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Karl Lozier
Positive Feedback Online, April 2016

With this well rounded selection of music composed by Prokofiev, the Scythian Suite was first a ballet. The suite wound up being a favorite with being a showpiece with some international orchestras. The three bold movements were a crowd pleaser for quite some time. The entirely separate symphonic sketch autumn with its dark textures was a favorite of Prokofiev who often revised it to his satisfaction. After various interesting and suspenseful passages the conclusion is simply dazzling. © 2016 Positive Feedback Online Read complete review



Lawrence Hansen
American Record Guide, January 2016

PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 3 / Scythian Suite / Autumnal Sketch (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Alsop) 8.573452
PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 3 / Scythian Suite / Autumnal Sketch (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Alsop) (Blu-ray Audio) NBD0047

Breathtaking—both the performances and the sound. I listened to the Blu-ray and was bowled over by the openness and the lack of “digital fatigue” from listening beginning to end. Along with everything else Naxos is now also an audiophile label! © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, July 2015

Marin Alsop’s Prokofiev performances are well nuanced, she prefers a rather soft sound and discovers more elegance and grace in the composer’s music than other conductors. © 2015 Pizzicato



Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, May 2015

If you have neighbours, prepare to upset them when you play this immensely dramatic and colourful reading at the volume it cries out for. 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 Diaghilev 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. Judging by the response to the previous volumes of this fruitful partnership with Marin Alsop and the excellent São Paulo Symphony Orchestra this new release will have no problems in becoming a market leader. © 2015 Classical CD Choice




John Sunier
Audiophile Audition, May 2015

A fine performance in excellent surround on audio-only Blu-ray. © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2015

PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 3 / Scythian Suite / Autumnal Sketch (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Alsop) 8.573452
PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 3 / Scythian Suite / Autumnal Sketch (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Alsop) (Blu-ray Audio) NBD0047

Prokofiev’s ballet, Ala et Lolly, was commissioned by Sergey Diaghilev for the Ballet Russes as a response to the success of Stravinsky’s brutal Le Sacre du Printemps. Having been deemed impossible for dancing, the composer set about rescuing from the score the four movement Scythian Suite, organised as a symphony with a scherzo and slow movement surrounded by two hard hitting outer ‘dances’. Prokofiev obviously had seen a need in the ballet to shock his public to an even greater extent than Stravinsky, and some years ago I heard a performance with Günther Herbig conducting by the BBC Philharmonic where the dynamics of the opening movement took it to the point of audible pain, and you knew the effect Prokofiev had hoped to achieve. It would certainly have not been possible at Alsop’s fast tempo, the São Paulo orchestra strutting its technical brilliance in its ability to play it at such a hectic speed. Past that point we have a well shaped account, the jerky final dance characterised to good effect. Another rescuing act gave rise to the Third Symphony, recycling music from his opera, The Fiery Angel. We are still in Prokofiev’s provocative Paris era, the symphony, in the years that have followed, having achieved rather less acclaim than the opera. Here Alsop spares us none of the rough edges in the score as it becomes strident and violent, timpani hammering their way through the finale as strings scream and woodwind screech. I think I have heard every version in the LP & CD era and have reviewed most, and this would be my top choice. Sandwiched between the two works we have the more peaceful sounds of Autumn, a work begun in the composer’s nineteenth year. As with this the other discs in this symphony cycle, the sound is stunning. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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