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The new edition of the Copland Third is available for purchase from Boosey. After all of this talk about the work I will pick up my friend's copy of the score tomorrow. He tells me that, in the new edition, the cut ending follows the original. I have the Boosey edition of the Rachmaninoff 2nd. There is no notation as to the cuts. The Conductor's Guild has several resources like an errata list and articles like:
 The Question of Cuts in Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony

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| The Question of Cuts in Rachmaninoff’s Second SymphonyClinton Nieweg and Ron Whitaker put their heads together to come up with a comprehensive (and historical) guide to cuts in Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony. |
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In the case of the Bartók Concerto for Orchestra, the original ending comes first, followed by what they call the "alternative ending."
As to the reason behind repeats... Composers have chosen to do so for a variety of reasons. One finds them most often for the exposition section of sonata form movements. In the days when people were informed listeners, the exposition would be repeated to familiarize the audience with the main themes so they could follow their transformation in the development section. Repeats can also be found in many other places in an effort to balance out the form. 

When you say ask if the repeat in the Rachmaninoff 2nd is needed for a work so familiar...my first thought is to write that these days I wonder what music is familiar to the majority of concert audiences. I have witnessed abominable performances of the standard literature getting standing ovations. With the repeat in the Rachmaninoff, it begins at measure 68 (Allegro moderator) and runs until measure 197. So, I would offer the notion that its function is not just to instill familiarity, but to also balance out the form. 

Popular music makes great use of repetition and, often times, repeats, all of this within the usual limit of around 5 minutes. Of course, there are other reasons for all of this repetition...Most popular music can be distilled down to a few measures of music.

As for the overall length of the work...I think it is worth mentioning that in the past, classical music concerts could be much longer than they are today. These days, 90 minutes of music is often considered the limit. It is interesting to speculate the reasons for this. It could have to do with the attention spans of audiences, our life styles, the cost of rehearsal time/musicians, etc. Yet, we now see even the longer Mahler Symphonies being done with greater regularity. Some places will provide bathroom breaks (and the opportunity to sell wine, etc.) for the longer Mahler works. Many composers have written short works to serve as openers for the Beethoven 9th. 

Karl

 

    On Wednesday, February 24, 2016 12:05 PM, Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 

 Thanks for that confirmation, Karl. My only recent version is Pletnev's with the Russian National Orch, and it may use the standard cuts, as it runs 16:32 1st mvmnt/50 min tt - assuming that there are by now 'standard' cuts. The coupling is The Rock, which at 13 min. could have fit with a longer version of the symphony.

I assume Copland 3 is rental, but that Rach 2 is in orchestra's libraries. Do those editions include the full score, with cuts notated? If not, there may be extra expense in acquiring other scores and parts to play the full version. That's a factor that could perpetuate the use of cut or edited versions of various works. Or, in the case of Rachmaninoff, the conductor could simply prefer the edited version. It's not just recordings that reach a practical time limit. Depending on the program, the difference between 50+ minutes and 63 minutes (and how many more if the repeat is taken?) is significant for the layout of a concert. Do you drop the overture or plan a short concerto?

And, how necessary is a repeat in such a familiar work; what is its function? I imagine those are questions for which there are differing worthy answers.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karl Miller
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 10:00 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Rachmaninoff 2nd

A conductor friend of mine (who has done the work without cuts) who is Previn fan, mentioned that the first Previn recording features cuts. The two subsequent recordings are "complete" but do not feature the repeat in the first movement.
Karl
 

    On Wednesday, February 24, 2016 7:45 AM, Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 

 I don't have Previn's second LSO version. The first movement of Ashkenazy/Concertgebouw is 17:58 - total time 56 min. The notes don't mention the subject of cuts at all. Previn's first recording with LSO (RCA) is tt 50 min. His Telarc version 1st mvmnt 20:23 - tt 63 min. Don't have the CD, so can't consult the notes.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Eric Nagamine
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 12:45 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Rachmaninoff 2nd

My copy seems to have disappeared, but according to the internet, EMI Previn times out in the first movement at 19:10. The Wikipaedia Rachmaninoff 2nd webpage only indicates that it is complete. Some how I seem to remember that it was missing the repeat. The Wikipedia page seems to indicate that the first complete recordings with the first movement repeat occur later. (Ashkenazy/Concertgebouw)

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Eric Nagamine


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karl Miller
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 10:16 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Rachmaninoff 2nd

Hope the subject change for the this is appropriate. I don't have the Previn recording. Does he observe the repeat in the first movement? Several do have it with the repeat. I have the Rozhdestvensky which clocks out at 66:13.
Karl (probably splitting hairs)