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Alsop: Prokofiev – Symphony no.3, Scythian Suite, Autumn (24/96 FLAC)

Alsop: Prokofiev - Symphony no.3, Scythian Suite, Autumn (24/96 FLAC)
Alsop: Prokofiev – Symphony no.3, Scythian Suite, Autumn (24/96 FLAC)


Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Orchestra: São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Marin Alsop
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Naxos
Catalogue: 8573452
Release: 2015
Size: 1.01 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Scythian Suite, Op. 20
01. I. L’adoration de Veless et de Ala (The Adoration of Veless and Ala)
02. II. Le dieu ennemi et la danse des esprits noirs (The Enemy God and Dance of the Spirits of Darkness)
03. III. La nuit (Night)
04. IV. Le depart glorieux de Lolly et le cortege du Soleil (The Glorious Departure of Lolly and the Procession of the Sun)

05. Autumnal sketch, Op. 8

Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 44
06. I. Moderato
07. II. Andante
08. III. Allegro agitato – Allegretto
09. IV. Andante mosso – Allegro moderato

This fourth volume in Marin Alsop’s acclaimed Prokofiev symphonic cycle features two of his most viscerally exciting works. Using material salvaged from his opera The Fiery Angel, the Third Symphony was hailed by Serge Koussevitzky at its 1929 première as ‘the best symphony since Tchaikovsky’s Sixth’. Originally commissioned as a ballet by Sergey Dyagilev but rejected as un-danceable, the Scythian Suite has become a popular orchestral showpiece, while Prokofiev retained a lifelong fondness for his dark-hued early symphonic sketch Autumn.

Judging by the response to the previous volumes of this fruitful partnership with Marin Alsop and the excellent São Paulo Symphony Orchestra this new release will have no problems in becoming a market leader. The First and Second Symphonies disc (8573353) was an ‘Editor’s Choice’ for its “first-rate performance”, and the Fifth Symphony was described as “an outstanding achievement” by BBC Music Magazine, which also regarded the Fourth Symphony (8.573186) as “compelling”. The Blu-ray releases have also been widely acclaimed, with NBD0031 made Audiophile Audition ‘Best Disc of the Year’ in 2012, and prompting BBC Music Magazine to write, “this exceptional account of Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony is partnered by a revelatory performance of The Year 1941, while the recording bursts out of the speakers.”

Volume 4 in Marin Alsop’s series on Naxos of the symphonies of Sergey Prokofiev presents one of the most bracing works in the cycle, the Symphony No. 3 in C minor, programmed with the Scythian Suite (Ala et Lolly), and the symphonic sketch, Autumn. In composing the Third Symphony, Prokofiev borrowed music from his unperformed ballet, The Fiery Angel, and gave the symphony a sharply modernist and uncompromising character, quite unlike his popular Symphony No. 1, “Classical.” The Scythian Suite is another challenging work, often compared to Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps because it was written as a ballet on primitive Russian themes and displays aggressive rhythms and harsh dissonances. In contrast, Autumn is a subdued tone poem that ebbs and flows with chromatic harmonies that suggest fog and gloom. Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra deliver the Third and the Scythian Suite with powerful, incisive rhythms and volatile dynamics, which makes for exciting listening, while their performance of Autumn offers smoother gradations of textures and a gentler feeling. Naxos provides adequate reproduction with good details and clear textures, though there’s little depth.

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