Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3; Vocalise

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COMPOSERS: Rachmaninov
LABELS: BMG Melodiya
WORKS: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3; Vocalise
PERFORMER: USSR SO, Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre, USSR RTV Large SO/Evgeny Svetlanov
CATALOGUE NO: 74321 40064 2 ADD (1962-73)
Evgeny Svetlanov draws from these three different orchestras performances whose ardour is unquestioned. What is less certain is whether such excessive pathos and straining of limits always serve the music, which at times teeters on the brink of cacophony. It never quite falls, although the Second Symphony, especially its runaway-train finale, is a case where less would have been more. But the Third Symphony and Vocalise are gems – and even when rough-edged, Svetlanov is always authentic. Christopher Wood

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