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AV 2188
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AV 2188

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances/ Isle of the Dead/The Rock

The Classical Shop
release date: February 2010

Originally recorded in 2010


Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Vasily Petrenko


Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool


John Fraser

Andrew Cornall



David A. Pigott

Record Label
Avie Records


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 69:46
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Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

1 I Non allegro 11:38
2 II Andante con moto (Tempo di valse) 10:03
3 III Lento assai - Allegro vivace 14:06

The Isle of the Dead, Op. 29


The Rock Fantasy, Op. 7

Rachmaninoff – Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Petrenko

Avie’s fruitful association with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra yields its tenth release, and the third with Vasily Petrenko, the youngest Music Director in the Orchestra’s illustrious history. A native of St Petersburg, Petrenko appropriately continues his exploration of Russian repertoire with the first disc in a series devoted to orchestral works and concerti by Rachmaninoff.

Petrenko won the Classic FM / Gramophone Young Artist of the Year award in 2007, and in 2009 he and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra garnered the Gramophone Award for Best Orchestral Recording. Since arriving in Liverpool in 2006, Vasily Petrenko has had a galvanising effect on the Orchestra – Classic FM’s Orchestra of the Northwest – attracting unanimous critical acclaim. Having recently renewed his contract through 2015, Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra are poised to spread further a field their success story through these recordings for Avie.

"...Vasily Petrenko conducts the RPO on tremendous form in a precise and dramatic performance of both pieces, plus the tone poem ,The Isle of the Dead’. Worth it for the woodwind alone.

Claudia Pritchard

The Independent - 28 March 2010

                    Artistic Quality 10               Sound Quality 10

"...None of this music lacks for excellent performances, but you’d be hard pressed to find demonstrably superior versions of any of these pieces gathered together on a single disc."

David Hurwitz - June 2010

"...Maybe it’s Petrenko’s Russian origins that inspire his orchestra to this richly intelliegent performance, from the dark brooding beginnings of the Isle of the Dead to the lovely lyricism of the waltz from the Symphonic Dances. The dramatic climaxes, showcase a thrilling brass section, although the orchestra plays with passion whilst maintaining both clarity and texture throughout. Put on the headphones, shut out the world and reward yourself with an hour of terrific musical intensity."

Jane Jones


Classic FM Magazine - March 2010

"Three pieces spanning Rachmaninov’s life are given equal weight by Petrenko."  "The Symphonic Dances(1940), The Isle of the Dead (1909) and The Rock (1893) all have distinctive Rachmaninov stamp, for which Petrenko has a sure ear, coupled with a stylistic acuity that enables him to point out the differences between the later and the earlier music." "...the detail and emotional substance are so sympathetically handles that this early piece [The Rock], which is by no means unskilled but lacks Rachmaninov’s later finesse, is invested with a passion, lustre and sensitivity that fully justify its being placed alongside two masterpieces of his maturity."

Geoffrey Norris

Gramophone - May 2010

"...the winds [RLPO] are characterful - the alto saxophonist brings an aptly Russian melancholy and nostalgia to his solo in the opening non allegro movement - and Petrenko keeps the brass well in check. He achieves a wonderfully integrated blend of orchestral sound, yet his attention to detail of instrumentation and dynamic is achieved without artifical highlighting. The central tempo di valse movement has an easy-going lilt and the allegro vivace of the finale is electrifying." ...    ****

Hugh Canning

The Sunday Times - 21 February 2010



Andrew Clark

Financial Times - 13 March 2010

D Guest