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FULL EPISODE

Antonio Pappano with Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden

In this concert, maestro Antonio Pappano conducts Rachmaninoff‘s popular Symphony No. 2 on Dresden's orchestra, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. When he composed it, Rachmaninoff was reeling from the critical failure of his first symphony - so when Symphony No. 2 was well-received, it boosted the young composer's confidence.

AIRED: August 08, 2020 | 1:04:00
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

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I'm Julia Bullock, inviting you to join me

as "All Arts" presents Antonio Pappano

and the Staatskapelle Dresden's performance

of Rachmaninoff's "Symphony No. 2."

Rachmaninoff was an opera conductor,

as well as a composer,

and what you'll hear in this piece

is how he internalized

the deep feeling, passion, and drama he had for opera

and then transferred that into his compositions.

This concert is performed by the Staatskapelle Dresden Orchestra

and conducted

by one of the world's truly greatest opera conductors,

Antonio Pappano.

And I find this significant for two reasons,

the first being that

Rachmaninoff composed this work in Dresden, Germany,

and the second is that

this orchestra performs over 100 operas a year.

So it makes them not only able to deliver Rachmaninoff's music,

but it enables them to understand

and really communicate the vitality of his work.

No one could deny the glorious quality of Rachmaninoff's music

with these soaring lines and sumptuous orchestration,

but I'm always surprised by the catharsis that I feel

while listening to his music.

I think it's because it mimics life in some way.

You are taken down a path,

one that you can invest yourself in,

and you may even think you know where it's heading,

but then something interrupts it

and you can be spun or shifted in an unexpected direction,

and that is exactly what Rachmaninoff accomplishes

in this second symphony.

You can't anticipate how the music will develop or evolve,

and it's exactly that unpredictability

that makes the music so thrilling.

It keeps you present in the moment,

and I think it's life-affirming.

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