Rachmaninov's symphonies

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Rachmaninov's symphonies

I have recently been exploring Rachmaninov's symphonies- Ashkenazy, Petrenko and Ivan Fischer. Ashkenazy is the most romantic and lush, Petrenko is much leaner. fischer is excellent with the 2nd. I would be much interested in recommendations besides these. How about Walter Weller or Ormandy? Pletnev seems to get mixed reviews from critics.I am hoping knowledgeable people like Parla would be able to give me suggestions by comparing them to the performances I cited.  regards Anand

P.S. I just got the Howard Shelley box of Rachmaninov's solo piano music which I find excellent but that is the subject of another post. 

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

The Previn recording of the 2nd is fantastic.

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

In addition to the Previn 2nd justly mentioned by Muzzer, there is another - more recent - outstanding version of this symphony: Ivan Fischer conducting his Budapest Festival Orchestra. Really first rate.

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

Don't forget Mariss Jansons with the Leningrad Philharmonic.

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

Avoid Svetlanov in No.2. Huge cut in the finale and a timpani stroke to ruin the end of the first movement.

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

I guess that you'll be better served w/ Jansons & St. Petersburg's readings on EMI, already mentioned by 50M (I don't know Fischer's though).

If you love the 2nd, Previn (EMI) is normally recommended though sometimes I think this reading is .....too intense (?), it's a bit like riding a roller coaster, but if you are in love.......

If you want to try a different approach to the 2nd, look for Kurt Sanderling's recording on DG: a good mono from 1956 (Leningrad PO again).

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

The recordings that sweep me along are the Ashkenazy. Try Gergiev on LSO Live for a hot-blooded 2nd in excellent sound.

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

I guess all the contributors so far gave some very viable suggestions.

I could sum up by saying that one needs at least one altogether Russian performance. So, one of Svetlanov's (possibly the recent one on ICA, but with a British orchestra), or Fedosseyev (on Audiophile) or Polyansky (on Chandos) or the very recent SACD recording of Gergiev (not, however, that much in the Classic Russian tradition and not with a Russian orchestra, but with great sound).

Ivan Fischer, on the SACD recording on Channel, is superb in any way. Ashkenazy is impressive and in wonderful sound in his more recent recording, on Exton. The same label has released another whole cycle, in most brilliant and very analytical SACD recording, with Edo de Waart. Absolutely impressive!

Finally, P. Jarvi on Telarc and the recent G. Noseda on Chandos are fine too.

Pletnev and Jansons are very fine but uneven and not in extremely good recordings. Petrenko and Papano sound impressive but too polished for such heavily romantic Russian music.

Parla

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

Thanks to everyone. The suggestions are very helpful indeed. regards Anand

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

I have a few sets, with Ashkenazy/RCO at the top by default, but last time I listened to it I was disappointed, finding the interpretation superficial and occasionally a bit roughly handled. I want a properly romantic approach that takes the music seriously. The two sets I have my eye on are Previn (already have his 2nd) and Svetlanov, but to be honest my interests lie elsewhere at the moment.

'Art doesn't need philosophers. It just needs to communicate from soul to soul.' Alejandro Jodorowsky

RE: Rachmaninov's symphonies

Rachmaninov is a composer who really needs to be re-evaluated. His first symphony is a fantastic work, Askenazy gets it just about spot on. His second sends me to sleep everytime I hear it, but is third is interesting, try Berglund on RCA.

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