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Beethovenfest

Classical from the Beethovenfest - Rachmaninoff: Third Symphony

Rachmaninoff's melancholy, somber Third Symphony experiments with form while drawing on a rich tradition of Russian Romanticism. The work is "undeservedly forgotten," says DSO conductor Tugan Sokhiev.

American Songs 1

Sergei Rachmaninoff:
Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, op. 44, third movement
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO)
Conductor: Tugan Sokhiev

MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the Beethoven Hall in Bonn on September 10, 2012

Just days into his new post as principal conductor and artistic director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO), Russian-born conductor Tugan Sokhiev took up the baton with confidence, skillfully painting complicated but colorful harmonies that bridged traditional Russian folklore with Rachmaninoff's experimental touch.

According to Sokhiev, Rachmaninoff's Third Symphony has a very unusual form. "It has three movements, instead of the traditional four," explained the 35-year-old conductor. "The third movement is a bit longer with a little fugato inside, so you have to make it sound as one unit, and that is a challenge for a conductor."

The entire work has a dark sense of mystery about it and the third movement - the finale - draws not only on the main theme present in all three movements, but also the somber "Dies irae" (Day of Wrath) motif, originally a medieval funeral melody.

Sokhiev told DW that his wish would be for the audience to really listen to the music and fall in love with it: "It deserves to be as well known as the other music of Rachmaninoff."

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