My desert-island Rachmaninov opus is given a knockout performance by Slatkin and St. Louis, not necessarily ‘better’ than the conductor’s Detroit remake. Put simply, this SLS version is wholesome, admirable, involving and satisfying on its own terms, with a care for structure, power, passion, fantasy, and Rachmaninov’s brilliant and virtuosic orchestration – all reciprocated by this impressive orchestra responding to “young Leonard” (William Schuman) in 1977 with well-rehearsed, spot-on detailing yet spontaneous dedication to the score’s A to Z journey, the ultimate coda here being demonic, captured in full and vivid sound, now remastered to match the Audiophile tag. If neither the ‘Youth’ Symphony nor The Rock are the compositional equal of the Third Symphony, both are performed with style and elan in St Louis and are very enjoyable. VOXNX3028CD.

Postscript: now that Vox has started to release Slatkin’s Prokofiev film-music survey, I wonder if the rest of his Rachmaninov recordings, specifically Symphonic Dances, Isle of the Dead and Bohemian Caprice, will also appear?*

*Yes, this May, Naxos advises.

https://naxosdirect.co.uk/labels/vox-classics-26971