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Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5; The Year 1941 ()

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The first volume of a complete cycle of Sergey Prokofiev's symphonies on Naxos, this 2012 release by Marin Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra is an auspicious beginning. The Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100, is one of Prokofiev's most admired works, and its monumental style is immediately identifiable and accessible to listeners. The heroic sweep of the themes and the drama of the development give the music a resolute quality, typical of Prokofiev's wartime works. Yet the music also holds a strong intellectual appeal in its coherent symphonic form and the powerful use of constant tonal movement, albeit in Prokofiev's manner of abruptly shifting, rather than smoothly modulating, to different keys. To fill out the disc, Alsop and the orchestra perform The Year 1941, Op. 90, a symphonic suite that depicts the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in three volatile and epic movements. The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra plays with considerable energy and force, and the performances are quite... Hide synopsis

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