO can rarely have played with such rhythmic elan and tonal glamour than they do in this repertoire for their young Russian maestro, a Rachmaninovian to rank with the finest on disc...The scherzo and finale are played with exhilarating panache. Outstanding.

BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012
What a clever idea it was to launch this CD with the super-subtle Liverpool woodwind in the spotlight, lilting in the 'Women's Dance' [from Aleko]...there's a dash of bitters [in the Symphony] to leaven the sweetness and reveal what a lavish feast of counterpoint this epic work has to offer.

The Arts Desk, 24th November 2012
Much to enjoy - the sonorous tuba entry a few minutes into the first movement's Largo introduction, and the hair-raising climax in the Allegro moderato...Petrenko's dynamic last movement is a success, though I would have welcomed a bit more indulgence in the closing minutes.

Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
Petrenko has instilled a sound that makes [the RLPO] a persuasive voice for the Russian Romantics. It is good to hear him devote so much interpretative attention to the Aleko extracts...But the chief attraction is the compelling interpretation of the Second Symphony...a performance that has a true feel for the organic manner in which the symphony is conceived.

International Record Review, December 2012
Petrenko, generally speaking, appears to have the measure of this great work, but time and again he betrays his lack of control over the vast structure with a seeming inability to let the music move forward...[The Dances from Aleko are] far less demanding than the challenges of the Symphony, and Petrenko and the RLPO respond with delight to this rarely heard but eminently fresh and attractive music.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
Calm, sweet, and gentle. These are the words that characterize this reading. It is also very well played by a very good orchestra - and beautifully recorded.

Financial Times, 13th October 2012
Petrenko captures the full romantic flavour of this glorious symphony.

The Observer, 14th October 2012
Essential listening. Beginning modestly, melodies sweet and relaxed, the first movement then erupts into volcanic fury. The Allegro molto has biting precision, with crisp strings also relishing the passages of silky lyricism...The gypsy-inspired dances from Aleko provide a voluptuous companion piece.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.


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Works Details

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Aleko :: Women's Dance
  • Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 5 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1892

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Aleko :: Intermezzo
  • Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1892

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Aleko :: Men's Dance
  • Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
  • Running Time: 4 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1892

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27
  • Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
  • Notes: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool (11/01/2011-11/02/2011)
  • Running Time: 60 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1906-1907