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CHAN 9759
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CHAN 9759

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances · The Bells

The Classical Shop
release date: November 1999

Originally recorded in 1999

Artists:

Russian State Symphony Orchestra


Valeri Polyansky


Vyacheslav Pochapsky

bass*

Olga Lutsiv-Ternovskaya

soprano*

Leonid Bomstein

tenor*

Russian State Symphonic Cappella

*

Venue:

Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory



Producer:

Valeri Polyansky



Engineer:

Igor Veprintsev



Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos


Choir

Total Time - 72:53
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SERGE RACHMANINOFF

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Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

37:12  
1 I Non allegro 11:58
2 II Andante con moto (Tempo di valse) 10:54
3 III Lento assai - Allegro vivace - Lento assai - Come prima - Allegro vivace 14:16
   
 

The Bells, Op. 35*

35:50  
4 I Allegro ma non tanto 6:06
5 II Lento 10:37
6 III Presto 8:50
7 IV Lento lugubre 10:12
Valeri Polyansky conducts a group of distinguished Russian soloists together with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Cappella in this new recording of two popular Rachmaninov works.

This disc serves as an excellent introduction to two Rachmaninov favourities, performed by a superb group of native artists.

Valeri Polyansky has made an excellent series of recordings encompassing well known and less familiar Russian repertoire on Chandos, all of which have been well received. His Schnittke series, Grechaninov and Shostakovich symphonies and a disc of rare Mussorgsky works are particularly admired, as are the recent Glazunov symphonies discs.



In the summer of 1912 Rachmaninov was already toying with the idea of writing a symphony, but his thoughts were given a new direction by the sudden appearance of an unsigned letter. It contained the typewritten text of Konstantin Balmont’s Russian translation of Edgar Alan Poe’s The Bells. The solemn and fatalistic tone of the poem immediately struck the composer and he became fired with the idea of writing a choral symphony. It was given its first performance in Russia in December 1913.

The sound of bells held a particular fascination for Rachmaninov, and his delight in conveying their expressive sounds became a recurrent theme in his music. In the choral symphony he uses their timbre to symbolise human suffering and death. The spectre of death is never far away and hovers over each movement despite it joyful mood.

A period of twenty-seven years separates the composition of The Bells from Rachmaninov’s last orchestral work, the Symphonic Dances. First performed in January 1941, the dances constitute what is essentially a three-movement symphony. The idea of writing a symphony in the form of dance movements was probably suggested by the one-act ballet Paganini that Fokine staged in London in 1939 with Rachmaninov’s music. The composer was evidently interested in following up the success of Paganini with a new ballet based on the Symphonic dances and Fokine would have undoubtedly choreographed them had he not died in 1942.



No Internal Reviews Found.


*****
J Schuetz

*****
R Wendel