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Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2
This is an outstanding performance of Rachmaninoff’s most popular symphony, from a source that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. David Zinman sees the work much as the composer himself might have. There’s no Russian heaviness; he lets the gloom and doom speak for itself. Rather, he keeps textures light and supple, rhythms exciting, and goes for broke at the climaxes. He also manages to sustain the finale better than most of the competition, never making it sound like the main theme coming around one time too many. He’s aided to no small extent by the excellent sound, and by playing that clearly establishes the Baltimore Symphony as a force to be reckoned with. –David Hurwitz