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Symphonies nos. 6 and 7

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra / James Gaffigan

Symphonies nos. 6 and 7

Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917271423
Catnr: CC 72714
Release date: 11 March 2016
1 SACD
 
Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917271423
Catalogue number
CC 72714
Release date
11 March 2016

"James Gaffigan’s Classical is humorous and absolutely charming. And in the totally different context of the Fifth Symphony, he detects similar moods. The Netherlands Radio Orchestra is brilliant, and the Challenge Classics sound recording very transparent."

Pizzicato, 15-6-2017
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6 was composed as an elegy to the fatalities of World War II. Musicologists frequently regard this piece as the darker twin to the triumphant Symphony No. 5. Prokofiev wrote of this piece: “Now we are rejoicing in our great victory, but each of us has wounds that cannot be healed. One has lost those dear to him, another has lost his health. These must not be forgotten.” The Seventh Symphony was Prokofiev’s last, completed in 1952, the year before his death. The tone of the symphony is nostalgic and melancholic. Four years after the composer’s death, the work was awarded the Lenin Prize. American born conductor James Gaffigan is the Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Guest Conductor of the ensemble featured here, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. The natural ease of his conducting and his compelling insight have brought him attention internationally.
Avontuurlijke muziek vol boeiende wendingen
Dit is het tweede album in de succesvolle reeks met alle symfonieën van de Russische componist Sergej Sergejevitsj Prokofjev (of Prokofiev), uitgevoerd door dirigent James Gaffigan en het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest. Anders dan in de vorige opname horen we hier een betrekkelijk milde Prokofjev. Deze Zesde en Zevende Symfonie zijn werken vol tegenstellingen en onvoorspelbare wendingen, wat het luisteren naar de symfonieën zeer boeiend en avontuurlijk maakt. "Prokofiev laat hier horen dat je ook met eenvoudige middelen een groot raffinement kunt bereiken." Het Parool, maart 2016.

In de Zesde Symfonie laat Prokofjev zien dat hij hield van abrupte wendingen in het tempo. Zo zijn er lyrische gedeeltes te horen die worden afgewisseld met rusteloze melodieën. De wat mysterieuze symfonie uit 1947 zou een verwijzing zijn naar de verschrikkingen van de Tweede Wereldoorlog, maar veel liet Prokofjev er nooit over los. De muziek roept troosteloosheid op, onmacht en onrust, en legt zo een verbinding naar de verwerking van oorlogstrauma’s.

Prokofjev voltooide zijn Zevende Symfonie in 1952, zijn laatste en door ziekte gekwelde levensjaar. De componist beschouwde het werk zelf als een ‘kinder-symfonie’. De symfonie mag dan voor kinderen geschreven zijn, maar is allesbehalve kinderlijk. Nergens klinkt er onschuld door, de muziek is sterk ingehouden en melancholisch van stemming. En door de verschillende melodielijnen wordt het een boeiende verkenningstocht. Wel werd het werk aangevuld met een kinderlijk opgewekte coda om in aanmerking te komen voor de financieel begeerde Lenin Prijs. Prokofjev zag zijn Zevende liever zonder deze toevoeging uitgevoerd.
"Gaffigan ist einer dieser seltenen Dirigenten, der einem nicht nur zeigt wie ein Werk klingen soll, sondern auch, was es bedeutet." Toronto Globe and Mail

James Gaffigan ist vor allem bekannt für seine natürliche Leichtigkeit und sein tiefes Verständnis für die Musik und feiert derzeit weltweit große Erfolge - und das nicht nur als Chefdirigent des Lucerne Sinfonieorchesters, sondern als Gastdirigent des Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestras, mit dem er auf der vorliegenden Aufnahme zu hören ist. Seine besondere Liebe zu Prokofiev konnte man nicht zuletzt in seiner Aufnahme der Klavierkonzerte mit dem Deutschen Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin und Kirill Gerstein hören. Hier taucht er nun in das sinfonische Werk des Komponisten ein und dirigiert das Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestras durch Prokofievs sechste und siebte Sinfonie.

