"...a work written by a young, ebullient, but quite mature talent, and distinguished, beyond its broad scope and youthful freshness, by a remarkably unified conception."
Thus did Russian master P.I. Tchaikovsky describe the long-neglected “Ocean” Symphony (Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 42 -- Original Version) by Anton Rubinstein, his composition teacher at (and the founder of) the St. Petersburg Conservatory. His many compositions have fallen into unjustified obscurity, and he rarely gets the credit he deserves for almost single-handedly bringing the primitive Russian musical establishment of his day up to European standards.
His “Ocean” symphony is a bold and highly original programmatic work that convincingly evokes the struggle of man against the elemental forces that rule the seas. Echoes of composers like Mendelssohn and Schumann are heard in the work, no doubt the result of Rubinstein’s European training and exposure – yet there remains a certain Russian pathos and earthiness. Also heard here is a colorful suite of dances from Rubinstein’s oriental-flavored opera, Feramors. Igor Golovschin and his Russian State Symphony Orchestra provide skillful and idiomatically true performances.
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