Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 is the latest release from the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. The album was Recorded Live at the Barbican in London in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound DSD 256 on September 18-19, 2019 by the team at Classic Sound Ltd.
One of Rachmaninoff’s most popular pieces, the Second Symphony is an indulgently melancholic and sentimental work: a magic box of the late-Romantic orchestra. Dramatic sections played by the full orchestra contrast heart-breaking swells that only this composer could have written.
The LSO has a long history with the Second Symphony, recording it many times with conductors such as André Previn, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Valery Gergiev. For this recording, which was captured during the opening of the London Symphony Orchestra’s 2019-20 season at the Barbican Hall, the Orchestra’s Music Director Sir Simon Rattle conducted from memory, performing the uncut version of this symphonic treasure.
Total time: 00:58:50
Jonathan Stokes, Classic Sound Ltd.
|Original Recording Format|
Neil Hutchinson, Classic Sound Ltd.
|Release Date||March 19, 2021|
Classical Music Sentinel
The 1907 Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 by Sergei Rachmaninov has always been considered by many to be one of the best symphonies of the 20th Century. Although stylistically I would personally classify it more in line with the late 19th century romantic movement. But there is no doubt that structurally and melodically it is the work of a master.
The allure of Rachmaninov is how he, like Tchaikovsky, could very slowly build and sustain suspense and tension which rendered the inevitable release and resolution even more intense. Add to all this the fact that it’s beautiful Adagio movement with its lush strings and forlorn clarinet melody is one of the most lyrical slow movements ever written and you have a compelling case.
Conductor Sir Simon Rattle has obviously performed this work many times. His pacing throughout is innate and unforced, as well as flexible without ever being excessive. Dynamic control is always well proportioned and orchestral balance is always in check, with no section of the orchestra unduly spotlit which is sometimes difficult to control in a live setting. The unfolding of the musical narrative, omnipresent in Russian music, is highly focused in this live performance, which apparently Sir Simon Rattle conducted from memory from start to highly exhilarating finish.
Rattle Was Clearly Enjoying Bringing Out The String Section Surges As He Conducted From Memory. The Frenzied Build To The Coda Was Exhilarating. A True Pleasure To Experience.
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