Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Symphony No. 3

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Symphony No. 3

Vladimir Ashkenazy’s first recordings as conductor were of the symphonies of Rachmaninov, a composer he’d long championed as a pianist. This very fine pairing of the Third Symphony—perhaps the hardest to do really well, which he does—and the Symphonic Dances is a delight. Ashkenazy coaxes rich, multicolored playing from a Philharmonia at white heat, and the live recording captures the frisson of the occasion. The symphony is done with great love and the Dances, almost another symphony in their ambition and spirit, are fabulously played.

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