The Dutch Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (Radio Philharmonic Orchestra) plays Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27. Conductor: Eivind Gullberg Jensen.
The symphony is written in 1906–07 and the premiere was conducted by the composer himself in St. Petersburg on 8 February 1908.
The Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Dutch abbreviation RFO) is a Dutch radio orchestra, based in Hilversum. The RFO performs under the aegis of the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep (Broadcasting Music Centre; NMBC), an umbrella organization bringing together the music departments of the various broadcasting associations affiliated to Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (Dutch Public Broadcasting).
The symphony is in four movements:
- Largo – Allegro moderato (E minor) The first movement begins with a slow introduction followed by an allegro in sonata form. Rachmaninoff’s choice to compose a movement in sonata-allegro form (including a full repeat of the exposition) is an indicator of his pronounced conservatism compared to other symphonists during the early twentieth century.
- Allegro molto (A minor) This movement really only resembles a scherzo insofar as it relates to the early- to mid-Romantic tradition of symphonic movements, i.e. first movement allegro, slow movement, fast scherzo, and final allegro. The movement opens with a lively ostinato in the upper strings.
- Adagio (A major) This theme, again related to the work’s motif, sings through primarily in the first violin, echoed by a solo clarinet and the oboe section. The symphony reaches its climax in this movement, this development is considered the complement for the first movement Largo introduction.
- Allegro vivace (E major) The final movement is set in sonata form. The development incorporates ideas from the previous movements.