Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances
Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (Sanders Theatre, November 2019)
Click here to read a review (Boston Classical Review)
Click here to read a review (The Arts Fuse)
A recently released historic recording allows us to hear Rachmaninoff himself demonstrating a substantial portion of the work on the piano. Rachmaninoff forbade private recordings of his piano playing, but fortunately someone secretly switched on a tape recorder in the next room while the composer was showing Eugene Ormandy how he wanted the piece to go. His greatest orchestral work, the Dances inhabit both the Old and New Worlds: they are Russian to the core, but with a filmic element that reflects its place of birth, Los Angeles.
- Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 was Sergei Rachmaninoff’s final composition and he completed it in 1940.
- The Philadelphia Orchestra premiered the piece on January 3, 1941.
- One of his great compositions, the piece is known for its unusual and haunting use of solo alto saxophone.
Click on the tracks below to jump to that movement.
‘This is Rachmaninoff’s swan song, and displays his total mastery of orchestration as well as a succinctness not evident in his earlier orchestral works.’
— Benjamin Zander