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Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 / The Rock

30 Mar 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 30 Mar. 2010
  • Release Date: 1 Mar. 2010
  • Label: Chandos
  • Copyright: (C) 2010 Chandos
  • Total Length: 1:14:50
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003ADH9QM
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 673,595 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This excellent recording of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 by Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic is right up there with Ashkenazy/Concertgebouw and Handley/RPO. Noseda and the BBC Orchestra recorded all three of Rachmaninoff's Symphonies for Chandos around 2007-2010 and the second and especially the third are very well performed.

The Chandos engineers are able to capture a fine balance between the brass, woodwinds and strings in this recording. In particular the warm rich sounds in the strings and clarity of the individual woodwind solos are a delight to listen to.

They also record a stirring and powerful account of Rachmaninoff's Fantasy for Orchestra, The Rock.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Incredible sound from this amazing orchestra!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good entry but not on top 25 April 2013
By John J. Puccio - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Time was, conductors routinely cut Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2, finding it too unwieldy, too rambling, too lengthy for audiences to sit through, or too extended to fit comfortably on 78 rpm records. Even the composer's friend, conductor Eugene Ormandy, who championed the work, sometimes failed to take all the repeats.

But we are long past those days. Today, music lovers prize truthfulness, with period instruments, authentic playing styles, and fidelity to the source a united goal. Thus it is with this new Chandos recording of the Second Symphony conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and his BBC Philharmonic. He plays it complete, at over an hour in length, and the music is the better for it.

Although Noseda's may not be quite as passionately intense an interpretation of the Second Symphony as those of Previn (EMI), Pletnev (DG), and others, it is a warmly intelligent, clearheaded reading that tends to meet one on common ground.

The Chandos sound is pleasant: very clear, very clean, very robust. While orchestral depth is only moderate and sometimes downright two-dimensional, there is a sweet ambient bloom around the music, a wide stereo spread, and a vivid though never forward sense of presence. The strings are particularly natural sounding, and the orchestra has appropriate heft, with several notably solid bass whacks.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Russians on the premises, but this is still very good Rachmaninov 5 April 2010
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
An Italian conductor and northern British orchestra are definitely swimming upstream to record Rachmaninov's complete orchestral output. But this venture isn't a folly. Noseda is an excellent all-around musician, and without reaching the same intensity of Russians like Gergiev, Svetlanov, and Bychkov, who are to the manner born, or the same level of orchestral splendor as the London Sym. under Previn, this recording is an appealing listen. Unlike every other version I know, it sounds ebullient. Noseda backs away from Rachmaninov's tendency to grow his music in a hothouse, and frankly, that's refreshing. If you won't miss overheated fervency, Noseda's relative restraint will be just right.

In other respects everything is in place -- the BBC Phil.'s strings display a plush sheen, the ebb and flow of rubato gives the right swooning effect without actually passing out, and Chandos's recorded sound is warm, vivid, and wide-screen. For me, Rachmaninov's symphonies are like Tchaikovsky gone Hollywood with Valentino and Garbo, and Stokowski is the ideal conductor. Or would be, to judge by a late, syrupy, high-calorie Sym. #3; he left no Rachmaninov Second. Now that Russian emigres fill conducting posts around the world, there's no scarcity of recordings, yet there's room for Noseda's, which never frays the nerves and sounds beautiful all the way through.
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