Rachmaninov – Symphony no 1 in D minor


I’m not that much into symphonies, but I like Rachmaninoff a lot. So I bought a few cheap recordings of his symphonies. Walter Weller delivered a good performance on this record though, I was not disappointed. So now the question: is it Rachmaninoff or Rachmaninov? Probably neither: Васи́льевич.

The première of this work is one of those famous moments in music history. It was conducted by Glazunov, himself a famous composer, but also a known drinker. He might have been drunk, because the piece was reviewed ferociously. Also Rachmaninoff was not happy with it.

Cesar Cui said about the performance it was a depiction of the ten plagues of Egypt, that would be admired by the inmates of a music conservatory in hell. The bad reception and worse performance led to a period of depression for the sensitive composer.

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