Rachmaninov: Symphony No.1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3; The Rock

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COMPOSERS: Rachmaninov
LABELS: Philips Duo
WORKS: Symphony No.1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3; The Rock
PERFORMER: Rotterdam PO/Edo de Waart
CATALOGUE NO: 438 724-2 ADD (1976/77/78)
De Waart’s Rachmaninov cycle attracted countless plaudits during his tenure with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. His black-browed, imperiously vengeful reading of the First Symphony, and equally stark realisation of the early Liszt-inspired tone poem The Rock reveal the stature of these oft-maligned examples of Rachmaninov juvenilia.

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De Waart observes the usual cuts in the Second Symphony, but his performance is ardently sustained, avoiding any self-regarding excess.

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A clear-sighted and economically proportioned account of the Third completes another bargain reissue from Philips. Sumptuous orchestral execution, and astonishing sound – who could ask for more? Michael Jameson