Diese Aufnahme ist die zweite Folge einer Reihe von Studioaufnahmen aller Sinfonien Prokofievs mit James Gaffigan und dem NRPO auf Challenge Classics. (Die erste Folge enthält die Sinfonien 3 und 4, letzte in der Urfassung)

Artist(s)

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra gave its first concert on 7 October 1945, led by its founder and ‘first conductor‘ Albert van Raalte, on Radio “Herrijzend Nederland”. Initially the orchestra spent most of its time in studios working on a large number of recordings for the public broadcasting system. The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic featured prominently in the Saturday Matinee as soon as the series started in 1961, and has continued to give frequent live performances ever since. The celebrated Saturday Matinee has hosted many legendary concerts. Illustrious soloists such as Kathleen Ferrier, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Clara Haskil and Jean-Pierre Rampal have shared the stage with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2004, the three classical orchestral formations of the broadcasting 15 system...
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The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra gave its first concert on 7 October 1945, led by its founder and ‘first conductor‘ Albert van Raalte, on Radio “Herrijzend Nederland”. Initially the orchestra spent most of its time in studios working on a large number of recordings for the public broadcasting system. The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic featured prominently in the Saturday Matinee as soon as the series started in 1961, and has continued to give frequent live performances ever since. The celebrated Saturday Matinee has hosted many legendary concerts. Illustrious soloists such as Kathleen Ferrier, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Clara Haskil and Jean-Pierre Rampal have shared the stage with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2004, the three classical orchestral formations of the broadcasting 15 system were transformed into two: the present Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic. In 2006, these two orchestras, the Netherlands Radio Choir and the Metropole Orchestra joined the Dutch public broadcasting organisation NPO.
The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra has been conducted by great names such as Bernard Haitink, Jean Fournet, Hans Vonk, Sergiu Comissiona and Edo de Waart. Jaap van Zweden was named its chief conductor in September 2005. The orchestra has also worked with numerous famed guest conductors such as Leopold Stokowski, Kirill Kondrashin, Antál Dorati, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur and Valery Gergiev. Soon after its founding, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic found itself foremost in Dutch musical life in the number of performances and the diversity of its repertoire, with a predilection for Dutch and contemporary works in its programming. It has honed another facet of its striking profile with a great many opera concertante performances. The orchestra has an extensive discography, ranging from legendary LPs recorded in the 1970s under such conductors as Leopold Stokowski and Antal Doráti to Jean Fournet’s much-lauded renderings of French repertoire. Under Edo de Waart, not only did it release its legendary Wagner interpretations, but also the complete orchestral works of Rachmaninov. CDs with work by contemporary composers such as Jonathan Harvey, Klas Torstensson, Jan van Vlijmen and Stravinsky have garnered prizes and much acclaim.

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James Gaffigan (conductor)

Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding American conductors working today. James Gaffigan is currently the Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also appointed the first Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne in September 2013, a position that was created for him. In addition to these titled positions, James Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan’s guest engagements have included the Munich, London, Dresden, Oslo, Czech and...
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Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding American conductors working today. James Gaffigan is currently the Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also appointed the first Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne in September 2013, a position that was created for him.
In addition to these titled positions, James Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan’s guest engagements have included the Munich, London, Dresden, Oslo, Czech and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Vienna Symphoniker, Dresden Staatskapelle, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra (Berlin), Konzerthaus Berlin, RSO Berlin, Orchestre de Paris, Zurich Tonhalle, London, BBC, Gothenburg, Bournemouth and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Sydney Symphony. In the States, he has worked with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, San Francisco and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra among others.
As an opera conductor, James Gaffigan made his Vienna State Opera debut in 2011/12 with La Bohéme and was immediately invited back to conduct Don Giovanniduring 12/13. Mr Gaffigan continues his relationship with both the Vienna State Opera and the Glyndebourne Festival – in 2012, he conducted a production of La Cenerentola at Glyndebourne and returned for performances of Falstaff during the summer of 2013. In 2014/15 season he conducted the Hamburg Opera with performances of Salome and the Norwegian Opera with a new production of La Traviata. He made his opera debut at the Zurich Opera in 2005 conducting La Bohéme.
Highlights of the 2015/16 season include debuts with the New York Philharmonic and Don Giovanni at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich. Mr. Gaffigan will also return to the Munich and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, and the Vienna Staatsoper to conduct the Marriage of Figaro.
Born in New York City in 1979, Mr. Gaffigan has degrees from both the New England Conservatory of Music and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. He also studied at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, and was a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.
In 2009, Mr. Gaffigan completed a three-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony in a position specially created for him. Prior to that appointment, he was the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra where he worked under Music Director Franz Welser-Möst from 2003 through 2006. James was also named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. He lives in Lucerne with his wife Lee and their two children Sofia and Liam.

