This Week in Classical Music with Randy Kinkel 09/09/18

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Rachmaninoff Live Recording Found;
Canadian D'Angelo Sweeps Prizes at Operalia


It’s “This Week in Classical Music”; an update on what’s happening in the classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.

A previously unknown recording of Rachmaninoff playing his own Symphonic Dances will be released by Marston Records.

Rachmaninov refused to allow his live performances to be recorded or broadcast; the recordings we have of him were all made under controlled studio conditions. So the discovery of a recording of him playing through his recently composed Symphonic Dances is pretty exciting.

When Rachmaninov proposed to his record label, RCA Victor, that he record his Symphonic Dances and Second Suite for two pianos with Vladimir Horowitz, the label amazingly rejected the idea.

But…Rachmaninov was part of a gathering with conductor Eugene Ormandy, to whom the Symphonic Dances are dedicated and who was about to give the premiere, and he played the piece thru at the keyboard. Someone, we don’t know who, managed to record the event on two double-sided 10-inch acetate discs, and these were discovered in the Eugene Ormandy Collection now held at the University of Pennsylvania.

The performance isn’t quite complete, and Rachmaninov didn’t play through the work in sequence. It is presented in two versions, one edited to follow the order of the score, the other exactly as it was recorded, with the composer jumping from place to place in the score.


Italian-canadian mezzo emily d'angelo, 23, swept many of the top prizes at Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition, winning first prize in the womens general division, the competition’s Birgit Nilsson Prize, its Zarzuela prize and its Audience Prize. 

The competition’s final round, which was streamed live by, featured twelve singers performing one aria each alongside a full orchestra conducted by Plácido Domingo. A jury of ten opera experts adjudicated the competition.

Founded in 1993 by Domingo to discover and launch the careers of young singers, Operalia receives 1,000 applications each year from singers 18 to 32.

D’Angelo will take away $55,000 and a Rolex watch for winning the competition’s main division and all but one of its subcategories. 

27-year-old Belarusian tenor Pavel Petrov was the first-prize winner in the men’s general division, and will receive $30,000. Second-prize winners included American mezzo Samantha Hankey, also a winner of the competition’s Birgit Nilsson Prize

For more on these and other items and events, go to the website, K-B-A-C-H dot org; Be listening each week at this time for another update. Follow us on Facebook and twitter, and also listen every weekday at Noon for the Most Wanted Hour with Linda Cassidy, playing your top 100 classical hits.  I’m Randy Kinkel for KBACH’s “This Week in Classical Music”; Member supported 89.5 KBAQ Phoenix and HD, a service of Rio Salado College and Arizona State University.