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.
This is Ivan Fischer’s second Mahler symphony for Channel Classics with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, his first being the Sixth recorded in February 2005. His opening to this Resurrection symphony, its hero’s Funeral Rites, is disciplined with touches of brusqueness in the brass. But as this is supposed to ask ‘Why did you live?’ I’m very aware of Fischer’s empathy for the visionary aspects of the movement, as if to answer ‘To experience all that’s lovely’.
This is the world premiere recording of Vasks' second symphony. It is a 40-minute, one-movement work which opens with a glorious bang, with the orchestra at its most powerful and busy. A few minutes in, Vasks offers us repose which is almost religious, there is a buildup and then more reflection, and a long crescendo to great might again. The work ends on a beautifully introspective, soft, haunting refrain. Vasks is primarily a Romantic, so the work is tonal; there are touches of Kancheli (but not as much breast-beating), Shostakovich (again, not as pessimistic).