Sergei Rachmaninoff composed his Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44 between 1935 and 1936. The Third Symphony is considered a transitional work in Rachmaninoff's output. In melodic outline and rhythm it is his most expressively Russian symphony, particularly in the dance rhythms of the finale. What was groundbreaking in this symphony was its greater economy of utterance compared to its two predecessors. This sparer style, first apparent in the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, enhances the emotional power of the work.
The symphony was premiered on November 6, 1936, with Leopold Stokowski conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. Critical opinion was divided and public opinion negative toward the work. Rachmaninoff remained convinced of the piece's worth, however, and conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in the first recording of the work in 1939. Following the reevaluation of Rachmaninoff's work in the 1970s, the symphony has been viewed in a more favorable light and has been frequently played and recorded.
Performances & Interviews
- Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01slzm4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01slzm4.jpg2012-11-01T20:42:00.000ZStephen Johnson explores Rachmaninov's Third Symphony, which despite having been written far from the composer's homeland, is deeply entrenched in a Russian heritage.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b01nj977
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3Stephen Johnson explores Rachmaninov's Third Symphony, which despite having been written far from the composer's homeland, is deeply entrenched in a Russian heritage.
- Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03mg9fp.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03mg9fp.jpg2016-03-12T15:38:00.000ZSarah Devonald recommends a recording of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 in A minor from among available versions.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03mg9g9
Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3Sarah Devonald recommends a recording of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 in A minor from among available versions.