These 1990 performances of Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 1 and Isle of the Dead are, in a word, stupendous. Pavel Kogan, the son of the great Soviet violinist Leonid Kogan, turns in powerhouse readings of both works, giving the D minor Symphony the force and concentrated intensity most conductors reserve for the composer's later symphonies, and the Isle of the Dead the unstoppable power and overwhelming terror that only the finest of previous conductors had found in the piece. The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra combines the bold colors and robust ensemble playing of traditional Russian orchestras with enough tonal refinement to appeal to Western listeners, andKogan's accounts are worthy to take a place alongside the other great recordings of these pieces. With richly detailed but vividly present digital sound, this 2009 release deserves to attract a wide audience.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 13 (lost; reconstructed from piano duets and orch. fragments)|