Peter Reavy

Rachmaninov: Symphony no. 2 / Kurt Sanderling / Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra

Posted in music by Peter Reavy on March 14, 2007

Symphony no. 2 / Kurt Sanderling / Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra

Rachmaninov wrote his second symphony in 1907. This classic recording of it was made in the 50s. It’s in mono. The sound quality is acceptable although a little strained at certain moments, such as during loud brass playing. The playing from the Leningrad PO is very committed and convincing. The conductor Kurt Sanderling is an interesting figure. A Jew who fled the Nazis, but oddly, to the Soviet East.

Rachmaninov’s music is late-Romantic, but not in the more tonally challenging manner of Richard Strauss. It’s easy on the ear without being predictable or dull. The whole piece is about 55 minutes long, so a hefty symphony. Nothing else on the CD, though. Apparently Rachmaninov was not always taken that seriously as a symphonist but this is a good listen, if a little meandering to my ears, with some lovely tunes scattered through it. Recommended.

DG 449 767-2


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