It would be hard to imagine Russian composers more different than the pair Benjamin Zander and the Boston Philharmonic presented at Sanders Theatre Thursday. Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, which he completed in 1901, five years before Dmitri Shostakovich was born, is ripe and romantic, but also moody, even bluesy. Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, which premiered in 1937, is strident and sardonic and rife with political struggle.
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