Andre Previn’s name has become synonymous with the work. In this, his latest version, the interpretation is more daringly expansive and slower to evolve than ever before - he takes nearly eight minutes longer than the more urgent Ashkenazy on Decca - but ultimately the conviction of the performance wins through. The playing is a delight -sample the clarinet solo in the long adagio, surely one of the loveliest tunes ever written, critics notwithstanding! With a generous ambience, natural balance, and 'bloom' so characteristic of Telarc productions, the recording perfectly complements the performance.
Peter Herring, Classical Music on Compact Disc
Conductor Antonio Pappano leads Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia on this recording of one of the 20th century’s most thrilling and emotive symphonies, Sergej Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. This is coupled with Anatoly Liadov’s beautiful tone poem The Enchanted Lake.
EMI's two-disc set Rachmaninov: Orchestral Works offers listeners a solid foundation of the Russian composer's symphonic literature. As with many collections that call upon existing recordings to combine into one anthology, performance quality varies.
André Previn's 1975 EMI recording of Carmina Burana sounds better than ever in this new transfer. The analog tape hiss has been tamed, yet there's more "air" between the notes and a greater sense of dynamic and timbral definition. Engineering-wise, the mid-70s were golden years for EMI, and the rhythmic verve, dramatic momentum, and unbuttoned joy that Previn and his brilliant forces project still pack a sonic wallop. The soloists especially are outstanding. Thomas Allen navigates Orff's cruelly high tessitura with no effort, and Sheila Armstrong wraps her warm, flexible pipes around "In trutina mentis dubia" to moving effect. Gerald English gives just the right character to the roasted swan's lament, without overly exaggerating. In short, this performance surpasses Previn's live Vienna Philharmonic remake for DG, and ranks with Shaw (Telarc), Dorati (Decca), Blomstedt (Decca), Ormandy (Sony), Muti (EMI), and Mata (RCA) among the best recordings on disc of Carl Orff's pre-minimalist masterpiece.(Jed Distler)