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Upgrade Radio presents; Yannick Nezet-Seguin on Rachmaninoff

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Yannick Nezet-Seguin on Rachmaninoff

Gramophone Recording of the Month, February 2021 – "An auspicious beginning to a Rachmaninoff cycle of impeccable pedigree from The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin"

Crossover Media's Max Horowitz discusses the powerhouse musical partnership and launch of three-album Deutsche Grammophon Rachmaninoff project with Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Recordings of his symphonic works will be released on CD and digitally, including Dolby Atmos version.

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First release spans more than forty years of creative development with riveting coupling of composer's First Symphony and Symphonic Dances

"I've loved and admired Rachmaninoff's writing since the early years of my studies as a pianist. I think what most drew me to his language was the soundworld, the melancholy, the sense of drama, the immense and long melodies, and his sense of rhythm, which is just irresistible." - Yannick Nézet-Séguin
 

Sergei Rachmaninoff's symphonic works, among the most powerful and popular in the concert repertoire, hold a special place in the story of one of America's greatest musical ensembles. The Philadelphia Orchestra and its Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin are about to add a thrilling new chapter with the landmark launch of a cycle of Rachmaninoff's three symphonies and other orchestral scores for Deutsche Grammophon. The project follows naturally from their recordings of the Russian Romantic composer's piano concertos with Daniil Trifonov, the most recent of which – Destination Rachmaninov · Arrival – is in the running for a 2021 Grammy Award.

The first album, scheduled for international release in physical and digital formats on 29 January 2021, pairs the early Symphony No.1 with the Symphonic Dances, Rachmaninoff's last major composition, written for and dedicated to The Philadelphia Orchestra and its then conductor Eugene Ormandy and premiered by them 80 years ago this month. The second (Symphony No.2 and The Isle of the Dead) will be issued in early 2022, while the third and final recording (Symphony No.3 and The Bells) will appear as part of the commemorations of the composer's 150th birthday in April 2023.

Nézet-Séguin has recorded a series of webisodes about the three albums for DG. Speaking about the repertoire on the first release, he says, "Conducting Rachmaninoff's cycle of symphonic works is a fascinating journey: there's nearly 45 years between the First Symphony and the Symphonic Dances – they're almost the Alpha and Omega of his life as a creator." Summing up the recording experience with his players as a whole, he concludes, "It's just a true joy to do it with the orchestra that Rachmaninoff himself billed as the best in the world."

"We're immensely proud of our relationship with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and delighted with his Rachmaninoff recordings with The Philadelphia Orchestra for the Yellow Label," comments Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. "The Philadelphia Orchestra performed and recorded with the composer and brought joy to his final years. Yannick understands the value of tradition and of his orchestra's unique legacy as champions of Rachmaninoff's music. Beyond that he has the special genius required to reveal compelling insights into some of the best-known of all orchestral works. His new symphonic cycle will be the starting point for the celebration of Rachmaninoff's anniversary year in 2023. And above and beyond that it's sure to stand as an enduring measure of the very best in classical music."

"Rachmaninoff wrote with the sound of The Philadelphia Orchestra in mind, and that special musical connection comes across movingly in this recording," adds Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. "In collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon, we celebrate this rich history and Rachmaninoff's extraordinary music, brought to life in a way only possible with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra."

Each of The Philadelphia Orchestra's Rachmaninoff albums will also be available to download in Dolby Atmos format, underlining Deutsche Grammophon's commitment to the immersive listening experience and crystal-clear quality of Dolby's sound technology. Rachmaninoff's romantic melodies, rich orchestrations and sonorous harmonies are ideally suited to the purity and precision of Dolby Atmos.

Having signed an exclusive contract with DG in May 2018, Yannick Nézet-Séguin is also set to release his Yellow Label debut album as solo pianist in spring 2021.

Produced by Max Horowitz - Crossover Media, This content, as well as the related podcast, are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) for redistribution and adaptation.