The Young Prokofiev
A Catalogue of Contrasts
Listen to a clip from Prokofiev’s
Symphony No. 2 – I. Allegro ben articolato
Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891–1953)
Symphony No. 1 ‘Classical’
Symphony No. 2 • Dreams, Op. 6
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) • Marin Alsop
Prokofiev had written two symphonies as a student but his first numbered work in the genre was the Classical Symphony, completed in 1917. This evokes, melodically though not necessarily harmonically, the world of Haydn and Mozart, and it has remained one of his most popular works. The Second Symphony, by contrast, is a work of ‘iron and steel’ (in the composer’s words), a symphony of conscious modernity and visceral power. Dreams, a ‘symphonic tableau’, reveals the potent, early influence on Prokofiev of Scriabin.
MARIN ALSOP • São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, an inspiring and powerful conductor of vision and distinction, is Music Director of both the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. She led the latter on a European tour in 2012, with acclaimed performances at the BBC Proms and at the Concertgebouw. Since 1992, Alsop has been Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and she retains strong links with her previous orchestras, including the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Alsop is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy Music, London and the only conductor to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. In September 2013, Alsop made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms in London. Her extensive discography includes a notable set of Brahms symphonies, a Dvořák series and John Adams’s Nixon in China. Alsop attended Yale University and received her Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School. A pupil of Leonard Bernstein, Alsop was a prize-winner at the Leopold Stokowski International Conducting Competition and became the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center.
Since its first concert in 1954, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra – OSESP – has developed into an institution recognized for its excellence. Having released more than 60 albums, the orchestra has become an inseparable part of São Paulo and Brazilian culture, promoting deep cultural and social transformation. Besides touring through Latin America, the United States, Europe and Brazil, the group has toured widely throughout the São Paulo countryside, promoting concerts, workshops, and courses in music appreciation for over 170,000 people. In 2012 the American Marin Alsop took the post of Principal Conductor, and in 2013 Alsop was appointed Musical Director of the orchestra.
NBD0038 [Blu-ray Audio]
“Alsop is at her best in this repertory, and she leads a brilliant performance from the São Paulo Orchestra…audio is superb…rich, full and wide in dynamic range.”
“This album, promised as the first in a new symphonic cycle, certainly starts with a bang, though unexpectedly with The Year 1941… The Fifth Symphony comes up trumps in a dramatic yet highly polished performance… Altogether, this first volume of Prokofiev is an outstanding achievement.”
- BBC Music Magazine
- BBC Music Magazine