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Composer(s)

Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev was born in the countryside of Ukraine. He studied from 1903 at the conservatory of St Petersburg, under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Anatoli Liadov among others. He was educated as a composer, pianist and conductor. Initially, he made a name for himself as a pianist. In 1918, he left the Soviet Union for the USA, but wasn't able to succeed, and he decided to move to Paris in 1920. His concert tours brought him back to the Soviet Union in 1927, who lured him back for good in 1936. Prokofiev died in march 1953, on the same day as Joseph Stalin. Prokofiev is considered as one of the greatest Russian composers of the twentieth century, even though he wasn't a...
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Sergei Prokofiev was born in the countryside of Ukraine. He studied from 1903 at the conservatory of St Petersburg, under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Anatoli Liadov among others. He was educated as a composer, pianist and conductor. Initially, he made a name for himself as a pianist. In 1918, he left the Soviet Union for the USA, but wasn't able to succeed, and he decided to move to Paris in 1920. His concert tours brought him back to the Soviet Union in 1927, who lured him back for good in 1936. Prokofiev died in march 1953, on the same day as Joseph Stalin.
Prokofiev is considered as one of the greatest Russian composers of the twentieth century, even though he wasn't a great innovator. He generally applied the strict classical forms and structures to his works and focused on a classical tonality, with a few exceptions of expressive dissonants and incidental bitonality. Yet, he is only explicitly neoclassicistic in his popular 'Classical Symphony', his first symphony composed in 1917. Many of his works show his humour, while his later works presented his darker, more serious side. One of his best known works is the musical fairytale Peter and the Wolf, which is popular among children all over the world.
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Press

James Gaffigan’s Classical is humorous and absolutely charming. And in the totally different context of the Fifth Symphony, he detects similar moods. The Netherlands Radio Orchestra is brilliant, and the Challenge Classics sound recording very transparent.
Pizzicato, 15-6-2017

"Gaffigan loosens the notes from the musicpaper on a magical way."
De Volkskrant, 01-10-2016

Review Amadeus Magazine
Amadeus, 16-9-2016

First, James Gaffigan's view of these works is passionate, and he's more overt about that passion than is Valery Gergiev in his traversal. This is Prokofiev with weight and wit. In particular, symphonies 3 and 6 stand with my favorite performances, by Abbado and Weller, respectively (both on Decca LPs). Second, the Netherlands RPO carries it all off with power and precision. Third, the engineering by Bert van der Wolf is spectacular, with a spacious soundstage and formidable bass.
Stereophile, 05-9-2016

"With these forces Gaffigan is not only faced with an artistic challenge, what this symphony undoubtedly is, but also with an enormous management one: Holding the various groups together in a coherent and harmonious way."
NorthStar Recording Services BV, 24-8-2016

The Netherlands RPO carries it all off with power and precision. Third, the engineering by Bert van der Wolf is spectacular, with a spacious soundstage and formidable bass.
Stereophile, 30-6-2016

Radio 4 Plaatpaal
NTR Radio 4 Plaatpaal, 24-4-2016

"Prokofiev shows that even with simple resources you can reach great sophistication."
Het Parool, 22-3-2016

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Often bought together with..

Symphonies nos. 1-9
Jaap van Zweden
Ton Koopman at the Zacharias Hildebrandt Organ (1726) in Lengefeld in the Erzgebirge
Ton Koopman
Symphonies nos. 3 and 4 (first version)
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Meistersinger - an orchestral tribute
Edo de Waart / Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

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