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Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Rachmaninoff’s letters and other reminiscences spoken by Sir John Gielgud.
Used in films like Brief Encounter and Shine; on TV in The South Bank Show and Panorama; on radio in Semprini Serenade; and including some of the most famous melodies of the 20th century, Rachmaninoff’s romantic, passionate music is as popular today as it has ever been. This 100-minute documentary film, shot in Russia, Switzerland and America, is made with the full participation of the composer’s grandson, Alexander Rachmaninoff.
Featuring soloists Mikhail Pletnev (with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado, and his own Russian National Orchestra), Dmitri Hvorostovsky and young stars Valentina Igoshina, Peter Jablonski and Nikolai Putilin, the music is specially recorded with the great conductor Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra and Chorus of the Mariinsky Theater in St Petersburg, with which Rachmaninoff was intimately associated. Tony Palmer’s film, with Rachmaninoff’s own words spoken by Sir John Gielgud, is a unique and loving insight into a world long gone, but definitely not forgotten.
Extracts from home movies of Sergei Rachmaninoff © Alexander Rachmaninoff used by kind permission of Alexander Rachmaninoff.