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Jansons: Rachmaninov – The Bells, Symphonic Dances (24/48 FLAC)

Jansons: Rachmaninov - The Bells, Symphonic Dances (24/48 FLAC)
Jansons: Rachmaninov – The Bells, Symphonic Dances (24/48 FLAC)


Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
Performer: Oleg Dolgov, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Alexey Markov, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Orchestra: Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Conductor: Mariss Jansons
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: BR Klassik
Catalogue: 900154
Release: 2018
Size: 740 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

The Bells, Op. 35
01. I. Allegro, ma non tanto
02. II. Lento
03. III. Presto
04. IV. Lento lugubre

Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
05. I. Non allegro
06. II. Andante con moto (Tempo di valse)
07. III. Lento assai

Two large symphonic tone poems by the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov can be experienced on this release: the four-movement symphonic poem ‘The Bells’ (‘Kolokola’) op 35, based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, for solo voices, choir and orchestra, composed in 1913, and the three ‘Symphonic Dances’ op 45 from 1940 – the last completed work by the composer, who died in 1943. These outstanding performances of significant compositions of the early 20th-century symphonic repertoire are conducted by Mariss Jansons.

Rachmaninov’s The Bells is of vast scope, setting an adaptation of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe (free enough that the Russian text is generally retranslated into English, as in the graphics here) depicting bells that mark the entire life cycle of an individual. The composer sometimes referred to it as his third symphony, and indeed it has that kind of synoptic ambition. It is written for a large orchestra, a choir, and three soloists, and all the legs of this triad are superbly realized here. Sample the third movement, which represents the tumult and misery of everyday life: conductor Mariss Jansons, leading the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, shows why the group is one of the absolute best in the world in this kind of large-ensemble repertory. It’s gripping. The choir has a solidly consistent rich Germanic sound that contrasts nicely with the styles of the three soloists, all Russian. Everything falls into place here, and while there are fine Russian versions of the work, the electricity of the live performance here, very nicely recorded by Bavarian Radio’s own engineers, puts this version in a class by itself. The late Symphonic Dances, Rachmaninov’s final work, has a different and somewhat nostalgic tone; it was the composer’s only work written entirely in the U.S. Its prominent saxophone part is especially evocative here. A top-notch Rachmaninov release all around.

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