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Prokofiev: The Symphonies

Prokofiev: The Symphonies

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Celebrating the 130th anniversary of Sergei Prokofiev (1891 - 1953), the present box set brings together recordings of his seven symphonies made by Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra between 2012 and 2017. Released on separate discs, the series has received acclaim from international reviewers, variously highlighting the orchestra ('Bergen Philharmonic plays gorgeously... ', ClassicsToday. Com), the conductor ('It is clear that Litton has a deep understanding of Prokofiev's complex, protean style... ', MusicWeb-International) and the recordings themselves ('BIS's blockbuster sound... ', Fanfare). The symphonies appear with their original couplings, including the popular suites from the film score to Lieutenant Kijé and the ballet The Love for Three Oranges. As an added bonus, the set includes the team's very first recording for BIS: an innovative and highly praised version of Prokofiev's three suites from Romeo and Juliet, with the 20 movements reordered to follow the ballet score.

Excerpts of reviews from previously released volumes included in this set:

Prokofiev: Symphonies Nos. 1-3

In sum these performances, engineered with warmth, clarity and impact, rank with best; and having all three symphonies on a single disc makes this release something of a bargain as well–even at full price.

– (10/10; David Hurwitz)

This is a perfect disc; absolutely everything goes right. The revised, enlarged version of the Fourth Symphony can sound bloated and too long for its material. This performance, by contrast, has passion, color, and drive aplenty. Especially in the outer movements, you’d never know that the leaner, meaner first version exists, and no praise can be higher than that.

The Seventh has always been, for me at least, a better work than many commentators allow. It contains, for example, one of Prokofiev’s best lyrical melodies in its first movement and finale. The waltz-like scherzo is wholly delightful, the slow third movement touching. Prokofiev often indulges a deliberate simplicity, and Litton takes him at his word, never for a moment lapsing into artifice or affectation.

The finale, which we get to hear twice complete, once with each of its endings, is particularly breezy and exhilarating. Through it all the Bergen Philharmonic plays gorgeously, and the SACD sonics are state-of-the-art. A wonderful release.

– (10/10; David Hurwitz)

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 5
    • Release Date:
    • Label:
    • UPC/Barcode: 7318599925943
    • Item Number: BIS-2594