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  • Rachmaninov: The Bells,Op.35
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Rachmaninov: The Bells,Op.35 Live


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Audio CD, Live, September 28, 2010
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Product Details

  • Performer: Moscow State Chamber Choir, Wen-Sinn Yang
  • Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra
  • Conductor: Jose Serebrier, Vladimir Minin
  • Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (September 28, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B003X859T8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,467 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Festive Overture, for orchestra in A major, Op. 96
2. Chant du ménéstral (Minstrel's Song) for cello & orchestra in F sharp minor, Op. 71
3. The Bells, choral symphony for soprano, tenor, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 35: 1. Allegro ma non tanto
4. The Bells, choral symphony for soprano, tenor, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 35: 2. Lento
5. The Bells, choral symphony for soprano, tenor, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 35: 3. Presto
6. The Bells, choral symphony for soprano, tenor, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 35: 4. Lento lugubre
7. Khovanshchina, opera in 5 acts, edited by Rimsky-Korsakov: Act 4. Entr'acte
8. Vocalise, transcription for orchestra, Op. 34/14

Editorial Reviews

Closing concert of the First International Rostropovich Festival in the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Last spring the First Rostropovich International Festival was held in Moscow, and tis was the closing concert, given a gala air by the rousing Festive Over. of Shostakovich and, suitably, a lovely cello solo with orchestra, Glazunov's Minstrel's Song Op. 71, to make the shade of Rostropovich smile down on the proceedings. Here it's played by Wen-Sinn Yang. Unhappily, neither work is given a memorable reading by Serebrier, who would seem to be out of place -- weren't there any talented Russian conductors in town? Now 72, Serebrier has proved an indomitable survivor, conducting from Tierra del Fuego to China, but he's often more workaday than anything else.

I tuned in for the main work, Rachmaninov's choral masterpiece, 'The Bells,' based very loosely on Edgar Allen Poe's hypnotic poem. Cast in symphonic form, each movement has its own mood, roughly following Poe's four-part structure. In the original, the bells are silver and tinkly, then golden and joyous, brazen and terrifying, and finally iron and demonic. Rachmaninov keeps to this ground plan fairly roughly, transposing the four moods into the ages of man from birth to death. It's a difficult work to bring off, and rarely does anyone even attempt the demanding solo vocal parts except for Russians' there is also the issue of making the language sound idiomatic. On records I've never heard a really inspired reading--thee always seem to be vocal glithces, or else the conductor substitutes a generic soupy romanticism for Rachmaninov's highly imaginative and varied expression.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary C. Capps on October 12, 2010
Format: Audio CD
One of the best of modern ensembles, the Russian National Orchestra, under the baton of the Uruguayan-born conductor José Serebrier, delivers an exemplary concert performance of Rachmaninov's lively Choral Symphony Op.35, "The Bells" with the Moscow State Chamber choir. Also on the program are works by Glazunov, Shostakovich and Mussorgsky, as well as more Rachmaninov. The proceedings are captured in a sparkling, vivid live recording made at the closing concert of the 1st Rostropovich International Festival in the Tchaikovsky Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire of Music. The soloists--Lyubov Petrova (soprano), Andrei Popov (tenor), Sergei Leiferkus (baritone) & Wen-Sinn Yang (cello)--are all outstanding, each bringing immediacy and personality to their individual performances. I was stirred by the rousing version of Shostakovich's Festive Overture, Op. 96, and charmed by the cello solo in the lovely rendition of Rachmaninov's classic "Vocalise". This is a concert album of uncommon beauty and finesse, and highly recommended.
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