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This is a fair recording of two of my favourite 'unknown' symphonies. For the first symphony (my favourite), I prefer the recording by Francesco La Vecchia on Naxos; it's more relaxed pacing suits the piece and the recording quality is slightly superior, being one of Naxos's standout digital recordings. That said, this particular version has the advantage of coming with the second symphony, only ever (as far as I know) recorded once more elsewhere, in a live recording conducted by Francesco Attardi. The performance on that disc is very good, but is ruined for me by audience (and possibly extraneous orchestra) sounds which on a mainstream label will have surely been edited out. This performance under Rudner on the other hand has no such drawbacks, and although the sound is slightly closed and does not reveal as much orchestral detail as it might, it is still perfectly acceptable.
As for the pieces themselves, the first symphony is marvelous, a mixture of Italian lyricism with germanic symphonic grip. Although very much in the romantic vein, there are some very novel touches and memorable tunes that sets it above most other lost 'masterworks'. For me the only slightly routine movement is the final one, but the rest of the symphony is so fine that this doesn't dampen my admiration of it.
The second symphony took longer to grow on me, but as with the first, repeated playings will reward the listener as the lyrical passages do stick in the mind.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this disc to anyone looking for a new romantic symphony to discover, albeit I would strongly recommend also the Naxos disc for the Sgambati symphony no 1