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PROKOFIEV Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 (second version) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra / James Gaffigan. Challenge SACD

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Prokofiev Symphonies 2 4 James Gaffigan Challenge Sacd

PROKOFIEV

Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor
Symphony No. 4 (second version) Op. 112 in C Major

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
James Gaffigan

This album is the fourth and last volume in the acclaimed complete survey of Prokofiev's symphonies performed by the Netherlands RadioPhilharmonic orchestra, conducted by James Gaffigan. The experimental Second Symphony, dated 1925, is coupled with the late Socialist Realismlike revision of the Fourth.

Prokofiev's Second, composed eight years after the First, appears to be a defiant ode to the modern era, witnessed by the layers of mechanically persistent rhythms, expressionist harmonies, ostensibly unfathomable forms and its very expansive take on tonality. The work was premiered in Paris in 1925, conducted by Serge Koussevitsky.

Prokofiev decided to revise his Fourth Symphony, Op. 47, after the successful premieres of his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies (in January 1945 and December 1947 respectively). The original four movements remained largely intact, but the changes say a great deal about his style at that point. The first alteration was to insert or expand some passages that were predominantly reflective, with a strong emphasis on melody. Another example is the attempt to align the scale more closely with what was required by Social Realism. The changes in the Fourth were so meaningful that Prokofiev gave a new opus number to the Second Version.

Challenge SACD CC72779

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