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Rachmaninoff Plays Symphonic Dances: Newly Discovered 1940 Recording

At an impromptu gathering in 1940, Sergei Rachmaninoff demonstrated at the piano just how he wanted his new orchestral work, Symphonic Dances, to be performed. Rachmaninoff, one of the greatest of all pianists, reduced the orchestral score for a single piano on this occasion. That recording is presented here in two versions: first, edited to conform to the score and again, just as the occasion unfolded, as Rachmaninoff jumped from place to place as he demonstrated. Other performers include pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch, mezzo soprano Nadezhda Plevitskaya, and conductors Adrian Boult, Dmitri Mitropoulos, Eugene Ormandy, and Leopold Stokowski. These are complemented by every known non-commercial recording of Rachmaninoff, accompanied by a detailed essay concerning Rachmaninoff, the Symphonic Dances, and these recordings written especially for this issue by Richard Taruskin, author of the Oxford History of Western Music.

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