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Thread: Rachmaninov: The Symphonies

  1. #31
    Senior Member Sloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selby View Post
    No love for the Bells symphony? I read that, along with the All-Night Vigil (Vespers), it was one of Rach's favorite pieces.
    I love the Bells but is it really a symphony?

    My favourite Rachmaninov symphony is the third.

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    Senior Member 13hm13's Avatar
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    Thx to my local public library, I'll be sampling some Rach. symph. recordings.

    My pref. for #2 is ...



    Maybe Zinman/BSO will also come thru for #3.

    No guess about #1 yet.
    Last edited by 13hm13; Jul-19-2018 at 20:44.

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  4. #33
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    I am very fond of all three symphonies, and was so delighted to first hear the First, after reading that Rachmaninoff had destroyed it after its snake-bitten premiere--what luck that enough was found later to reconstruct it. I'm not a big symphony fan in general, but Rachmaninoff shares with Brahms a distinction of have penned a choice few that really appeal to me, all almost equally.

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  6. #34
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloe View Post
    I love the Bells but is it really a symphony?
    Yes, it is really a symphony.

    What greater comfort does time afford than the objects of terror re-encountered and their fraudulence exposed in the flash of reason?
    — William Gaddis, The Recognitions

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    Quote Originally Posted by 13hm13 View Post
    Thx to my local public library, I'll be sampling some Rach. symph. recordings.

    My pref. for #2 is ...



    Maybe Zinman/BSO will also come thru for #3.

    No guess about #1 yet.
    Great, under-rated recording and it is one of the very, very few that is absolutely complete - most "complete" versions still skip the 1st movement repeat. Zinman once again shows his ability to inspire an orchestra.

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  9. #36
    Senior Member 13hm13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    Great, under-rated recording and it is one of the very, very few that is absolutely complete - most "complete" versions still skip the 1st movement repeat. Zinman once again shows his ability to inspire an orchestra.
    This was a golden age for BSO ... with Zinman at the helm. Roughly in the same timeframe, the DZ/BSO team was recording Barber (the Argo CD), as well as Elgar (Telarc) and other goodies ... all superb.

  10. #37
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    For me the three Rachmaninov Symphonies gradually get weaker from One to Three, a not uncommon perception, but considering how good No.1 is, no insult either. I know his piano works are "more important", but it is this part of his output that I have the greatest regard for. I'd rank the Symphonic Dances as his masterpiece.

    There are some wonderful cycles and recordings out there, and a set from a bygone age - Ormandy's - should get a mention. Previn and Ashkenazy are superb, Jansons, Pletnev extremely good. But probably my favourite set is the one Andrew Litton did with the Royal PO on Virgin. No Bells, alas, but No.1 and No.3 are so exciting with him, and so are the Dances. I see he has done a new cycle (on BIS), which I don't know, I'm afraid.
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Jul-20-2018 at 10:53.

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  12. #38
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    Don't ignore the early Symphony in D. A one-movement work that just reeks of Russian Nationalism. Pair it with Prince Rostislov and Caprice Boheme for a wonderful hour of listening.

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  14. #39
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    Don't ignore the early Symphony in D. A one-movement work that just reeks of Russian Nationalism. Pair it with Prince Rostislov and Caprice Boheme for a wonderful hour of listening.
    Is that the one called the "Youth Symphony"? If so, am listening to it right now.
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    Is that the one called the "Youth Symphony"? If so, am listening to it right now.
    That's the one.

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  17. #41
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    That's the one.
    An excellent one it is!
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    I'm giving Rachmaninoff's second symphony a listen for the first time. The recording is Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. I decided to buy this set for a couple of reasons: (1) the composer shared a special relationship with this orchestra and conductor, and (2) it was cheap. So far I am really enjoying the music. It's actually much better than I expected. I've never been much of a fan of Tchaikovsky's symphonies in the past and I guess I was expecting the same thing here. Not quite. Great, late-Romantic, Russian music.



    I'd like to also hear the late Mariss Jansons' recordings of the Rachmaninoff symphonies.

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  20. #43
    Senior Member Pat Fairlea's Avatar
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    Nice thread!
    I think each of the symphonies has to be considered for itself, not as part of a series. They were written too many years apart.
    And the Symphonic Dances are wonderful in orchestral and in 2-piano versions.
    Conductors? Previn for no.2.

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delicious Manager View Post
    I think Rakhmaninov wrote four symphonies, as I consider his last work, the Symphonic Dances of 1941, as a symphony in all but name - and the best of them all. Interesting how Rakhmaninov quotes the main recurring motif of the First Symphony (which he assumed would never be heard again) at the end of the first movement of the Symphonic Dances. And don't forget the choral symphony The Bells!
    Well that puts him right up there with Mendelssohn for number of symphonies!
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

  22. #45
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 13hm13 View Post
    Thx to my local public library, I'll be sampling some Rach. symph. recordings.

    My pref. for #2 is ...



    Maybe Zinman/BSO will also come thru for #3.

    No guess about #1 yet.
    So I have #2 and #3 with Zinman, but apparently he did not record the first symphony.
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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