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Classical 101

Sergei Rachmaninoff's Second for Symphony @ 7

This evening on Symphony @ 7, we have a big Late-Romantic Russian symphony from Sergei Rachmaninoff, his Symphony No. 2 in e minor.  I admit, some evenings I would prefer the elegance of Mozart or the soul-searching musical explorations of Mahler, but sometimes just wallowing in those big romantic melodies with lush orchestrations that Rachmaninoff does so well, fills the bill. Rachmaninoff did some serious soul-searching himself after the disastrous premier of his first symphony in 1897.  In fact, he was so traumatized by the experience he couldn't  write much of anything for several years.  It was only after he underwent psychological counseling that he began composing again and produced his popular Second Piano Concerto in 1901.  After that, it was a bit more smooth sailing. The Second Symphony from 1908 had a much better reception, and what's not to like in this grand Romantic symphony?  This nearly hour long work contains one of his big tunes in the  third movement adagio.  Yes, this is very sugary and sweet, but if you are in the mood for musical romanticism at its height, this is it. As I said, sometimes you may be in a different mood and want the more bracing realism of Shostakovitch, or the austere far northern musical landscapes of Finland's Sibelius, but if you simply want to indulge in lush orchestral sounds (but with deeper emotions also there if you listen closely), Rachmaninoff's Second may be the musical ticket. http://youtu.be/LrKdPDiBZTI