Written in 1895, when Mr. Rachmaninoff was twenty-two years old, the Symphony No. 1 in D minor received such harsh criticism after its March 27, 1897 premiere that the composer reportedly destroyed the original score of the piece. After several decades in obscurity, this symphony is rightly regarded as "a powerful work in its own right, finely constructed, thematically integrated, and intensely personal. It achieves a genuine tragedy and heroic expression that somehow stands far above the pathos of the composer's later works" (quoted from the unattributed liner jacket program notes).
This writer is acquainted with many readings of this music, and is particularly enamored of the fiery mid-1960s rendition by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy in terms of pacing and drama. Previn's 1973 recording is phenomenal on its own terms, he takes somewhat broader tempi than Ormandy but there is a keen feel for the music's architecture. The London Symphony's response to Previn's leadership is second to none, and the analog engineering by Christopher Bishop is quite natural.
Hard-core fans of the Previn/LSO cycle might seek out the UK HMV releases, which are slightly more transparent than the very good U.S. Angel LP pressings.
Highly recommended listening!