RACHMANINOV The Bells PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky. BBC Symphony Chorus & Orchestra, Philharmonia Chorus & Orchestra / Evgeny Svetlanov. ICA Classics

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Rachmaninov The Bells Prokofiev Alexander Orchestra Evgeny Svetlanov Ica Classics

EVGENY SVETLANOV

RACHMANINOV

The Bells

Daniil Shtoda (TENOR)

Elena Prokina (SOPRANO)

Sergei Leiferkus (BARITONE)

BBC Symphony Chorus & Orchestra

Evgeny Svetlanov

BARBICAN, LONDON, 19 APRIL 2002

PROKOFIEV

Alexander Nevsky

Alfreda Hodgson (MEZZO-SOPRANO)

Philharmonia Chorus & Orchestra

Evgeny Svetlanov

ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL, LONDON, 30 JANUARY 1988

The great Evgeny Svetlanov (1928–2002) was music director of the USSR State Orchestra (1965–2000) and also had permanent positions with the LSO, the Residentie Orchestra in the Hague and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

He frequently guest conducted the NHK Orchestra in Japan, the Orchestre National in Paris as well as the Philharmonia in London. May 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of his death and ICA mark this with a coupling of Rachmaninov’s The Bells and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky.

These two composers were very closely associated with the conductor. The performance of The Bells was taken from Svetlanov’s last concert in April 2002; he died one month later. The concert with the

BBC Symphony Orchestra produced the following reviews.

‘Svetlanov brought out all this rich and detailed sonority, backed by a chorus on brilliant and incisive form, and by three well-chosen soloists. There is no doubt that Russian voices are specially attuned to

this music, and here the tenor Daniil Shtoda, soprano Elena Prokina and baritone Sergei Leiferkus contributed lustre to a performance of extraordinary power and intensity.’ (Daily Telegraph)

‘Two weeks ago, Yevgeny Svetlanov, who has died aged 73 in Moscow, conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Barbican. It was the usual heady Svetlanov brew – sustained, clearly etched and

supply phrased, with a powerful terracing of Rachmaninov’s slow-movement climaxes that has never been surpassed. The sound and control of the orchestra belied Svetlanov’s fragile appearance. His

vociferous admirers had come to hear a Russian musical figurehead who seemed likely to go on for ever.’ (The Guardian)

‘The warmth of reception from the BBCSO’s members indicated the rapport on which this concert had been grounded. Long may Svetlanov continue as the last surviving “old master” of the Russian

school!’ (Classical Source)

‘The most thrilling, distinctly idiomatic performance of Alexander Nevsky heard in London for many years.

Every choral and orchestral detail was infused with authenticity ... the finale was properly triumphant.’ (Daily Telegraph)

These recordings have never been issued before and have been recorded in brilliant stereo with a wide dynamic range.

ICAClassics ICAC5069

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