Mariss Jansons, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 (2016)
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 55:50 minutes | Scans NOT included | 2,56 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans NOT included | 963 MB
The RCO’s performance history of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony is strangely uneven. Already three years after its completion the symphony was performed by Willem Mengelberg in a program that also boasted the composer as soloist in his own Piano Concerto No. 3. After that the symphony was on the program once more in 1921 and then there’s a gap of 59 years. From 1980 on no less than ten conductors (including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Kirill Kondrashin and Kurt Sanderling) put it on the RCO’s music stands. The latest RCO incarnation proved to be an ideal performance. With Mariss Jansons at the helm, mind and heart of this piece are totally balanced and the opulence of the RCO’s sound at the Concertgebouw iss perfectly suited to Rachmaninoff’s most beloved symphony.
Prior to this 2016 release on RCO Live, Mariss Jansons recorded Sergey Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 in E minor with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra for EMI, though this live performance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is his first audiophile recording of the work. Due to the wide dynamic range of this hybrid SACD, the opening is extremely soft, though once the Allegro moderato begins, the playing is fully audible and clearly detailed. Jansons’ reading feels more generally post-Romantic than specifically Russian, and the flowing lines and relatively light and clean textures suggest that Jansons’ interpretation is fairly cosmopolitan. However one may construe the symphony’s national or international character, this is a marvelous exploration of distinctive orchestral sonorities and the inner voices that tend to be obscured in more homogenous performances that do Rachmaninov a disservice. To be sure, Jansons brings out the lushness and rich tone colors that were carefully calculated for effect, and Rachmaninov’s orchestration is revealed to be much better than is usually credited, particularly in the exciting second movement and the exuberant finale. Yet fans of Rachmaninov’s stirring melodies will find the popular Adagio to be deeply felt and poignant, and Jansons and his orchestra give this “greatest hit” plenty of heart.
01. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 – Largo – Allegro moderato
02. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 – Allegro molto
03. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 – Adagio
04. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 – Allegro vivace
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Mariss Jansons – conductor
Recorded Live at Concertgebouw Amsterdam on 28, 29 and 31 January 2010.