Sergei Leiferkus / Alexandre Naoumenko / Maria Popescu / Joan Rodgers / Howard Shelley

Rachmaninoff: Complete Songs

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Though the Brilliant label has released many wonderful recordings since it started doing business in 1996, most of them have been straight reissues of other labels' previous offerings. Not so with this three-disc set of all Rachmaninov's songs issued in 2007. While these are indeed Chandos' mid-'90s discs featuring soprano Joan Rodgers, mezzo-soprano Maria Popescu, tenor Alexander Naumenko, bass Sergei Leiferkus, and pianist Howard Shelley, they are programmed in a much different order here. Instead of being organized by singer as the original discs had been, the songs are organized chronologically. This not only provides a more cogent view of the Russian composer's songs, it permits a respite from hearing the same voice for very long. For most listeners, Rachmaninov's songs will be virtually unknown with only a few exceptions -- "Lilacs"; "Oh, How Lovely"; and, of course, "Vocalise" -- but these singers do a fine job of making the best case for all of them. Although some might object to a pinched quality in Naumenko's tone or a brazen cast to Leiferkus' timbre, Rodgers' lush tone and Popescu's voluptuous delivery are very appealing, and Shelley's sympathetic but virtuosic accompaniments are spot on. Though over the years there have been many outstanding recordings of Rachmaninov's songs, this Brilliant set is a strong entry among complete collections. Chandos' mid-'90s digital sound is warm, full, and colorful.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:05
2 01:53
3 02:12
4 02:08
5 02:44
6 03:03
7 03:23
8 02:37
Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 4
9 01:49
10 01:52
11 02:46
12 04:25
13 04:07
14 01:55
Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 8
15 01:21
16 01:44
17 03:04
18 02:23
19 01:25
20 03:20
Songs (12) for voice & piano, Op. 14
21 01:50
22 02:14
23 01:35
24 01:19
25 01:39
26 02:09
27 01:39
28 02:59
29 02:39
30 02:37
31 02:13
32 01:33

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 01:37
2 03:15
Songs (12) for voice & piano, Op. 21
3 07:13
4 01:49
5 02:07
6 01:49
7 02:03
8 01:57
9 02:12
10 02:32
11 03:03
12 03:23
13 01:31
14 01:53
Songs (15) for voice & piano, Op. 26
15 02:31
16 00:57
17 02:16
18 04:29
19 02:21
20 02:49
21 03:30
22 01:15
23 01:49
24 02:08
25 01:27
26 02:24
27 02:57
28 02:35
29 01:50

Track Listing - Disc 3

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:21
Songs (14) for voice & piano, Op. 34
2 04:13
3 02:17
4 02:31
5 03:37
6 02:51
7 02:17
8 01:38
9 02:26
10 02:16
11 01:36
12 02:54
13 02:15
14 06:03
15 06:10
16 01:27
Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 38
17 01:52
18 02:53
19 02:17
20 02:33
21 03:22
22 02:26
23 02:37
24 01:58
blue highlight denotes track pick