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Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1, The Isle of the Dead
Symphony No.1 in D minor, op.13
The Isle of the Dead, op.29
Mikhail Pletnev, conductor
DG 463 075-2 (1999)

Acclaim for Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1, The Isle of the Dead

"...Pletnev is always thought-provoking and this disc can be confidently recommended to those collecting his cycle. "

Gramophone (October 2000)

"Music is a matter of taste. Rachmaninov is one of my favorite composers and the Symphony no. 1 as well as The Isle of the Dead are among my favorite compositions. The First Symphony op. 13 premiered in 1897. The performance, conducted by Glazunov, proved a fiasco. The public's reaction was so negative that the 24 year old Rachmaninov withdrew the symphony which was never to be heard again during his lifetime. The sensitive Rachmaninov was paralyzed for the next three years. Only after hypnosis treatment from Nikolai Dahl, he could compose again in 1900. The symphony's score is lost. It was reconstructed after the composer's death from the orchestral parts, discovered in 1945 at the Leningrad Conservatory. The symphonic poem The Isle of the Dead was composed in 1909 and inspired by Böcklin's painting of a solitary oarsman steering a body to its resting-place on an island in the middle of a lake. ... Pletnev's understanding of the [Isle of the Dead and the Symphony No. 1] is profound and his play is masterful, ... This CD is a masterpiece."

Cosmopolis Magazine (January 2000)

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural a critical time for both societies. [This] resonates with the public [and] is meaningful for the musician participants...Cultural diplomacy and music offer alternatives to contention and sustain important linkages between our societies for the long run...Now more than ever we need viable citizen-to-citizen points of contact and dialogue."

James F. Collins (Ambassador Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace