If anybody knows Rachmaninoff, it’s The Philadelphia Orchestra. The ensemble inspired the composer to write his final orchestral work: the Symphonic Dances, and collaborated with him intensively until his death in 1943. Since then, the Orchestra has maintained an unbroken tradition of performing works by Rachmaninoff, from the eras of Eugene Ormandy through Charles Dutoit.
The esteemed Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda, who has the trust and affection of the musicians from past guest engagements, recently conducted Rachmaninoff at the Kimmel Center. The conductor brought to these performances the rediscovery of a sound from which the orchestra has perhaps drifted. As The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, Noseda may just about be out-Ormandying Eugene Ormandy.