Rachmaninov - Complete Symphonies, The Isle of the Dead, Symphonic Dances, Vocalise | Naxos 8503278

Rachmaninov - Complete Symphonies, The Isle of the Dead, Symphonic Dances, Vocalise

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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8503278

Barcode: 0747313327836

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 3

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 10th March 2023



Sergei Rachmaninov’s symphonic career had a rocky start with the premiere of his First Symphony, now recognised as one of the great Russian symphonic works of the late 19th century. Both the powerful First Symphony and the gloriously melodic Second, with its lushly harmonic Adagio second movement, are haunted by the Dies irae chant melody. Rachmaninov considered his Third Symphony to be one of his finest works, alongside the exquisitely orchestrated and virtuosic Symphonic Dances. The enduring attraction of these symphonies is enhanced by the ‘impressive, highly desirable interpretations’ (Gramophone) in this acclaimed edition conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Rachmaninov stands tall today as one of the last great Russian Romantic composers, and his symphonies only yield in their popularity to his piano concertos. There have of course been many recordings of these works, but with critical comments such as ‘I’m not sure one could cite more committed and accurately played performances of these works by any other orchestra’ (Classical Net on 8573051) this edition has become a first choice for many.

This series received wide praise on its original releases. The Second Symphony (8572458) was a performance ‘which really held attention… hearing his performance one is convinced that his musicians are truly inside the music emotionally’ (BBC Music Magazine). The Third Symphony (8573051) was welcomed by Fanfare: ‘Leonard Slatkin and his marvellous Detroit Symphony really hit a home run with their splendid Naxos release of Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony and Symphonic Dances.’ The First Symphony (8573234) brought the series to a resounding conclusion: ‘Leonard Slatkin completes his second go-round of the Rachmaninov symphonies with a splendid First featuring powerful playing by the revitalised Detroit Symphony.’

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is Music Director Laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Directeur Musical Honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL), and Conductor Laureate of the St Louis Symphony Orchestra. He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author, and educator. Slatkin has received six Grammy awards and 35 nominations. Slatkin has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world. As Music Director, he has held posts in New Orleans; St. Louis; Washington, DC; London (with the BBC Symphony Orchestra); Detroit; and Lyon, France. He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Cleveland.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musicians, and a deep connection to its city. Alongside their acclaimed recordings of Rachmaninov’s symphonies for Naxos, the DSO has also recorded Aaron Copland’s Third Symphony (8559844), in which ‘Slatkin’s attention to colouristic detail, and the expressive intensity of the Detroit Symphony’s playing, are riveting’ (Gramophone), and Copland’s Rodeo and other works (8559758) was a MusicWeb International ‘top recommendation… The Detroit Orchestra, in superb form for their inspirational conductor are captured in spectacular and beautiful sound.’

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