I rather like the Khachaturian Second Symphony as well, though its bad
reputation makes it a bit of guilty pleasure these days. I find it an
expressive work too, Bernard, though I can't say I hear much DSCH in it.
That doesn't mean there is no DSCH in it to be heard, it merely means
that it has escaped me. It is a uniquely moving work for Khachaturian
who, to be honest, could write some real trash. The Third Symphony is
a horrible work loaded with sequences, interminable triplet whirls on
the organ and a grand march for massed trumpets with sounds like some
pseudo-Egyptian music written for a cheap Mummy movie! The value of its
musical content is in direct inverse proportion to its decibel level.
Even Stoky and the Chicago Symphony couldn't make it work.
And speaking of Stokowski, I assume you refer to Stoky's Symphony of the
Air recording of the 2nd, yes? I always thought that was one of Stoky's
best recordings with that orchestra. I can also recommend Neeme Jarvi's
recording on Chandos (played very, VERY seriously in superb sonics) and
Khachaturian's own version with the USSR Symphony recorded in 1977.
Now playing: Rachmaninov's Vespers, Op. 37 - USSR Ministry of Culture
Chamber Choir; Valery Polyansky - Melodiya CD SUCD 10-00105. Recorded
live at Smolensk Cathedral, 1986. If Rachmaninov never wrote another
piece of musi c, this one work would establish him as a great composer.