Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3; Melodie in E, Op. 3/3; Polichinelle, Op. 3/4

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COMPOSERS: Rachmaninov
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Symphony No. 3; Melodie in E, Op. 3/3; Polichinelle, Op. 3/4
PERFORMER: National SO of Ireland/Alexander Anissimov
CATALOGUE NO: 8.550808
Even if Anissimov’s orchestra can’t rival the Philadelphia under the composer in the sheer luxury of string sound, the players certainly get dug in. The main body of the first movement can easily sit down if the lyrical theme is treated too slowly and indulgently. Here it has thrust, without sacrificing flexibility, and the rubatos almost always sound natural and convincing. The recording is very resonant, perhaps to glamorise the strings, which it certainly does in the soulful second movement – a pity that this affects the clarity of the faster passages. Strangely enough, this doesn’t apply to the finale, where the strands of the dashing fugues are completely distinct, and Anissimov conjures up a fine storm, interspersed with interludes of romantic calm. Martin Cotton

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