Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 - de Waart

Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 - de Waart

PentaTone RQR  PTC 5186 153

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2, Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Edo de Waart (conductor)

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Analogue recording
Reviews (1)

Review by John Broggio - June 9, 2008

A fascinating disc this for one main reason: it is a (currently unique?) example on SACD of how a conductor may refine and revise his interpretation over time with this account of the Rachmaninov from 1976 and then Rachmaninoff: Symphonies 1-3 - de Waart). Unfortunately, the more modern recording is better on every front, from the recording that is more detailed and also has more immediacy to the account that follows the score with far greater respect and because of this has much more natural excitement.

In the 2001 account, the inclusion of the exposition repeat lends a better balance to the first movement and allows for a greater sense of drama to be evoked from the turbulence of Rachmaninov's writing. At the end of this movement, the early account from de Waart includes a terrible addition of a timpani stroke that is not asked for nor is it subtly played! This, given that there are two other very recommendable accounts available (the de Waart already mentioned and Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 - Fischer) rules the disc out of the running for a recommendation. The Capriccio Espagnol is better played, with a pleasing sense of life to the playing.

A critical problem that both works face is the original engineering given to the players - it is very distant, even by the standards of the day. The amount of detail obtained is phenomenal considering this but the visceral bite and impact that one expects (from almost any era of recorded music history) is lacking and in this repertoire, more than say a Mozart piano sonata, it matters!

Copyright © 2008 John Broggio and


Sonics (Multichannel):

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