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Isle of the Dead/ Prince Rosti


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Product Details

  • Performer: Russian State So; Polyansky
  • Composer: Rachmaninov Sergei
  • Audio CD (Oct. 7 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chn
  • ASIN: B0000AW0XL
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #130,517 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Rock, Op. 7
2. Prince Rostislav
3. Scherzo In D Minor
4. Caprice Bohemien, Op. 12
5. The Isle Of The Dead, Op. 29

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
Until now, those seeking to find well performed and recorded versions of of Rachmaninov's Prince Rostislav, Scherzo In D Minor, and Caprice Bohemien were forced to search for the older Melodiya recordings. This Chandos release delivers on all counts, providing musically and acoustically compelling renditions of these early and overlooked masterpieces in his repertoire, as well as the much more accessible The Rock and The Isle of the Dead. Prince Rostislav is the brooding piece of a young but confident composer, building slowly in intensity and filled with wonderful harmonies and counterpoints. The Scherzo is a short yet lively work, very Russian and quite reminiscent of Tchaikovsky. The Caprice Bohemien represents Rachmaninov's only published piece with a latin (Italian) setting, and it confirms that one need not be Italian or Spanish to successfully compose music that captures the flavor of those countries. All in all, a very successful and appreciated effort by conductor Valery Polyansky and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent recording of hard-to-find Rachmaninov gems May 17 2004
By John R. Blackburn Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Until now, those seeking to find well performed and recorded versions of of Rachmaninov's Prince Rostislav, Scherzo In D Minor, and Caprice Bohemien were forced to search for the older Melodiya recordings. This Chandos release delivers on all counts, providing musically and acoustically compelling renditions of these early and overlooked masterpieces in his repertoire, as well as the much more accessible The Rock and The Isle of the Dead. Prince Rostislav is the brooding piece of a young but confident composer, building slowly in intensity and filled with wonderful harmonies and counterpoints. The Scherzo is a short yet lively work, very Russian and quite reminiscent of Tchaikovsky. The Caprice Bohemien represents Rachmaninov's only published piece with a latin (Italian) setting, and it confirms that one need not be Italian or Spanish to successfully compose music that captures the flavor of those countries. All in all, a very successful and appreciated effort by conductor Valery Polyansky and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful disc for Rachmaninov lovers! May 12 2010
By Gengler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having finally heard Polyanksy's astoundingly good recording of Rachmaninov's Vespers Rachmaninov: Vespers/USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir I have begun searching out others discs featuring works conducted by him. The narrative description of The Rock does not sound too enticing, but it really is a delightful work. Perhaps it can best be described as Rachmaninov by way of Rimsky Korsakov - colorfully orchestrated (unlike Rachmaninov's Symphonies) with lots of interesting Slavic color and melody. A minor work to be sure, but one I will return to again.

The other relatively unknown works are perhaps a bit less interesting (Prince/Scherzo/Capriccio, with the Scherzo being downright Mendelssohn-ian in its Puck-ish use of flute) are carry less heft but also merit repeated playing. The Caprice Bohemian is probably as clsoe as Rachmaninov ever got (thank goodness) to writing his own Capriccio Espanol. Why this flamboyant piece is not heard more often probably has as much to do with the golden age of Stereo recording being over as much as it has to do with its "Light Classic" character. Pity. This is an enjoyable piece of music that deserves to be heard by a wider audience.

The Isle of the Dead - one of Rachmaninov's orchestral warhorses - is played in prime Slavic manner by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, and is captured wonderfully by Chandos recording engineers.

If you like Rachmaninov, don't hesitate to purchase this disc. It's one of those niche discs that will soon disappear - lost in the MP3 netherworld.

This is Rachmaninov "lite" - in the best sense of the word. I thoroughly enjoyable listening experience that may change the way you listen to later Rachmaninov.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Five lesser-known works from Sergei Rachmaninov April 14 2006
By Eric S. Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm not really a fan of Rachmaninov's symphonies and piano concertos, but I am a fan of his less well-known works. Having known about this CD a few months back makes me so darn proud of myself. These five symphonic poems are dazzling, pure, and mystical. The Scherzo in D minor, a 5-minute piece, is very catchy. Prince Rostislav sounds otherworldly and unique. The Rock & Isle of the Dead are proof that young Rachmaninov was a genius when he was a beginner in the composing world. Having heard Capriccio Bohemien before, I find this rendition by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra rather dull and bland. Conductor Neeme Jarvi has given the piece more precision and more enthusiasm than Valery Polyansky. But it's not a total loss. I recommend this CD for those who are searching for Rachmaninov's earlier works, the ones before the Piano Concertos and the four Symphonies.


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