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Classical 101

Rachmaninoff Second Symphony: Warm Music for a Cold Evening

Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony is warm sounding music for a cold December evening.  It must have something to do with the full-bodied lush sound of this Late-Romantic Symphony. Rachmaninoff has been called the last of the great Romantic symphonists, and this work from 1907 with its opulent orchestration and great melodies is a high point of this kind of emotional expressiveness.  Like his teacher Peter Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff wears his heart on his sleeve so that we can see, and hear, that emotion is at the core of musical expression.  This idea was being challenged by the modernism of the early 20th Century, and he was one of the last hold outs.  Even his Third Symphony from 1936 sound a bit more modern by comparison with the Second. There are times when I would prefer the more austere expressiveness of a Bach Solo Cello Sonata, but sometimes its comforting to wallow in the big Romantic sound of Rachmaninoff.  You'll have that opportunity this evening on Symphony at 7 when we present Symphony No. 2 by Rachmaninoff.   Here's a sample: http://youtu.be/LrKdPDiBZTI