Facts & Figures
„Made in Germany“. Maybe it sounds strange at first glance to headline a symphony of the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov like this. However, if one looks closer to the genesis of his Second Symphony there is some good reason for it since he wrote it during his stay in Dresden. When he came to the baroque metropole upon Elbe in 1906 he had created an international stir with his Second Piano Concerto. But in Russia, his star was waning. The premiere of his First Symphony, conducted in St. Peterburg in 1897 by Alexander Glasunow, was a total flop. In consequence Rachmaninov fell into a deep depression and contested his skills as a symphonic composer. In Dresden he intended to come to rest and brace his energies. And it worked out. The cultural atmosphere of the town with its magnificent baroque architecture and the famous Semper Opera, led to a powerful come back of creativity. Moreover he established close contacts to the Royal Saxion Piano Manufacturer Carl Roenisch, at that time one of the world famous producers of keyboard instruments. His Third Piano Concerto was composed among others on a Roenisch grand piano. It was a happy time ideally suited to recover from depression and regain confidence in his composing. Which he did. Some of his best works found their origin in Saxonia, among which are his First Piano Sonata and the Symphonic Poem Isle of the Dead and, of course, the Second Symphony. The Rock is Rachmaninov’s first major orchestral opus. He wrote it after the successful completion of his composing studies at the Moscow Conservatory, where he was acknowledged with the gold medal for his opera Aleko. This encouraged him to the composition of his symphonic poem on Mikhail Lermontov’s poem The Rock. Light and dark orchestral tones characterize the conclusion of the poem – Lermontov’s cloud, which cannot stay with the rock but has to leave it going with the wind. The present releases come from the 24 bit /96 khz stateof- the-art recordings out of the St. Petersburg Classics archive. They are carefully remastered by the prestigious Grammy award-winning b-sharp studio Berlin using the original source material. Liner notes in English. Design using spectacular views of St. Petersburg sites.
The Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia was founded as a radio orchestra in 1931. During the blockade of Leningrad the orchestra performed as almost the only one of that city’s cultural facilities available to the public. The first performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony “Leningrad” was given as part of a series of radio symphony concerts under Karl Eliasberg on August 9, 1942. In 1953, the orchestra became a member of the Leningrad Philharmonic Society and withdrew from its radio function. Yury Temirkanov was principal conductor with the Academic Symphony Orchestra from1969 to 1976, and it was during this time that the orchestra began performing abroad. The Academic Symphony Orchestra has been invited to perform in successful concert series in all the largest cities in Europe, the USA, South America, Japan and Korea.
Alexander Dmitriev was born into a musical family in Leningrad in 1935. He studied conducting and composition at the Leningrad Conservatory. In 1966 he won the Soviet conductors’ competition and from 1968 to 1969 he assisted in Hans Swarowsky’s master classes at the Viennese Academy of Music. In 1970, Alexander Dmitriev won a grant to work with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under the tutelage of Evgeny Mravinsky. He has been the principal conductor and musical director of the Academic Symphony Orchestra since 1977. Dmitriev is counted among the most significant Russian conductors and is a shining example of the St. Petersburg school of conducting.