Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra have a very special relationship, one going back decades. Today, as the Philharmonia’s Conductor Laureate, Ashkenazy is a unique presence on the podium with the Orchestra each season at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London.
Between November 2015 and 2016, Ashkenazy conducted the Philharmonia in a cycle of Rachmaninov’s three symphonies plus the Symphonic Dances across four concerts in the Orchestra’s London Season. From the youthful invention of Rachmaninov’s First Symphony to the Symphonic Dances, written 44 years later, Ashkenazy brings to life the music of a composer who, like him, felt his Russian identity deeply and yet spent so much of his life away from his homeland.
Rachmaninov’s four masterworks will be released as part of a three-album series on Signum Classics throughout 2017 and 2018. The first disc, Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, is now available for order.
“Ashkenazy knows how to shape detail and soar in the big melodic moments. The Philharmonia sound is muscular and alert, from the opening woodwind solos to the mighty, stirring symphonic tutti of the finale.”
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
“Ashkenazy also plumbs the work’s depths for its sensitivity, its suggestions of fervid neurosis, and its uncompromising Russian soul. There’s an idiomatic rawness, even brashness, to the tone, a rhythmic solidity with drive and determination, an awareness of many voices that combine into what feels like a seething inner world or out city – almost an aural equivalent of Moscow itself.”
Jessica Duchen, Primephonic
- I. Grave – Allegro ma non troppo
- II. Allegro animato
- III. Larghetto
- IV. Allegro con fuoco