Author Topic: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies  (Read 488 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10767
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« on: April 27, 2018, 12:01:39 AM »
Distracting myself at work  ::)

Any thoughts on this?

I dont have very strong views on favourites but, let me see:

Symphony 1 (my favourite) Ormandy/Sony

Symphony 2 (complete version) Ashkenazy/Decca

Symphony 3 Previn/EMI

« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 12:03:33 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Biffo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 415
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2018, 12:58:07 AM »
I have only one complete cycle, Ashkenazy/Concertgebouw. As I don't have any other recordings of Nos 1 & 3 I suppose they have to count as my favourites. Periodically, I keep thinking about trying other versions but never get round to it.

I have several versions of No 2 including Previn/LSO which is highly regarded, not sure it is my favourite though. The first recording I ever bought was Boult/LPO, a secondhand LP from a market stall and I still have a soft spot for it. I heard Rattle conduct a stunning performance with LPO, his recording with the LAPO doesn't live up to the no doubt flawed memory of the live event. Ormandy is fine in this work but preferably the uncut 1973 recording. The most modern version I have is from Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, I remember it being a fine performance but haven't, as yet, returned to it after the first listening.

On balance, I go for Ashkenazy/Concertgebouw.

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10767
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2018, 01:53:17 AM »
I have only one complete cycle, Ashkenazy/Concertgebouw. As I don't have any other recordings of Nos 1 & 3 I suppose they have to count as my favourites. Periodically, I keep thinking about trying other versions but never get round to it.

I have several versions of No 2 including Previn/LSO which is highly regarded, not sure it is my favourite though. The first recording I ever bought was Boult/LPO, a secondhand LP from a market stall and I still have a soft spot for it. I heard Rattle conduct a stunning performance with LPO, his recording with the LAPO doesn't live up to the no doubt flawed memory of the live event. Ormandy is fine in this work but preferably the uncut 1973 recording. The most modern version I have is from Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, I remember it being a fine performance but haven't, as yet, returned to it after the first listening.

On balance, I go for Ashkenazy/Concertgebouw.

Thank you. I also like Previn's LSO No. 2 and Boult's Decca recording of Symphony 3. As for more modern version I like Pletnev's recording of Symphony1 on DGG with 'The Isle of the Dead' - a fine CD.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:55:53 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8113
  • An American Hero!
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2018, 02:27:10 AM »
Thank you. I also like Previn's LSO No. 2 and Boult's Decca recording of Symphony 3. As for more modern version I like Pletnev's recording of Symphony1 on DGG with 'The Isle of the Dead' - a fine CD.


Pletnev makes a magnificent case for that work!  The Isle of the Dead: I still prefer the old Ormandy/Philadephia Orchestra which I can only find via NAXOS Classical Archive.

Don't forget The Bells!  I invested in both the Ashkenazy (odd engineering and singing to my ears) and Charles Dutoit (better, but lacking "oomph" at the necessary moments) performances, and do not find that they come close to this one: one of Svetlanov's last concerts!

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/a2ZueKpT0Cc" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/a2ZueKpT0Cc</a>

COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline Draško

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 377
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2018, 03:26:40 AM »
Don't have strong preferences for 1 & 3, though I think composer himself in 3rd should be heard.

Favorite 2nd is Bychkov with Orchestre de Paris on Philips, others I like are any of the numerous Svetlanov's and Gergiev's first with Mariinsky (Kirov) on Philips also.

Offline Sergeant Rock

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 21742
  • Location: Wine Country Germany
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2018, 04:15:43 AM »
Of the three cycles I have I'd pick Rozhdestvensky (the other two are Ashkenazy and Litton)

Individual symphonies:

1 - Ashkenazy/Concertegebouw
2 - Rozhdestvensky/LSO (also like Slatkin/Detroit and Bychkov/Paris)
3 - Golovanov/Great SO All-Union


Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline PerfectWagnerite

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3274
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2018, 05:28:39 PM »
NOT a big fan of #1. For 2 and 3 my first recordings and still my favorite are De Waart/Rotterdam. Perfect pacing as if entire movements are long phrases. Probably not as dark as others but very crisp and transparent.

The Slatkin/Detroit set is very fine also but a bit less freely played and at times too deliberate for me.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44251
  • Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    ...Mist floating above the lake...
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2018, 06:51:06 PM »
My choices...

Symphony No. 2 - Rozhdestvensky/LSO, Ashkenazy/Concertgebouw
Symphony No. 3 - Stokowski/National Phil.

I never could get into the first symphony, but I don’t listen to Rachmaninov much these days and when I do, it’s usually one of his PCs, chamber, or piano works.
“I love music passionately. And because I love it I try to free it from barren traditions that stifle it.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Daverz

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4525
  • You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down!
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 07:04:11 PM »
I'd go for Litton/Bergen for 2.

http://www.eclassical.com/labels/bis/rachmaninov-symphony-no2-2.html

Richard Kaplan surveyed a huge number of recordings of 2 for Fanfare and his top 3 were this Litton, Zinman and Noseda.

BTW, that Ormandy set is really good, despite the cuts in No. 2.  Ormandy did record No. 2 without the cuts.  Available, if a bit pricey, on an ArkivCD:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=217504
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 01:23:04 AM by Daverz »

Offline aukhawk

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 681
  • Frankie
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bach to Björk
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2018, 10:47:25 PM »
Symphonic Dances - Gergiev.  (Although with Ashkenazy you get an ideal coupling - with The Isle of the Dead.)

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10767
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2018, 01:23:20 AM »
My choices...

Symphony No. 2 - Rozhdestvensky/LSO, Ashkenazy/Concertgebouw
Symphony No. 3 - Stokowski/National Phil.

I never could get into the first symphony, but I don’t listen to Rachmaninov much these days and when I do, it’s usually one of his PCs, chamber, or piano works.

That Stokowsi performance is very good and I too enjoy Litton's cycle.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10767
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2018, 02:54:18 AM »
I'd go for Litton/Bergen for 2.

http://www.eclassical.com/labels/bis/rachmaninov-symphony-no2-2.html

Richard Kaplan surveyed a huge number of recordings of 2 for Fanfare and his top 3 were this Litton, Zinman and Noseda.

BTW, that Ormandy set is really good, despite the cuts in No. 2.  Ormandy did record No. 2 without the cuts.  Available, if a bit pricey, on an ArkivCD:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=217504

Thanks for that - totally agree about Ormandy.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10767
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2018, 06:14:56 AM »
Of the three cycles I have I'd pick Rozhdestvensky (the other two are Ashkenazy and Litton)

Individual symphonies:

1 - Ashkenazy/Concertegebouw
2 - Rozhdestvensky/LSO (also like Slatkin/Detroit and Bychkov/Paris)
3 - Golovanov/Great SO All-Union


Sarge
I like Golavonov's versions of both 2 and 3. I'm sorry that he never recorded Miaskovsky's 6th Symphony as he conducted the legendary premiere.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline George

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5246
  • Our DJ's Better Than All These Bands
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2018, 04:00:44 PM »
.



I really like this one, it was one of my very first classical CDs that I bought.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8113
  • An American Hero!
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2018, 04:28:59 PM »
.



I really like this one, it was one of my very first classical CDs that I bought.

Amen! 

Ormandy was to Rachmaninov as Bruno Walter was to Mahler.
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1250
  • Location: Wales
Re: Favourite recordings of the three Rachmaninov symphonies
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2018, 10:16:20 PM »
I've got the St. Petersburg/Jansons box with the symphonies and piano concertos, so that fills Nos. 1 & 3. However, I also have LSO/Previn's No. 2 and prefer that.