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Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2 In E Minor / Kogan, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra


Release Date: 02/10/2009 
Label:  Musical Concepts   Catalog #: 1031   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 2. Vocalise. Scherzo Pavel Kogan, cond; Moscow St SO ALTO 1031 (68:05)


Alto is a budget label you need to take notice of, just now. They are doing great work in the recent archives (check out their Sviridov disc for example, and the whole catalog at www.musicalconcepts.net). Pavel Kogan’s Rachmaninoff recordings are certainly lost sonic treasures, thanks to the Élite Recordings team, who did pretty well in Moscow in the 1990s. I was lukewarm about the previous release, Read more coupling the Third Symphony and the Symphonic Dances (it’s still a good bargain), but this is better, very Russian, rather similar to the Svetlanov recordings, but in a better acoustic.


That means you get full string textures, and real momentum, without undue haste. It also means a little touch of the euphoniums in the brass, and a not very subtle clarinet solo. That’s a killer when you can hear Jack Brymer for Previn on EMI, or all of the Philadelphia players in many guises, peerless in Rachmaninoff, under Ormandy. And there’s a good clarinet solo in the bargain Weller recording, now on Eloquence. The Vocalise is very extended under Kogan, lots of weight. The prodigious Scherzo (Rachmaninoff was 14) is very fine.


Vladimir Ashkenazy’s Decca cycle looks like a really good bargain just now, too, great playing and recording if you want just one version of this repertoire, though he would not be quite my first pick for the Second. Maazel’s set is also cheap, and his Second is good, though for some, glitzy. The Second is simply tough to bring off in the studio, and Kogan’s quite fresh account got me listening again, after a string of disappointing runs-though on disc. But it does lack the final touch of refinement, or some of the Svetlanov power surge, or the old Sanderling/Leningrad intensity.


Make sure you have one of these Russian versions, whatever else you own. What a generous work this is. I’ve been rude about it in the past, wishing for more cuts, but I’m through with that. It gets too many mediocre performances, but on its day, the uncut Second is like nothing else. It’s like emotional philanthropy. Maybe one day we’ll get the perfect recording. This Alto CD makes an excellent bargain choice, given the generous couplings.


FANFARE: Paul Ingram
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1907; Russia 
2.
Songs (14), Op. 34: no 14, Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912-1915; Russia 
3.
Scherzo for Orchestra in D minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Russia 

Featured Sound Samples

Symphony no 2: II. Allegro molto
Symphony no 2: III. Adagio

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