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
Purchase via RNO

Reviews

Cosmopolis Magazine

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.

Gramophone

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

What They’re Saying

"Everything is exquisitely played by the Russian National Orchestra, whose refinement has opened a new chapter in Russian orchestral playing."

Gramophone