We take a look at forthcoming releases on the Orchestra's record label, including a box set of the complete Rachmaninov symphonies and a new concert film featuring Sir Simon Rattle & Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
This April, Valery Gergiev's acclaimed Rachmaninov recordings will be available together on one box set for the first time, with the composer's complete symphonies and 1940 work Symphonic Dances presented alongside two tone poems by 'Mighty Five' member Mily Balakirev. Captured live in the Barbican Hall across seven years, these masterful accounts only confirm Gergiev's reputation as one of today's greatest interpreters of Russian music.
‘The LSO plays, as always, splendidly for Valery Gergiev. The general excellence and detail of their performance is remarkable.'
– BBC Music Magazine
Rachmaninov's three symphonies mark distinct stages of his career, and showcase his talent for beautiful melodies, vivid colours and lush textures. The First (1895), a victim of a disastrous premiere at the hands of Alexander Glazunov, is a vibrant depiction of Russian civilisation and culture. The Second (1906-7), emotive and brimming with beautiful melodies, epitomises the Romantic symphony; while the Third (1935-36), written twenty years after emigrating to the United States, was one of Rachmaninov's favourite compositions. Symphonic Dances, the composer's final completed work, draws on memories of his native Russia, its lyricism and vivacious rhythmic sections reminiscent of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.
Released as a Hybrid SACD & Pure Audio Blu-ray set on Friday 20 April, Rachmaninov: Symphonies 1-3, Symphonic Dances is available to pre-order now from the LSO Live online store, as well as from iTunes. Visit Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer to listen to a pre-release preview.
Sir Simon Rattle's latest LSO Live release brings together music by Anton Bruckner and Olivier Messiaen: two composers as united in their devotion to the Catholic faith as they are divergent in their approaches to writing music. Available from Friday 11 May, this Blu-ray+DVD set adds to Rattle's growing collection of concert films on LSO Live and marks the label debut of celebrated French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
‘Unconventional, beautifully prepared and deeply humane.’
– The Arts Desk
Rattle and the Orchestra open with Anton Bruckner's monumental Eighth Symphony, leading their audience through its 1939 edition as prepared by Austrian musicologist Robert Haas. Taking over five years to compose and revise, Bruckner's Eighth is his final complete symphony, and would only be performed three times whilst he was alive. Characterised by its immense scale, it stands in stark contrast to Olivier Messiaen's 1963 Couleurs de la Cité Céleste, which lasts just over a quarter of an hour. The piece for piano and reduced orchestra is comprised of sequences of short episodes and serves as a microcosm of the composer’s various preoccupations - from birdsong to the book of Revelations. Watch the trailer below.