Vasily Petrenko conducts the RLPO for Rachmaninov’s much loved and best known symphony – No. 2 in E minor. Also included are the Dances from Rachmaninov’s one act opera, “Aleko”, the work which effectively launched the young composer’s professional career. This is the second in this series of releases highlighting the Russian music of the conductor’s heritage.
Since Petrenko took up the baton of the RLPO’s Principal Conductor in 2006 (and then Chief Conductor in 2009), this partnership has flourished; and the orchestra is now considered Premier League. The partnership of Petrenko and the RLPO have been making critics and audiences sit up and take notice, particularly in their interpretations of music by the Russian masters.
EMI recently released Petrenko’s new recording of Rachmaninov Symphony No. 3, which received wonderful reviews. Hugh Canning writer for the Sunday Times Culture Section mentioned, “The RLPO strings … have never seemed more sumptuous than in the long melodies of the central adagio, and their brilliant articulation of virtuoso allegro passages at Petrenko’s fast tempi brings exhilarating dividends. In this magnificently played account, the stature of the music is never in doubt.” While Gramophone magazine noted, “The RLPO play magnificently, responding to Petrenko’s purposeful beat and to the sort of judgement in terms of melodic shaping that also makes the orchestral arrangement of the Vocalise sound so pure and unfettered in its allure.” Classic FM raved, “Petrenko and the RLPO walk the tightrope of romanticism with perfect poise … This is a beautifully balanced performance, exquisitely recorded.”