Symphony No. 2 in E Minor Op. 27.
After the success of the second piano concerto in 1901,
but the shattering memory of the failure of the first symphony
still with him, Rachmaninov concentrated on short piano pieces, operas
and songs. However, during the Rachmaninovs' happy years at the Ivanoka
Estate, he finally returned to symphonic composition and completed
the second symphony in 1908. His worries were proved foundless as
the symphony is characteristic for it's abundance of rich melody, and
is one of his most imposing and memorable works.
The first movement Largo - Allegro moderato is full of intense melancholy
which is later relieved through powerful chords bringing forward the main
theme. A current of contrasts runs through the whole work. The happy
second movement Allegro molto - Menoso mosso - Tempo 1 is followed by
a compassionate third movement Adagio. In the final
movement Allegro vivace - Adagio - Tempo precedente all the elements are brought together
in a happy and optimistic conclusion.