Marking their latest collaboration with their conductor laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Philharmonia return to disc with a stellar live-performance of Rachmaninov’s volcanic Symphony No.1 in D Minor.
Composed when Rachmaninov was just 22, the work has a famously tumultuous performance history. The work’s premiere in 1897 – conducted by Glazunov – was a disaster, generating vitriolic abuse from critics and reviewers of the day. Rachmaninov destroyed the score and refused the works publication during his lifetime; it was not heard again until its reconstruction from solo parts by Soviet Musicologists for a concert in 1945.
This is the first release in a new series of Rachmaninov’s symphonies, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy in live performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
★★★★ Ashkenazy knows how to shape detail and soar in the big melodic moments. The Philharmonia sound is muscular and alert, from the opening woodwind solos to the mighty, stirring symphonic tutti of the finale – The Guardian
★★★★★ Ashkenazy’s splendidly accomplished and consistently invigorating new version must rank very highly indeed – Classical Ear
★★★★ Signum’s recording engineers have achieved a near miracle in somehow creating a much warmer ambience to the sound than you would normally expect from this venue.. wonderfully rich string sonorities from the Philharmonia who play their hearts out – BBC Music Magazine
It’s difficult to think of any active musician more completely at home in this repertoire – Gramophone
The playing of the Philharmonia is elegant in the more relaxed moments… the latter part of the finale is suitably thrilling – The Yorkshire Post