Rachmaninov: The Bells; Three Russian Songs

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COMPOSERS: Rachmaninov
WORKS: The Bells; Three Russian Songs
PERFORMER: Natalia Troitskaya (soprano), Ryszard Karczykowski (tenor), Tom Krause (baritone)Concertgebouw Orchestra & Chorus/Vladimir Ashkenazy
CATALOGUE NO: 436 482-2 DDD(1986)
The choral symphony based on a Russian version of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem (1913) was one of Rachmaninov’s favourites among his works, and shows his gifts as a colourist at their apogee. Ashkenazy revels in the work’s glamour in this loving account delivered in vivid and occasionally brash sound. The choral singing, however, leaves something to be desired. The rare Three Russian Songs of 1926 are even more opulent, the composer finding extraordinary resonance in the apparently innocuous folk texts. George Hall