Shostakovich Symphony no. 3 in E flat, op. 20, ‘The First of May’

performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Neeme Järvi, or below by the Orchestra of the USSR Ministry of Culture and the Russian State Academic Choir Cappella under Gennady Rozhdestvensky (cover image by Paul Morris) …whereas in October, the … Continue reading Shostakovich Symphony no. 3 in E flat, op. 20, ‘The First of May’

Rachmaninoff Symphony no. 2

This article has been marked as in need of a revisit. That’s where I feel like I didn’t do the piece justice or have more to say (usually because I didn’t know it nearly well enough or didn’t have the right perspective). I’ll keep the original article for posterity, but publish a new version that will eventually be linked here for my new take on it. performed by the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra under Gennady Rozhdestvensky This piece was written in 1906-07 and premiered in 1908 with the composer conducting. 
I will talk about some of its background … Continue reading Rachmaninoff Symphony no. 2

Alexander Borodin: Symphony No. 1 in Eb

Performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under Gennady Rozhdestvensky There’s no article for Wikipedia on this, but other sources reveal it was premiered in 1868 by Borodin’s mentor, Mily Balakirev. I had heard somewhere that Balakirev also helped Rimsky-Korsakov with (and conducted the premiere of) his first symphony. Balakirev encouraged RK to continue work on the first movement. He did so, but apparently made a disaster of the orchestration. Balakirev came to the rescue again, getting RK started by helping him orchestrate the first page. He did well after that. But later, RK said of Balakirev: “[I] was convinced … Continue reading Alexander Borodin: Symphony No. 1 in Eb