Rachmaninov - Symphony no.2 | RCO Live RCO16004

Rachmaninov - Symphony no.2


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Label: RCO Live

Cat No: RCO16004

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 24th June 2016



Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra


Mariss Jansons


Rachmaninov, Sergei

Symphony no.2 in E minor, op.27


Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra


Mariss Jansons


The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s performance history of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony is strangely uneven. Already three years after its completion the Symphony was performed by Willem Mengelberg in a programme that also boasted the composer as soloist in his own Piano Concerto no.3. After that the Symphony was performed again in 1921 and then there’s a gap of 59 years. From 1980 on no fewer than 10 conductors (including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Kirill Kondrashin and Kurt Sanderling) put it on the RCO’s music stands.

Its latest RCO incarnation proved to be an ideal performance: with Mariss Jansons at the helm, heart and mind of this piece were totally balanced and the opulence of the RCO’s sound at the Concertgebouw was perfectly suited to Rachmaninov’s most beloved Symphony.

Recorded Live at Concertgebouw Amsterdam on 28-29 and 31 January 2010

"majestic and even restrained… the slow movement … sounded like a dream made audible" - Anne Midgette, Washington Post

"entirely persuasive and stirring in the end… I’ve never heard quite so much of Rachmaninoff’s writing, both on temporal and orchestral axes." - Michael Miller, New York Arts

"In the Second Symphony of Rachmaninoff all the stops were pulled out, and … it was beautiful. This music fits Jansons like a glove." - Peter van der Lint, Trouw


Mariss Jansons shapes [the Symphony’s] sumptuous melodies with restraint and detail, making the climaxes more than usually explosive. There’s great clarity in the playing, especially in the long slow movement with its huge clarinet solo. Woodwind and strings sound luxurious and expansive, brass vigorous and savage. There’s no indulgence and plenty of excitement in this live recording from 2010.  Fiona Maddocks
The Observer 10 July 2016

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