Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3; Symphonic Dances

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COMPOSERS: Rachmaninov
LABELS: Classics for Pleasure
WORKS: Symphony No. 3; Symphonic Dances
PERFORMER: Royal Liverpool PO/Charles Mackerras
Routine Rachmaninov from Mackerras and the RLPO, neither of whom seems at ease with these scores. Mackerras is a shade reticent in his handling of the Third Symphony; equally, his account of Rachmaninov’s swan-song, the Symphonic Dances, never really takes flight either. The RLPO strings lack substance throughout; partly a consequence of the natural recording perspectives achieved, ironically enough, in Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall. Collectors seeking a reliable version of the Third shouldn’t miss de Waart’s complete cycle, now available in the excellent Philips Duo series. Michael Jameson