Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3 in A minor; Symphonic Dances

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COMPOSERS: Rachmaninov
WORKS: Symphony No. 3 in A minor; Symphonic Dances
PERFORMER: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy
CATALOGUE NO: 436 481-2 DDD (1983/84)
One of the finest Rachmaninov pianists, Ashkenazy is equally impressive as a conductor. He gives a dramatic and warmly expressive account of the Third Symphony. Tempi are very flexible, with generous use of rubato, the first movement exposition repeat is included and Ashkenazy has an impressive grip on the structure. The Concertgebouw has incisive clarity, illuminating the subtlety and the brilliance of the orchestral writing. In the Symphonic Dances he emphasises the rhythmic energy which reflects American influences on the composer, and the last movement conflict between Dies irae and Russian orthodox chant is delivered with terrific impact. David Michaels