One month after the release of their recording of Giuseppe Martucci's First Symphony, Francesco La Vecchia and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Rome returned with a recording of the Italian late Romantic's Second Symphony. And like the earlier release, this disc can take its place as the finest recorded performance of the work since Toscanini's. The symphony itself is a lush and lovely work with big tunes, dramatic developments, and stirring climaxes, and La Vecchia and the Rome musicians treat it with the reverence that Austrian musicians reserve for the symphonies of Bruckner. The Italian players deliver a passionate and persuasive reading. The couplings here, the expressive Theme and Variations with pianist Lya de Barberiis, the graceful Gavotta, and the thrilling Tarantella, receive equally convincing performances, and all the works are recorded in clear, deep, warm digital sound. Listeners who love late Romantic orchestral music and are looking for something similar but different are urged to try Martucci, and La Vecchia's recordings are the place to start.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphony No. 2 in F major, Op. 81|