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Owen Mortimer

New Rachmaninov recording released by Marston Records

8:24, 17th September 2018

A previously unknown recording of Sergei Rachmaninov performing his Symphonic Dances has been released by Marston Records

Captured at an impromptu gathering in 1940, this 3-CD set features the composer demonstrating at the piano how he wanted his new orchestral work, Symphonic Dances, to be performed.

Marston’s transfer of the recording is presented exactly as the occasion unfolded:  first, edited to conform to the score; again, as Rachmaninov jumped from place to place during his demonstration. Additional performances of Rachmaninov’s works are included together with an essay by musicologist Richard Taruskin, author of the Oxford History of Western Music.

Commenting on Marston’s discovery, IP contributor Jeremy Nicholas said: ‘Marston is a hugely reliable source with a wonderful track record of unearthing amazing pianistic treasures, so we have to hope that this is the genuine article. People have been searching for Rachmininov broadcasts and recordings since he died because his contract with RCA (and before that Edison) specified that any unused takes should be destroyed. There are also no broadcast recordings of Rachmaninov because he always insisted on his studio recordings being played instead of his live radio performances.’

Several performers whom Rachmaninov admired are included in Marston’s release: pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch, mezzo-soprano Nadezhda Plevitskaya, and conductors Adrian Boult, Dmitri Mitropoulos, Eugene Ormandy and Leopold Stokowski.  Every known non-commercial recording of Rachmaninov, including the important 1931 Bell Laboratory recital excerpt, is also featured.

‘It is with tremendous pride that I release Rachmaninoff Plays Symphonic Dances,’ says the label’s founder and producer, Ward Marston. ‘I feel this is one of the most important achievements of my career.’

Rachmaninoff Plays Symphonic Dances: Newly Discovered 1940 Recording is now available from Marston Records. www.marstonrecords.com

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