Dmitri Kitayenko / Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne

Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1; The Rock

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Following their 2015 release of Sergey Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2 in E minor on Oehms Classics, Dmitri Kitayenko and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln present the Symphony No. 1 in D minor, paired with the symphonic poem, The Rock. The First Symphony was a catastrophic failure at its premiere, sending the young composer into a depression that wasn't lifted until the success of his Second Piano Concerto, and it wasn't performed again until after his death. Yet the symphony has been embraced by audiences who find its brooding themes and passionate expressions deeply appealing, and who appreciate it as a legitimate continuation of the Russian symphonic tradition of Borodin and Tchaikovsky. Kitayenko is at his best in late Romantic and post-Romantic repertoire, and his volatile interpretation of the First has much of the same energy and emotion that he displayed in his Tchaikovsky cycle on this label. The orchestra responds to Kitayenko with intensity and commitment, and produces lush, dark timbres that are burnished by Oehms' exceptional audio engineering, making this a vibrant and compelling recording that will win new admirers for this symphony.

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