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Symphonies Nos. 1 and 5

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

Symphonies Nos. 1 and 5

Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917273229
Catnr: CC 72732
Release date: 07 April 2017
1 SACD
 
Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917273229
Catalogue number
CC 72732
Release date
07 April 2017

"The sound reproduction by Challenge Classics is excellent and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra plays at or nearly at world class level for the conductor."

Classical.net, 29-6-2018
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

The image Sergei Prokofiev seems to project, particularly when it coems to the music he wrote while living in the West from 1914 to 1935, is one of a joker and an agitator, yet a classical composer at the core. This double identity can be heard even in his earlier works, mostly for piano, written before 1914, and was sealed with his ''Classical'' Symphony in 1917. The subtitle is the composer's own. Indeed, Prokofiev stated, ''I wanted to write a symphony that Haydn or Mozart would have written had they lived in the twentieth century.'' Symphony No. 5: Prokofiev wrote the work in the Soviet Union in 1944, when the Nazis were increasingly losing ground but had certainly not yet been defeated. Although the symphony lacks a programme per se, it is undeniably a depiction of war and victory. Heroism is always tinged with the tragedy inherent in war, and the grand gesture is both sincere and theatrical.
'Een groots en opwindend avontuur'
Alweer het derde album in de Prokofjev reeks. Dirigent James Gaffigan en het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest werken aan een project om alle symfonieën van de Russische componist Sergej Sergejevitsj Prokofjev (of Prokofiev) op te nemen. Dit keer zijn de Eerste en de Vijfde Symfonie aan de beurt. En hoe! Sandra Kooke in Trouw: "Een goed orkest kan uitbundig schitteren in de muziek van Prokofjev. Dit orkest doet dat volop. En wat zullen ze genoten hebben tijdens het spelen. Zo klinkt het althans". Over de Vijfde symfonie: "Wat een schatten diept Gaffigan uit deze partituur op. Hij neemt het orkest op sleeptouw langs spannende actie en duistere afgronden. Een groots, opwindend avontuur, ook voor de luisteraar"

Sergej Prokofjev zag zichzelf graag als een grappenmaker en onruststoker. Vooral als het op de muziek aankwam die hij schreef in de tijd dat hij in het Westen woonde, van 1914 tot 1935. En toch was hij een klassieke componist pur sang. Deze dubbele identiteit is al in zijn vroegste pianowerken van voor 1914 te horen, maar wordt pas echt bezegeld met zijn Eerste Symfonie uit 1917: de 'Klassieke' Symfonie zoals Prokofjev het werk zelf noemde. Hij wilde 'een symfonie schrijven zoals van Haydn of Mozart, tenminste als ze in de 20ste eeuw geleefd hadden.'

Zijn Vijfde Symfonie schreef Prokofjev in 1944 in de Sovjet-Unie. De Nazi's verloren steeds meer terrein, maar waren nog zeker niet verslagen. Ondanks dat deze symfonie geen expliciet programma heeft, is het ontegenzeggelijk een weerspiegeling van strijd en overwinning. Opnieuw gemengde gevoelens. Heldendom gaat immers altijd gepaard met tragedie, zoals dat in tijden van oorlog het geval is.
Das Bild, das man von Sergej Prokofjew bekommt, besonders, wenn es um die Musik geht, die er zwischen 1914 und 1935 schrieb, als er im Westen lebte, ist das eines Scherzbolds und Agitators, und doch auch eines des klassischen Komponisten im Herzen. Diese doppelte Identität kann man in seinen frühesten Werken hören, die vor 1914 vor allem für Klavier entstanden, und die mit seiner ‚Klassischen’ Symphonie 1917 besiegelt wurde. Ihr Untertitel stammt vom Komponisten selbst. Prokofjew kommentierte sogar: „Ich wollte eine Symphonie schreiben, wie Haydn oder Mozart sie geschrieben hätten, hätten sie im 20. Jahrhundert gelebt.“
Die Fünfte Symphonie schrieb Prokofjew 1944 in der Sowjetunion, als die Nazis zunehmend zurückgeschlagen wurden, aber noch lange nicht besiegt waren. Obwohl der Symphonie ein Programm als solches fehlt, kann man nicht leugnen, dass sie ein Abbild von Krieg und Sieg ist. Das Element des Heldentums trägt auch stets einen Hauch der Tragödie, die dem Krieg innewohnt (und umgekehrt), und die große Gestik ist sowohl ernsthaft als auch theatralisch.

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

The sound reproduction by Challenge Classics is excellent and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra plays at or nearly at world class level for the conductor.
Classical.net, 29-6-2018

this is a top-notch performance and a state of the art recording which will not disappoint.
Music Web International, 13-10-2017

Gaffigan was astute to concentrate on the wonderful variety of Prokofiev’s orchestral imagination. That and the joyous spirit of these two readings warrant a warm recommendation.
Fanfare Magazine, 08-9-2017

The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra is in excellent shape under the guidance of regular guest conductor James Gaffigan
Klassieke Zaken, 04-8-2017

Even if you already own the First and Fifth Symphony, this album (third in the serie) is worth buying. This is definetly on the same level as its competitors.
Luister Magazine, 01-7-2017

Beautiful, interesting works that Challenge Classics closely links to this CD.
Kerk en leven, 28-6-2017

An exciting adventure with Prokofiev
Trouw, 12-5-2017

The sound. Over the past decade I have been reviewing discs with varying sound quality. It is rare to get such a consistently high sound quality as with those released by Challenge Classics.
HRAudio, 28-4-2017

If Fauré's piano music has eluded you until now, these performances may provide the key.
Gramophone, 01-2-2017

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Often bought together with..

Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 (second version)
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77 / In tempus praesens
Simone Lamsma / The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Symphonies nos. 3 and 4 (first version)
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Concertos For Strings
moderntimes_1800

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