Symphony No. 2 in E flat major

The Symphony No. 2 in E flat major (premiered in 1856) was far more ambitious. There the figure of the idol Beethoven looms like a shadow. The choice of tonality and the dramatic tone of the introduction in its first movement are reminiscent of Beethoven’s Eroica, but the resemblance quickly fades with the joyful sonata allegro. The symphony is in four movements – again a curtsy to classical form. In it Gounod demonstrates his vivid melodic gifts in terms of thematicism, his sense of elegant voicing and fine orchestration. Her imagery is tinged with a slight theatrical flavour.

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