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Symphony No. 2

Composer: Szymanowski Karol

Instruments: Orchestra

Tags: Symphony

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Wikipedia
Karol Szymanowski completed his Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19 in 1909 at the age of 27. Szymanowski was greatly influenced by German culture and the symphony has many echoes of Richard Strauss and Max Reger. This symphony introduced Szymanowski to Europe in 1911-12 and it was heard in Berlin, Leipzig and Vienna. The symphony was published soon after the composer's death after much revision. This symphony and its use of a solo violin laid the foundation, so to speak, of Szymanowski's first Violin Concerto. A typical performance of the symphony lasts about 30 minutes.
The symphony is supposed to show off the composer's prowess as a contrapuntalist. The work unconventional for its time, is in two movements and begins in a typical Szymanowski manner (also with a similarity to Scriabin) with a violin solo:
Szymanowski scored his symphony for a large orchestra consisting of standard instruments:
Conductor Antoni Wit deems the symphony a very challenging work, explaining that when he is asked to conduct it he replies that the orchestra won't have it easy and the performance will require more work than usual and each musician to prepare its part before the rehearsals, but that nevertheless it will be worth it.