P1290. SERGEI RACHMANINOFF: Rachmaninoff Plays Symphonic Dances - A Newly Discovered 1940 Recording of
an impromptu gathering in 1940. Sergei Rachmaninoff demonstrated at the piano just how he wanted his new orchestral work, SYMPHONIC DANCES, to be performed. 3-Marston 53022, recorded 1903-13. Transfers by Ward Marston. - 638335302225
“Rachmaninoff, one of the greatest of all pianists, reduced the orchestral score for a single piano on this occasion. That recording is presented here in two versions: first, edited to conform to the score and again, just as the occasion unfolded, as Rachmaninoff jumped from place to place as he demonstrated. Other performers include pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch, mezzo soprano Nadezhda Plevitskaya, and conductors Adrian Boult, Dmitri Mitropoulos, Eugene Ormandy, and Leopold Stokowski. These are complemented by every known non-commercial recording of Rachmaninoff, accompanied by a detailed essay concerning Rachmaninoff, the SYMPHONIC DANCES, and these recordings written especially for this issue by Richard Taruskin, author of the OXFORD HISTORY OF WESTERN MUSIC.”
- Ward Marston
“...in 1928, for Horowitz, it was a dream come true to meet Rachmaninoff, to whom he referred as ‘the musical God of my youth ... To think that this great man should accompany me in his own Third Concerto ... This was the most unforgettable impression of my life! This was my real debut!’ For Rachmaninoff their Steinway basement meeting was equally unforgettable. The meeting between composer and interpreter would mark the beginning of a friendship that continued until Rachmaninoff's death. In fact, the two men were quite supportive of each other's careers and greatly admired each other's work. Horowitz stipulated to his manager that ‘If I am out of town when Rachmaninoff plays in New York, you must telegraph me, and you must let me come back, no matter where I am or what engagement I have’. Likewise Rachmaninoff was always present at Horowitz’s New York concerts and was ‘always the last to leave the hall’.
…we have been left in the recordings of Sergei Rachmaninoff a bequest that is a historically significant musical experience of unique power, beauty and logic."
– Gregor Benko, RACHMANINOFF ON RECORDS