Bruch. Symphony no.2.
A contrast of mood set against a change in orchestral colour rather than tempo. When a composer writes Allegro ma non troppo, it's open to a wide range of interpretation. James Conlon appears absolutely clear in his mind regarding the quality of the music, and how he wanted it played , particularly in matters of tempo, which, with instrumental balance, can make or break 19th century German orchestral repertoire.
Great artists are usually pretty uniformly great; good ones pretty uniformly good and great maybe once or twice in their lives if they get lucky. Artists who produce a good number of great works, as Bruch did, scraping the bottom edge of genius, and a good number of mediocre ones, are very uncommon. Bruch was a master of the Adagio. Bruch,who lived from 1838 to 1920, quite a long and productive life, and only the first violin concerto is performed with any frequency. I seem to like everything Bruch wrote. I adore the violin concertos along with the Scottish Fantasy. Bruch's slow movements are swarming with the lyricism of Schumann and Brahms.
I LOVE the 2nd movement of his Second Symphony in f minor. IMHO the symphonies may rank with the very greatest ever written, but who cares ? On their own terms, they're appealingly melodious, lively and straightforward works, in the Mendelssohian tradition. They're a sort of more robust and heavily scored Mendelssohn, but with Bruch's own distinctive personal stamp. Of the many works by Last night I listened to my excellent two CD set of the three symphonies of Max Bruch,with James Conlon and the Gurzennich orchestra of Cologne. These are delightful works. Why aren't they ever performed live ? The liner notes say that they were performed widely in Europe during Bruch's day, roughly the second half of the 19th century. But somehow, they vanished altogether from the repertoire, except for a handful of recent recordings.