Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1

Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Warner Classics 2013

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Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1

The important third release completing this series of Rachmaninov’s symphonies, and highlighting the Russian music of conductor Vasily Petrenko’s heritage.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and their acclaimed young Russian music director conclude their Rachmaninov cycle with a rarely heard symphonic poem on the heroic subject of a prince who sacrifices himself to save his family. The composer himself was sacrificed on the altar of public opinion after the disastrous premiere of his First Symphony, which has won deserved if belated recognition as fully characteristic of his free-flowing, yearning lyrical style.

  • Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 13
  • Prince Rostislav

“there is far more to this performance than high-voltage aggression, for Petrenko’s fluid interpretation perfectly encapsulates the romantic yearning and exoticism of the second idea in the first movement…The RLPO confirms its position as one of Europe’s finest orchestras with playing of great warmth and stunning virtuosity.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2014 *****

“by treating its melodies with the freedom and flexibility they need, Petrenko and his orchestra tune into its emotional pulse: this is a thrilling performance of an underestimated symphony.” Financial Times, 2nd November 2013 *****

“[a] characteristically articulate and highly charged account of the epic First, magnificently played by an orchestra currently at the very top of its game…undeniably strong temperament, architectural grip and considerable clout.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

“Petrenko veers towards the Ashkenazy end of the dramatic spectrum, with a big, brawny start that’s certainly arresting. Trouble is, that’s pretty much where it stays thereafter.” MusicWeb International, 28th October 2013

“Petrenko’s tempo [in the first movement] is perhaps a shade faster than Rachmaninov envisaged, but it gives the movement a momentum that never lets up. The RLPO’s playing is world-class here and in the succeeding movements, where Petrenko coaxes sounds of the utmost transparency in the scherzo…Unmissable.” Sunday Times, 24th November 2013

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