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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Passionate but problematic - of major historical interest, 3 Jan 2009
By 
Colin Fortune (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rachmaninov - Symphony 2 (DG The Originals) (Audio CD)
Anyone buying this disc should be aware that it was customary to cut large sections of the finale in the 1950's (you can only be sure of the full text in recordings made after Previn's LSO disc) and that this performance follows that tradition. So if you are buying it I think you should be aware that you are getting a "period piece" in more ways than just the mono sound and occasional spotlighting indulged in by the engineers.
In other words, if you are interested in this famous "one-off" occasion of great intensity, then the disc is self recommending, like several other DGG Originals (e.g. the first Leningrad set of Tchaikovsky SymphoniesTchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 4-6).

Having said all that the performance is astoundingly good, which makes the period cuts even more infuriating. The mono sound is perfectly acceptable in quality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intensity Unsurpassed, 25 Dec 2009
By 
Mr. J. Lazzerini "Jonathan" (Quimper, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rachmaninov - Symphony 2 (DG The Originals) (Audio CD)
Rachmaninov's 2nd is one of my favorite symphonies, and I own more modern recommended interpretations (including the celebrated Previn/LSO disc). However, the emotional intensity of this recording remains unsurpassed in my opinion, and I nearly always choose it to listen to despite the mono sound. There is something inexplicable about this historic performance; you just have to listen to it to understand.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orchestral playing of great beauty, fervour and intensity., 11 Nov 2001
By 
John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rachmaninov - Symphony 2 (DG The Originals) (Audio CD)
A great impression was created in the 1950s when a series of DGG recordings appeared. The recordings featured the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra and the conductor was Kurt Sanderling. All agreed that the work of an orchestra and conductor in top form had been wondrously well captured on disc.
Well, here is one of those famous recordings, the most popular symphony of Rachmaninov, in a successful transfer to CD. You will hear playing of such beauty, fervour and intensity that you might begin to wonder, like me, why Rachmaninov's symphonies have seemed so hard to sit through in actual performance.
First time listeners will notice horn and oboe solos played on instruments with an unusual sonority. Also noticeable is the "spot-lighting" of the first violin soloist in the first movement. Don't let these oddities deter you, however. Consult any CD guide and reviewers manual and you'll find this CD either earning a rosette or topping the list.
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Rachmaninov - Symphony 2 (DG The Originals)
Rachmaninov - Symphony 2 (DG The Originals) by Sergey Rachmaninov (Audio CD - 1997)
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