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RACHMANINOV, National Philharmonic Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski

Symphony No.3 / Vocalise

  • 1. 14 Songs, Op. 34: No. 14. Vocalise (version for orchestra) - 07:03
  • Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44
  • 2. I. Lento - Allegro moderato - 17:07
  • 3. II. Adagio ma non troppo - 09:49
  • 4. III. Allegro - 12:10
  • Łączny czas: 00:46:09
  • National Philharmonic Orchestra - orchestra
  • Leopold Stokowski - conductor
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49.00 PLN


Nr kat.: 8802024
Label  : Newton Classics

Leopold Stokowski was a close friend and champion to many composers, especially the Russians who where exiled in the USA after the revolution. Chief among them were Stravinsky and Rachmaninov. The US premiere of The Rite of Spring was conducted by Stokowski, and in 1920 the US premiere of Rachmaninov’s choral symphony ‘The Bells’ was given by Stokowski, who together with the composer had premiered the revised version of the first Piano Concerto. It was natural that when Rachmaninov completed his Third Symphony in 1935, Stokowski would give the premiere, which took place on 6 November 1936. Although the work is the composer’s orchestral masterpiece, it was met with a lukewarm reception, and Stokowski never conducted it again in public. Rachmaninov’s music seemed in danger of falling out of favour, and the appalling Grove 5th edition entry on the composer may well have coloured Stokowski’s decision to reduce the number of the composer’s works he programmed. However, at the age of 93 Stokowski returned to the studio, and to his friend’s Third Symphony with an orchestra of hand-picked London musicians. The recording is a remarkable achievement. Stokowski proved that he had new things to say about this masterpiece, and the performance bristles with excitement and tension. ‘I simply make music, and people have always been foolish enough to pay me for it. I never told them that I would have done it all for nothing.’ Leopold Stokowski, CBS TV 1976 ‘In the case of Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony, there is the purely historical advantage of having a generally well-engineered stereo recording by the man who had conducted the world premiere back in 1936’ Gramophone review, July 1998 "The Stokowski recording is one of the conductor’s deathbed efforts—he was 93 in these 1975 sessions—where you put up with some messiness for moments of Stokowski magic. Then there’s the cachet of his having conducted the 1936 world premiere." (David Patrick Stearns - The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 2010) "The main item on the second disc, with the National Philharmonic, is Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony. Stokowski gave the world première of this work, but he did not perform it again until these sessions near the end of his life (he handed over the Philadelphia Orchestra to Rachmaninov for the first recording—discussed below). A couple of seemingly contradictory observations need to be made about this: on the one hand there are a few precarious moments of lax ensemble, but on the other I don’t know any recording of this piece (including Rachmaninov’s own) that is as consistently imaginative, or as dazzling at climaxes. Provided you can live with the occasional imprecisions, this is a joyous performance. The Vocalise is lovely and the recorded sound is opulent." (Nigel Simeone - International Record Review, March 2011)


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