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Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances / The Isle of the Dead


Price: £6.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£6.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Frequently Bought Together

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances / The Isle of the Dead + Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-4
Price For Both: £15.92

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Conductor: Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041YX
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,601 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Rachmaninov: The Isle of the Dead, Op.29Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and Vladimir Ashkenazy20:54Album Only
Listen  2. Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op.45 - 1. Non allegroConcertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and Vladimir Ashkenazy11:29Album Only
Listen  3. Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op.45 - 2. Andante con moto (Tempo di valse)Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and Vladimir Ashkenazy 8:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op.45 - 3. Lento assai - Allegro vivaceConcertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and Vladimir Ashkenazy13:25Album Only

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 20 April 2013
Format: Audio CD
This disc, very well recorded in the early 1980's, contains two masterly compositions and two masterly performances. The reviewer who complains of poor recorded digital sound has simply had a different aural experience to mine. I have four high end sets of equipment in different rooms within the house (and no neighbours to worry about!), and in each case the sound is exemplary.

Rachmaninov's darker side is fully explored in his dramatic vision of Bocklin's painting in his Isle of the Dead. Ashkenazy brings a level of dramatic building to this piece to match Reiner's famous earlier recording with the Chicago orchestra. He has the benefit of equally fine orchestral playing, a more modern and wide ranging recording and his own unmistakable Russian temperament. This is an unbeatable combination.

As regards his view of the Symphonic Dances, this too benefits from all the same orchestral and recording qualities. In addition, Ashkenazy knows this music from the two-piano alternative as can be witnessed from his fine recording of that version with Previn, and this enables him to bring out details that might otherwise be lost. The piano version, by not being orchestral, usually enables far more of the textural and rhythmical detail to register. This is not the case here. There are many other fine performances of this late orchestral work and I enjoy those by Svetlanov (who views the work as a fourth symphony), Petrenko, Previn and Jansons amongst others but if pressed to own just one, it would be this one by Ashkenazy.

I would therefore suggest that, if the program appeals, this disc certainly deserves the most serious consideration for potential purchasers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By freddie on 4 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio CD
This is a superb CD and is still one of Ashkenazy's best recordings. In particular, The Isle of the Dead is the best version that I know. He builds the tension in a masterly fashion and the weigh of the Concertgebouw's tone is matched perfectly by the darkness of the recording. The Symphonic Dances is very good but hasn't got the special character, drama and power of Kondrashin's version with the Moscow Philharmonic that is so moving. Nevertheless, I'd urge anyone who wants to get into Rachmaninov's music to try this disc for the overall quality of the performances and the recording. It is a disc that I play a lot and I always find new things in the music. Recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Dec. 2009
Format: Audio CD
A composer of such astounding beauty as 'Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini' & the second movement of 'Piano concerto No.2' is not easily associated with the dark depths of 'Isle of the dead'. A symphonic interpretation of Arnold Bocklin's famous painting of Charon ferrying the dead across the river Styx that, unlike the majority of the Russian masters works, takes the listener out of her/ his comfort zone and places them upon the boat taking it's passenger on their last journey.
A relatively short piece,( not much over 20 minutes), this really shines as a work of exceptional depth. Building slowly as the boat moves through shallow waters , the piece builds almost dirge like, until the dread shore of the isle approaches and a crescendo is ascended. Fear, darkness, hopelessness and a very strong sense of finality are painted in huge black strokes by the composer until the listener can almost bear it no longer as the image of the home of the dead looms out of the mist and then very slowly and gently the music takes on an atmosphere of quiet resignation, a final acceptance of what is to come and simply fades to almost inaudible notes scattered here and there.
I suppose some may feel this to be an overly dramatic piece but that was Rachmaninov's style in all that he wrote & conducted. No half measures and the same critics would likely feel his other symphonic works and pieces for piano to be mawkish and overly sentimental. If however, like me, you love his work and are touched by the humanity he put into all his compositions then you really must give this a try.
It works best if listened to the from the viewpoint of your being in the boat!
Read more ›
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
A justly famous, stunning account of both these items (just listen!, and/or read the reviews by earlier buyers). A biting, but lyrical performance by the very great Concertgebouw Orch.,with a brilliant interpretation by Ashkenazy - all encased within a very fine Decca recording.
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