"...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.
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."
ClassicsToday.com - 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."
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."
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." ... ****
The Sunday Times - 21 February 2010
Financial Times - 13 March 2010