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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.
|Label:||Rco Live Holland|