Prokofiev: Symphony No 3, Scythian Suite... / Alsop

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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.


Even die-hard fans will admit that Prokofiev's seven symphonies aren't always magnificent and Marin Alsop's elegant lucidity provides only a partial solution to the problem. She gets unfailingly good string playing, often more sensitively nuanced than that of her rivals, but her Sao Paulo team does tend to 'normalize' the invention, smoothing away rough edges in a manner that not everyone will find idiomatic. Still, Alsop's reading works on its own terms, and if she makes the music sound as much like Roussel as Stravinsky one can perhaps discern why Serge Diaghilev chose to reject the Scythian Suite as insufficiently Russian.

– Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8573452

  • UPC: 747313345274

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Sergei Prokofiev

  • Conductor: Marin Alsop

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra