Rachmaninov Symphony No 1, Balakirev - Tamara (2016)

Rachmaninov, Balakirev

London Symphony Orchestra

Valery Gergiev

Rachmaninov’s star shone brightly at the beginning of his career. He was barely twenty when his oneact opera Aleko, composed as a graduation exercise from the Moscow Conservatory, was praised by Tchaikovsky and performed at the Bolshoi. He had also already composed his First Piano Concerto. Following two smaller-scale orchestral pieces, The Rock and the Fantasy on Gypsy Themes, he felt ready to tackle the most demanding orchestral form. He devoted most of 1895 to composing his enormously ambitious First Symphony, a work that would surpass everything he had yet achieved. ‘I believed I had opened up entirely new paths’, he recalled many years later.

Read more

London Symphony Orchestra

The LSO was formed in 1904 as London’s first self-governing orchestra and has been resident orchestra at the Barbican since 1982. Valery Gergiev became Principal Conductor in 2007 following in the footsteps of Hans Richter, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Thomas Beecham, André Previn, Claudio Abbado and Michael Tilson Thomas, among others. Sir Colin Davis had previously held the position since 1995 and from 2007 became the LSO’s first President since Leonard Bernstein. The Orchestra gives numerous concerts around the world each year, plus more performances in London than any other orchestra. It is the world’s most recorded symphony orchestra and has appeared on some of the greatest classical recordings and film soundtracks. The LSO also runs LSO Discovery, its ground-breaking education programme that is dedicated to introducing the finest music to young and old alike and lets everyone learn more from the Orchestra’s players. For more information visit lso.co.uk

Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev is Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival (St Petersburg), the Moscow Easter Festival, the Gergiev Rotterdam Festival, the Mikkeli International Festival, and the Red Sea Festival in Eilat, Israel. His inspired leadership as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre since 1988 has brought universal acclaim to this legendary institution. Born in Moscow, he studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory, won the Herbert von Karajan Conductors’ Competition aged 24, and made his Mariinsky Opera debut one year later conducting Prokofiev’s War and Peace. In 2003 he led St Petersburg’s 300th anniversary celebrations, and opened the Carnegie Hall season with the Mariinsky Orchestra,the first Russian conductor to do so since Tchaikovsky conducted the Hall’s inaugural concert in 1891. Valery Gergiev’s many awards include a Grammy, the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, the Golden Mask Award, People’s Artist of Russia Award, and France’s Royal Order of the Legion of Honour. His vast discography includes Russian operas, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky Symphonies, and numerous discs on the LSO Live and Mariinsky labels, including a Mahler Symphony cycle, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Wagner’s Parsifal, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and a disc of Debussy’s music.

Read more

Rachmaninov Symphony No 1, Balakirev - Tamara (2016)

Rachmaninov, Balakirev

London Symphony Orchestra

    Bachtrack

‘This is music Gergiev clearly believes in and that translated itself to his players…Here was Gergiev at his best.’

    BBC Music Magazine -

'The LSO plays, as always, splendidly for Valery Gergiev. The general excellence and detail of their performance is remarkable.'

    The Whole Note

"Rachmaninov’s Symphony No.1 certainly didn’t have the smoothest entry into the world. At its premiere in March of 1897, the (possibly) inebriated conductor, Alexander Glazunov, had already expressed his doubts about it and gave a less-than-stellar performance. As a result, the scathing reviews were enough to shatter Rachmaninov’s confidence as a composer for four years. Since that time, the piece has come to be better regarded and is presented here as the last in a cycle of the complete symphonies featuring the London Symphony and Valery Gergiev. From the menacing chords that open the first movement, it’s clear that Gergiev and the LSO have full command of this challenging score – and challenging it is. Rachmaninov rarely ever again demonstrated such raw emotion in his orchestral writing and the sometimes strident tone can be a bit of a challenge. Nevertheless, the LSO delivers a suave and polished performance despite brisker tempos than we might be accustomed to. The warmly romantic strings meld perfectly with the stirring brass, particularly in the second and fourth movements and the bombastic finale is approached with much panache without ever resorting to empty virtuosity. An added bonus is Balakirev’s Tamara, a work the composer considered his finest. Based on a sultry love-poem by Mikhail Lermontov, the score is an exercise in oriental exoticism so favored by Russian composers of the period. Gergiev and the LSO offer up a convincing performance of this sensuous music, from the mysterious beginning to the tumultuous finale before quietly fading away. Are there shades of Scheherazade here? Quite possibly. Under Gergiev’s skillful baton, the result is a wonderful blending of cultures, rounding out this outstanding three-disc cycle. Highly recommended."

Richard Haskell[read full review]

Rachmaninov Symphony No 1, Balakirev - Tamara (2016)

Rachmaninov, Balakirev

London Symphony Orchestra

Digital Converters: Horus
Editing Software: Pyramix
Mastering Engineer: Jonathan Stokes
Producer: James Mallinson
Recording Engineer: Neil Hutchinson, Jonathan Stokes
Recording location: Barbican London
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD128

Quality & Channel Selection
Select Quality and Channels to calculate the price below More info

Quality

  • DXD
  • 64fs
  • 128fs
  • 256fs

Channels

This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
For albums, lower DSD bit rates (128 and/or 64) are available at no surcharge. This does not apply for DXD selection.
Album Download duration price
LSO0784: Rachmaninov Symphony No 1, Balakirev - Tamara
01:01:22   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
i. Grave - Allegro non troppo
Rachmaninov
00:13:35   Select quality & channels above
2.
ii. Allegro animato
Rachmaninov
00:07:03   Select quality & channels above
3.
iii. Larghetto
Rachmaninov
00:09:24   Select quality & channels above
4.
iv. Allegro con fuoco
Rachmaninov
00:11:44   Select quality & channels above
5.
Tamara
Balakirev
00:19:36   Select quality & channels above

User Reviews

Other albums from this label