Prokofiev: Symphony No 5, The Year 1941 / Alsop, Sao Paulo Symphony
Written in 1944, Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony is one of his greatest and most complete symphonic statements. At its première he himself called it “a symphony of the grandeur of the human spirit”. The first movement couples considerable strength with unexpected yet highly characteristic twists of melody. After a violent scherzo followed by a slow movement of sustained lyricism, with a fiercely dramatic middle section, the finale blazes with barely suppressed passion. The Year 1941 is another wartime work, a symphonic suite written in response to the German invasion of the Soviet Union. This is the first volume a of complete cycle of the Prokofiev Symphonies with the OSESP and Marin Alsop, the orchestra’s newly appointed principal conductor.
Alsop is evidently a sympathetic interpreter of Prokofiev, because the tempo and pacing always feel spot-on, and the character of the music rings true. Naxos offers exceptional reproduction of the vivid instrumental colors with appropriately resonant acoustics, so this series starts off brilliantly, with worthy performances that sound terrific.
Catalog Number: 8573029
Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble: Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra