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Adagio from Symphony No.2 in E Minor Op.27

Rachmaninov: Adagio from Symphony No. 2, Op. 27

All three Rachmaninov symphonies open with pregnant melodic figures from which so much of the ensuing musical argument grows.  The Adagio of the second symphony is the longest and most overtly romantic of his symphonic slow movements, and its world of feeling comes close to the love duet in his opera, Francesca da Rimini (1905). It is a lyrical outpouring, a love poem almost, that radiates a poignant happiness..

In one of the 'Windflower' letters Elgar speaks of having 'written out his soul' in his Second Symphony and the Violin Concerto: all his vitality seemed to be in them, he said. And, although there were many great works to come, one might well say the same of Rachmaninov and his Second Symphony. All his vitality and soul is here.

1994 Phillips Classics Productions

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