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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3, Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini - Sudbin, Shui, Singapore Symphony (2012)

Posted By: peotuvave
Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3, Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini - Sudbin, Shui, Singapore Symphony (2012)

Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3, Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini - Sudbin, Shui, Singapore Symphony (2012)
EAC Rip | Flac (Image + cue + log) | 1 CD | Full Scans | 251 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Bis | Catalog Number: 1988

BIS present two works composed by Sergei Rachmaninov, featuring virtuoso pianist Yevgeny Sudbin alongside the Singapore Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui. Rachmaninov composed Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini after a seven-year silence, and consists of 24 variations taken from Paganini’s 24th Caprice for solo violin. The Rhapsody was soon followed by his Third Symphony. Its themes have a marked Russian character used with great subtlety.

Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yevgeny Sudbin
Conductor: Lan Shui
Orchestra/Ensemble: Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Reviews: From the opening notes of the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini , it is clear that this interpretation will be fast, but it does not sound as if it is overdriven because of the quicksilver lightness of Yevgeny Sudbin’s fingerwork and the orchestra’s transparent texture. Things do slow down in the 11th and 12th variations, but the instrumental texture remains light. Of all of Rachmaninoff’s major works, this approach may suit the Rhapsody best because it has little Slavic melancholy or dense and congested orchestration. The darker undertones are allowed to emerge in the 17th variation, but still with the utmost clarity. The 18th variation is quite clear-eyed and moves along, but it does not lack passion as Sudbin makes his interpretive points. The orchestra plays the frequent staccato chords with pinpoint precision. It is all crisp, sparkling, colorful, and restrained. The only thing that Sudbin seems to lack (at least here) is the power that Vladimir Horowitz and Byron Janis generated when they played Rachmaninoff, which makes you wonder how Sudbin would sound in the big concertos. This is a good example of the new, contemporary approach to Rachmaninoff. Yuja Wang and Claudio Abbado take a similar general approach in their critically acclaimed recording, but compared to Sudbin and conductor Lan Shui, Wang and Abbado (dare anyone criticize him?) sound chilly, dry, faceless, and boring. Wang is actually hailed for making Rachmaninoff sound like Mozart. How perverse is that! Interestingly, Philippe Entremont and Eugene Ormandy with the Philadelphia Orchestra actually play the Paganini Rhapsody faster, but it sounds far more relaxed in their amazing recording.


The Paganini Rhapsody and Symphony No. 3 share back-to-back opus numbers and were given their premieres two years apart by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. They share stylistic similarities that are a long way from the First and Second Symphonies, and would not work with the kind of interpretation Shui and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra give to the Paganini Rhapsody. You can usually tell where a performance of the Third Symphony is going from the opening orchestral outburst. Shui produces a dark and burnished, almost Stokowskian brass sonority before he launches into a surprisingly slow series of staccato chords. It is immediately apparent that Shui is well aware of the size and scope of the symphony (compared to the Paganini Rhapsody ). Rachmaninoff’s big tune is gratifyingly expansive, but it also becomes obvious that the Singapore Orchestra’s massed strings are pretty good, but hardly in the rarefied class of the Philadelphia Orchestra, especially when they play Rachmaninoff. The Adagio is similarly dark and lush before an electrifying and rhythmically intense scherzo. The third movement is a little unsettled and episodic as Shui exaggerates the tempo contrasts. He delivers the goods in a hair-raising finale in which the orchestra clearly articulates Rachmaninoff’s rhythms with impeccable clarity and formidable impact.


The orchestra is recorded at a low level, but if you raise the volume high enough, there is ample dynamic range, fine instrumental detail, and punchy but not very deep bass with those staccato chords. The piano is nicely balanced with the orchestra in the Paganini Rhapsody. Sudbin is rarely overpowered despite his light touch. These performances are hardly in the class of Entremont and Ormandy in the Paganini Rhapsody, or Ormandy, Ashkenazy (with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Stokowski, or Zinman with Telarc’s sound in the Third Symphony, but this is still a thoroughly enjoyable CD that stimulates my interest in how Shui would handle the darker and more expansive First and Second Symphonies. Given this recording, the Symphonic Dances could potentially be the best of all.

Tracklisting:

1. Symphony no 3 in A minor, Op. 44 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor: Lan Shui
Orchestra/Ensemble: Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1936/1938; USA

2. Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Conductor: Lan Shui
Orchestra/Ensemble: Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1934; USA

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 28. August 2012, 9:05

Yevgeny Sudbin; Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Lan Shui / Rachmaninov - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Symphony No.3

Used drive : HL-DT-STDVDRAM GSA-4083N Adapter: 1 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 667
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 896 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\flac.exe
Additional command line options : -V -8 %source%


TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
1 | 0:00.00 | 0:09.01 | 0 | 675
2 | 0:09.01 | 0:18.40 | 676 | 2065
3 | 0:27.41 | 0:17.56 | 2066 | 3396
4 | 0:45.22 | 0:17.47 | 3397 | 4718
5 | 1:02.69 | 0:24.11 | 4719 | 6529
6 | 1:27.05 | 0:27.23 | 6530 | 8577
7 | 1:54.28 | 0:28.34 | 8578 | 10711
8 | 2:22.62 | 1:07.62 | 10712 | 15798
9 | 3:30.49 | 1:03.02 | 15799 | 20525
10 | 4:33.51 | 0:32.57 | 20526 | 22982
11 | 5:06.33 | 0:31.41 | 22983 | 25348
12 | 5:37.74 | 0:53.57 | 25349 | 29380
13 | 6:31.56 | 1:33.09 | 29381 | 36364
14 | 8:04.65 | 1:14.00 | 36365 | 41914
15 | 9:18.65 | 0:28.38 | 41915 | 44052
16 | 9:47.28 | 0:43.08 | 44053 | 47285
17 | 10:30.36 | 1:11.40 | 47286 | 52650
18 | 11:42.01 | 1:35.10 | 52651 | 59785
19 | 13:17.11 | 1:46.72 | 59786 | 67807
20 | 15:04.08 | 2:49.38 | 67808 | 80520
21 | 17:53.46 | 0:26.31 | 80521 | 82501
22 | 18:20.02 | 0:36.19 | 82502 | 85220
23 | 18:56.21 | 0:25.24 | 85221 | 87119
24 | 19:21.45 | 1:38.70 | 87120 | 94539
25 | 21:00.40 | 0:55.50 | 94540 | 98714
26 | 21:56.15 | 1:27.25 | 98715 | 105264
27 | 23:23.40 | 18:10.66 | 105265 | 187080
28 | 41:34.31 | 12:26.37 | 187081 | 243067
29 | 54:00.68 | 14:31.49 | 243068 | 308441


Range status and errors

Selected range

Filename J:\Music\Rachmaninov - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Symphony No.3\Rachmaninov - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Symphony No.3.wav

Peak level 97.2 %
Extraction speed 4.3 X
Range quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 9E3413D5
Copy CRC 9E3413D5
Copy OK

No errors occurred

End of status report

==== Log checksum 87C0492909D6E488FC968AE4BB8371BDA69D358C58DDA787212103BC9C1030BD ====


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