- Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 - Sergey Rachmaninov - Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Leonard Slatkin
- Vocalise, transcription for orchestra, Op. 34/14 - Sergey Rachmaninov - Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Leonard Slatkin
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2by Leonard Slatkin
Rachmaninov's "First Symphony," for any number of reasons, received one of the most venomous, disdainful premieres in music history. Everything from the score itself to unprepared musicians to a supposedly drunken conductor (Glazunov) has been blamed for its icy reception. No matter the cause, the result was a devastated composer who was not/a>… See more details below
Rachmaninov's "First Symphony," for any number of reasons, received one of the most venomous, disdainful premieres in music history. Everything from the score itself to unprepared musicians to a supposedly drunken conductor (Glazunov) has been blamed for its icy reception. No matter the cause, the result was a devastated composer who was not to return to the form for more than a decade, and only then after the assistance of a hypnotherapist. The "Second Symphony," heard here on this Naxos disc, was a complete rebirth for Rachmaninov and was received with great acclaim. Its American premiere was conducted by Modeste Altschuler, the great uncle of conductor Leonard Slatkin. How appropriate it is, then, that the Detroit Symphony Orchestra should celebrate its own new beginnings with Slatkin, who was principal conductor during the 2008-2009 season. The revitalized sound Slatkin draws from the DSO is simply superb, reaffirming its position as one of the country's preeminent orchestras. The strings produce a rich, velvety texture with powerful, penetrating violins all the way down to marvelously articulated, robust basses. The rest of the orchestra sounds just as good, in particular the vigorous brass section. Slatkin's interpretation of this great symphony is sweeping in its scope while obviously paying meticulous attention to every detail and nuance written in the score. From the breathtakingly romantic third movement to the fiery, agitated Scherzo, the DSO and Slatkin offer listeners a first-rate recording and a deeply satisfying musical experience.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsLeonard Slatkin Primary Artist
Detroit Symphony Orchestra Primary Artist
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Under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, Sergei Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2 in E minor comes alive. From the very opening motive in the basses Slatkin and the DSO demonstrate their understanding of the internal momentum of the symphony. While, overall, the performance is captivating, their interpretation of both the first and third movements in particular is stunning. The first movement is rife with internal tension that continually builds and releases at just the right moment. The phrasing in both is gorgeous, and the violins soar through the brilliantly paced crescendos. The final movement opens with excitement and energy and drives forward to the final chord and the ovation from the audience. It would have been something special to be in the audience for this performance and thank you to NAXOS for capturing it for a lifetime of repeated listening! And, we cannot forget the CD opener: Rachmaninov's Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14. Perhaps one of the composer's most famous and most often interpreted works, Slatkin and the DSO revealed a whole new depth to this popular composition. The opening statement of the principal melody extends beautifully like one long sigh floating through air. Each soloing instrument draws out a slightly different shade of meaning, whether it's the fragility of the violin or the calmness of the clarinet. Slatkin draws forth a balance of the calm serenity in the long lines of the melody and swelling intensity in the sudden burst of movement in the developmental section. This is, perhaps, my favorite performance of the Vocalise, and one that I think every Rachmaninov enthusiast should have on their shelves!