Second Symphony is one of the most significant among all Rachmaninov's symphonic works.
When it appeared it 1908 musical critics compared it with the Pathetic Symphony by
Tchaikovsky, and Rachma-ninov himself was called a successor of the great Russian artist.
Rachmaninov started working on it at the beginning of the 1900-s (the Symphony was
announced in the Moscow Philharmonic Society programs in 1902-03 and 1903-04) but it was
finished only in 1907 in Dresden. The Symphony is dedicated to a great Russian composer
Sergei Tanejev, one of Rachmaninov's teachers at the Moscow Conservatoire, to whom he
always felt greatest respect.
It was first performed in St. Petersburg on January 26, 1908; the Moscow premiere took
place several days later, on February 2, 1908. The author himself conducted in both
The Symphony consists of four movements. The first movement begins with a slow
introduction which develops into an elegiac main theme. There is an amazing resemblance
between the first bars of the theme (the accompaniment of the melody) and the beginning of
the Third piano concerto. The lyrical second theme is constructed like a dialogue between
different groups of the orchestra. The dramatic middle section is based on the theme of
the introduction. The beginning of the reprise is a culmination of the whole movement.
The second movement is a Scherzo with some features of a march (it resembles the third
movement of the Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony). The main theme contains intonations of
Dies Irae (though it is rather difficult to recognize the motive because of some specific
rhythmical alterations). The middle section is written in the form of fugato. The poetical
third movement is rather close to Rachmaninov's romances "By my window" and
"It is so wonderful here". The Finale is a bright and joyful movement which
resembles a majestic procession. There are some reminiscences of other themes of the
Symphony in the middle part and in coda.
Slavonic March was written in 1876. At that time, the idea of the union
of Slavonic nations was rather popular in the Russian society. Slavonic March was first
performed in one of the concerts organized by Nikolai Rubinstein, on November 5th, 1876.
In the middle section, Tchaikovsky used the theme of the national hymn of the Russian
Empire “God, save theTzar”.
The Moscow Radio and TV Orchestra was formed in 1996. It is one of the
best orchestras in Russia, which keeps the high tradition of Russian musical art.
The Orchestra appears in all best concert halls in Moscow, especially in the Tchaikovsky
Concert hall, where they give cycles of concerts every year. They also play in the Great
Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and in other halls.
Moscow Radio and TV Orchestra tours a lot, performing in many European countries, in USA,
China, Taiwan, Hong Kong. They have played together with many eminent musicians, soloists
The Orchestra has recorded more than 20 CDs; many programs were created for television
channels "Culture" and "TV-Center" and radio stations
"Or-pheus", "Radio Russia", "Mayak" and many others.
Pavel Sorokin was born in Moscow in 1963. He studied at the Moscow
Conservatoire, where his professors were Lev Naumov (piano) and Yuri Simonov (conducting).
He graduated in 1989. In 1987 - 89, he studied conducting at the Paris Conservatoire with
Jean-Sebian Beraullt. He also studied at the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood
Festival and School with Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein. In 1989, he joined the Bolshoi
Theater as a ballet orchestra leader; in 1994, he became an opera conductor. After that,
he was the head conductor of the Moscow Radio and TV Orchestra.