Masterworks by Respighi and Rachmaninoff highlight the composers’ reflective, personal journeys
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The Classical Symphony Orchestra
Respighi—The Fountains of Rome: Respighi was not born in Rome, but was so affected by his adoptive home that his three best-known works are dedicated to the city and every dog he had was named Caesar. The four parts of this meditation correspond to the times of day the composer thought each fountain was best experienced.
Rachmaninoff—Symphony No. 2: Shattered by the poor reception of his first symphony, Rachmaninoff slipped into a years-long depression that was only lifted through intensive hypnotherapy. He began work on his second symphony in strict secrecy to keep preemptive criticism at bay, eventually restoring his reputation with the meticulously constructed piece. Highlights include the exuberant second movement, which opens with galloping strings backed by regal peals from the horns.