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Rachmaninov: The Rock CD

Price: £14.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Russian State Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Valry Polyansky
  • Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (18 Aug 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B0000AW0XL
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,198 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Utyos (The Rock), Op. 7: The Rock, Op. 7Russian State Symphony Orchestra14:58Album Only
Listen  2. Prince RostislavRussian State Symphony Orchestra18:24Album Only
Listen  3. Scherzo in D MinorRussian State Symphony Orchestra 5:35£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Capriccio on Gypsy Themes, Op. 12, "Caprice bohemien"Russian State Symphony Orchestra18:40Album Only
Listen  5. Ostrov myortvikh (The Isle of the Dead), Op. 29: The Isle of the Dead, Op. 29Russian State Symphony Orchestra22:06Album Only

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Nov 2012
Format: Audio CD
Rachmaninov has often seemed like a `guilty pleasure` to me, as he has rarely been a favourite of the critics (for what that`s worth) and I have one friend who would leave the room if you put on anything by him. He thinks, wrongly to my mind, that the Russian`s music is twee and sentimental.
But there`s a difference between sentimentality and sentiment. Of course, the music of Rachmaninov is brimming over with emotion, however subtly restrained, but he can also be an austere composer - not in the sense of forbidding, more in his refined musical sense. A few of his works are not easy to `grasp` at first hearing. An example might be the pieces on this very welcome disc of symphonic poems, mostly inspired by literary works or, in one case, a painting.
The Rock is a superb fifteen-minute piece based on a short story by Chekhov called On The Road, while the marvellous Prince Rostislav was inspired by a ballad by Count Alexey Tolstoy (one of the many Tolstoys knocking about Russia in the 19th century) and is both stirring and lyrical. It should be better known.
After a brief flighty Scherzo comes a wonderful Caprice Bohemien, which is followed by the longest piece here, the 22-minute The Isle Of The Dead, after Arnold Bocklin`s famous and ominous symbolist painting. It`s a later work, and a suitably brooding one, giving Rachmaninov`s considerable powers of orchestration plenty of opportunity to shine.
This is a rare chance to have and hear Rach`s tone poems in one place. At almost eighty minutes, the well presented disc is packed to the limits, and is beautifully recorded and played by Polyansky and the Russian State SO.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Hodgson on 22 Jan 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Really good CD - always a bit of a gamble buying an unreviewed CD but this one was no mistake. 80 minutes of great orchestral music accompanied by good sleeve notes. Thoroughly recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Ball on 8 Oct 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For reasons I cannot for the life of me explain, I just adore Rachmaninov and keep returning to him over other composers.

I have a rather full iPod, that contains nearly every piece of music written by Rachmaninov. I have just received this disc and it
very quickly replaced the versions of all five pieces that I listen to regularly.

The playing is wonderful, clarity of sound top notch. There just seems something right in a Russian orchestra playing Rachmaninov's music.

This is an album that would grace anyones collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent recording of hard-to-find Rachmaninov gems 18 May 2004
By John R. Blackburn Jr. - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Until now, those seeking to find well performed and recorded versions of of Rachmaninov's Prince Rostislav, Scherzo In D Minor, and Caprice Bohemien were forced to search for the older Melodiya recordings. This Chandos release delivers on all counts, providing musically and acoustically compelling renditions of these early and overlooked masterpieces in his repertoire, as well as the much more accessible The Rock and The Isle of the Dead. Prince Rostislav is the brooding piece of a young but confident composer, building slowly in intensity and filled with wonderful harmonies and counterpoints. The Scherzo is a short yet lively work, very Russian and quite reminiscent of Tchaikovsky. The Caprice Bohemien represents Rachmaninov's only published piece with a latin (Italian) setting, and it confirms that one need not be Italian or Spanish to successfully compose music that captures the flavor of those countries. All in all, a very successful and appreciated effort by conductor Valery Polyansky and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful disc for Rachmaninov lovers! 12 May 2010
By Gengler - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having finally heard Polyanksy's astoundingly good recording of Rachmaninov's Vespers Rachmaninov: Vespers/USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir I have begun searching out others discs featuring works conducted by him. The narrative description of The Rock does not sound too enticing, but it really is a delightful work. Perhaps it can best be described as Rachmaninov by way of Rimsky Korsakov - colorfully orchestrated (unlike Rachmaninov's Symphonies) with lots of interesting Slavic color and melody. A minor work to be sure, but one I will return to again.

The other relatively unknown works are perhaps a bit less interesting (Prince/Scherzo/Capriccio, with the Scherzo being downright Mendelssohn-ian in its Puck-ish use of flute) are carry less heft but also merit repeated playing. The Caprice Bohemian is probably as clsoe as Rachmaninov ever got (thank goodness) to writing his own Capriccio Espanol. Why this flamboyant piece is not heard more often probably has as much to do with the golden age of Stereo recording being over as much as it has to do with its "Light Classic" character. Pity. This is an enjoyable piece of music that deserves to be heard by a wider audience.

The Isle of the Dead - one of Rachmaninov's orchestral warhorses - is played in prime Slavic manner by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, and is captured wonderfully by Chandos recording engineers.

If you like Rachmaninov, don't hesitate to purchase this disc. It's one of those niche discs that will soon disappear - lost in the MP3 netherworld.

This is Rachmaninov "lite" - in the best sense of the word. I thoroughly enjoyable listening experience that may change the way you listen to later Rachmaninov.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Five lesser-known works from Sergei Rachmaninov 15 April 2006
By Eric S. Kim - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I'm not really a fan of Rachmaninov's symphonies and piano concertos, but I am a fan of his less well-known works. Having known about this CD a few months back makes me so darn proud of myself. These five symphonic poems are dazzling, pure, and mystical. The Scherzo in D minor, a 5-minute piece, is very catchy. Prince Rostislav sounds otherworldly and unique. The Rock & Isle of the Dead are proof that young Rachmaninov was a genius when he was a beginner in the composing world. Having heard Capriccio Bohemien before, I find this rendition by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra rather dull and bland. Conductor Neeme Jarvi has given the piece more precision and more enthusiasm than Valery Polyansky. But it's not a total loss. I recommend this CD for those who are searching for Rachmaninov's earlier works, the ones before the Piano Concertos and the four Symphonies.
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