Vasily Petrenko

Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2; Dances from Aleko

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Following quickly on the early 2012 release of his recording of Rachmaninov's Third Symphony, Vasily Petrenko's album of the Symphony No. 2 in E minor and three Dances from Aleko shows the charismatic conductor is on a roll. While the earlier disc was a little risky in presenting less familiar Rachmaninov, this popular symphony will secure a ready audience for Petrenko, and bring the music the attention it justly deserves. Aleko was an early opera, and these exotic dances, which are remiscent of Tchaikovsky, are entertaining filler that add considerable value to this CD. But Rachmaninov's fans may cut to the chase and listen to the symphony, which is played with high energy, lush textures, and vivid sonorities by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Petrenko and his musicians display tremendous sympathy and passion for the music, so the expressions are spot on and the sound of the orchestra is gorgeous in EMI's outstanding reproduction. While some may already have a favorite version of this work in their collections, adding this excellent rendition would only enhance their appreciation. This is Petrenko's second recording with the RLPO for EMI Classics, and it promises a fruitful relationship for all parties involved, especially listeners.

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