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Merlin Patterson
Fanfare, November 2013

Leonard Slatkin and his marvelous Detroit Symphony really hit a home run with their splendid Naxos release of Rachmaninoff’s Third Symphony and Symphonic Dances. © 2013 Fanfare

Merlin Patterson
Fanfare, September 2013

Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony really knock it out of the park with this superb coupling of Rachmaninoff’s last two orchestral works.

With its no-nonsense interpretation, powerful orchestral playing…and resonant, detailed sound, this disc joins…the top of my list of personal favorites. Plus this Slatkin/Detroit disc has the additional bonus of Naxos’s budget-friendly price. Highly Recommended! © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Geoffrey Norris
Gramophone, July 2013

Structurally and from the point of view of identifying shifting moods, Slatkin has a secure grasp in both pieces, finding sublime, yearning wistfulness at the centre of the finale of the Symphonic Dances but harnessing vigour and bite for a thrilling conclusion – and he lets the ominous crash of the tam‑tam echo on after the final chord, just as it should. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

James Manheim, June 2013

Slatkin has talked in the past about how he adapts his Rachmaninov performances to this space, and he does so again here. The more garish aspects of the Symphonic Dances, with its Dies irae quotation morphing into a Russian Alleluia, and the percussion parts generally, are kept under control, while the symphony’s glorious melodies, the last stand of the Romantic era in 1936, are allowed to flower luxuriantly. A crack Russian or British orchestra might be smoother in places, but there is a confident musicality here that is immensely appealing, and it has everything to do with a group of young players who realize that they are under the gun and have what it takes to succeed, under seasoned leadership. Highly recommended. © 2013 Read complete review

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, June 2013

This Naxos disc shows, if anything, that [Slatkin] is even better this time around and competitive with the best versions of these works. The Detroit Symphony, it must be noted, consistently plays at world-class level here, and I’m not sure one could cite more committed and accurately played performances of these works by any other orchestra. If you’re a Rachmaninov admirer, this disc should probably be considered essential. © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, May 2013

…it gives me pleasure to proclaim that The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is back! On the evidence of this newly-released pairing of two of Rachmaninov’s lushest and most imaginatively scored works, I hear strong participation from every family and chair of the orchestra…Under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, the string have a beautiful bloom and layered texture, the woodwinds are chattering happily…and the percussion comes through when required with a sound that is absolutely cavernous. © 2013 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, May 2013

The [Detroit Symphony Orchestra] under Slatkin gives very detailed renditions of the works, with strongly defined and balanced wind/brass parts…

If you are on a budget…you are royally served by this Naxos release. And for those who already have a number of versions of these works, Slatkin/Detroit give you another take, well-worth your time and effort. © 2013 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, May 2013

This CD very sensibly couples Rachmaninov’s two last orchestral works, both given their first performances in America.

…for listeners who remain to be converted to these beautiful swan songs by a great composer, this is a valuable disc in that it gives us a portrait of Rachmaninov as a traditional symphonist…The playing is superb throughout. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Hurwitz, May 2013

Leonard Slatkin’s Vox Rachmaninov cycle was one of his most successful early series of recordings, and he still has the measure of this music. The key to the Third Symphony lies in not playing it like the Second. Slatkin clearly understands this.

Through it all the Detroit Symphony plays the music about as beautifully as it can be done, and Naxos’ engineering is excellent…these performances are solid winners that will reward repeated listening. © Read complete review

Norman Lebrecht
La Scena Musicale, April 2013

The Detroit SO with Leonard Slatkin give one of the most compelling accounts of the symphony’s hypnotic hushed opening. The Adagio slackens off a bit, but the orch’s in fine fettle and go on to raise the roof in Symphonic Dances. Fabulous sound. © 2013 La Scena Musicale

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2013

Following their highly acclaimed recording of the Second Symphony, the Detroit orchestra and Leonard Slatkin add two very exciting Rachmaninov performances. The Symphonic Dances immediately win the disc a lot of bonus points by observing the fact that the composer asked for the gong at the conclusion to continue ringing, a fact too often ignored. Naxos already have in their catalogue a performance of the Third symphony from the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland with the young Russian conductor, Alexander Anissimov. It has for many years featured in the Gramophone Magazine’s ‘Good CD Guide’, and I am certainly not about to discard that affectionate reading. Yet when you compare the two, the Detroit strings pack a weight and resplendence of tonal quality…Slakin’s account also lacks nothing in sheer brilliance and excitement that can easily challenge the critic’s presently preferred version from the Concertgebouw and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Where the Naxos wins, hands down, is in the quality of recording that combines inner clarity with high impact, the percussion particularly well caught. That high voltage approach continues into the Symphonic Dances, though here Slatkin also looks very much to the song-like quality of the music, the Detroit woodwind a constant joy. In the final allegro vivace Slatkin injects tremendous vivacity that ignores the sudden pulling-up of tempo just before the work’s conclusion. It is a modernism best forgotten. Very strongly recommended. © David’s Review Corner

Jean-Charles Hoffelé

Slatkin stays a master of his orchestra until the furia of the final coda, in which bursts one of the most striking Dies Irae never heard before. © Diapason

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