Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1 in D minor; Symphony No. 2 in E minor; Symphony No. 3 in A minor

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COMPOSERS: Rachmaninov
LABELS: Decca Double Decca
WORKS: Symphony No. 1 in D minor; Symphony No. 2 in E minor; Symphony No. 3 in A minor
PERFORMER: Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy
CATALOGUE NO: 448 116-2 DDD (1982/83)
Three symphonies on two discs: the only irritation with such compact and economical packaging lies in having to change over discshalfway though the Second Symphony. Live with that, however, and experience a majestic survey of Rachmaninov’s symphonic output. Ashkenazy is sure-footed and purposeful, especially in the underloved First Symphony, which comes over with the comfortable assurance of a popular favourite. Throughout, the Concertgebouw sounds gloriously warm and well-upholstered, the strings serene and the brass forthright but mellifluous. Newer recordings from Russia have more bite, but these certainly have impressive stature and conviction. Christopher Lambton

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