Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 (second version)

Price: € 20.95
Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917277920
Catnr: CC 72779
Release date: 09 March 2018
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917277920
Catalogue number
CC 72779
Release date
09 March 2018

"With Challenge Classics’ spectacular recorded sound, this rounds out what may well be the most completely satisfying Prokofiev symphony cycle on the market today."

Fanfare, 02-11-2018
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Artist(s)
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About the album

James Gaffigan, one of the most outstanding American conductors of today, released the fourth and last volume in his acclaimed complete survey of Prokofiev’s symphonies with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they recorded Prokofiev's experimental Second Symphony and his revised Fourth Symphony.

Gaffigan is internationally acclaimed for his conducting and the insight of his musicianship. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra since 2011. Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses world-wide.

Prokofiev's Second Symphony was composed eight years after his First, and is definitely more modern. When it was premiered, it was a fiasco; according to the composer, neither the audience nor the conductor understood anything about the work. The Symphony is not entirely modern though: it seems to be an ode to the modern era, witnessed by the layers of mechanically persistent rhythms, expressionist harmonies, ostensibly unfathomable forms and its very expansive take on tonality.

Prokofiev decided to revise his Fourth Symphony, Op. 47, after the successful premieres of his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. The original four movements remained largely intact, but the changes say a great deal about his style at that point. Some passages were expanded or added, with a strong emphasis on melody: he introduced a new theme in the first movement, for example. He tried to align the scale more with what was required by Social Realism, in which the neo-classical is overlaid with a considerable dose of heroism and sometimes even bombast. The changes in the Fourth were so meaningful that Prokofiev gave a new opus number to the Second Version. The association of Op. 112 with Social Realism subsequently proved to be an obstacle to its acceptance in the West.

Despite their negative reception when they were premiered, both symphonies are widely recorded and performed nowadays. This recording is certainly worth a listen!
Het is gelukt de klus is geklaard. Hoe kan het ook anders met zo'n bezetting. Dit is het laatste en vierde album in de succesvolle Prokofjev-cyclus van het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, onder leiding van de gerenommeerde en vaste gastdirigent James Gaffigan. Met de experimentele Tweede Symfonie en de herziene versie van de Vierde Symfonie is de reeks met alle symfonieën van Sergej Sergejevitsj Prokofjev compleet. En zoals Aart van der Wal van Opus Klassiek schreef: "Wat valt er over de uitvoering van deze formidabele hekkensluiters nog te zeggen, nu mij in de eerdere recensies feitelijk het gras voor de voeten is weggemaaid? ...Feest. Inderdaad!"

Prokofjev componeerde zijn Tweede acht jaar na zijn Eerste Symfonie, en deze Tweede is absoluut moderner. Maar de première was een fiasco. Volgens de componist begreep noch het publiek, noch de dirigent iets van het werk. De symfonie is overigens niet geheel modern: het lijkt een ode aan de moderne tijd te zijn, waarvan de lagen van mechanische hardnekkige ritmes, expressionistische harmonieën, ogenschijnlijk ondoorgrondelijke vormen en zijn zeer brede kijk op tonaliteit, getuigen.

Prokofjev besloot zijn Vierde Symfonie, Op. 47 te herzien na de succesvolle premières van zijn Vijfde en Zesde Symfonie. De oorspronkelijke vier delen bleven grotendeels overeind, maar de veranderingen zeggen veel over zijn stijl van dat moment. Sommige passages werden uitgebreid of aangevuld met een sterke nadruk op de melodie. Zo introduceerde Prokofjev een nieuw thema in het eerste deel. Hij probeerde de verhoudingen meer op één lijn te brengen met dat wat vereist werd door het Sociaal Realisme, waarin het neoklassieke wordt bedekt met een aanzienlijke dosis heldenmoed en soms zelfs bombast. De veranderingen in de Vierde waren zo aanzienlijk dat Prokofjev een nieuw opusnummer aan de tweede versie gaf. De associatie van Op. 112 met het Sociaal Realisme bleek daarna zijn acceptatie in het Westen in de weg te staan.

Ondanks de negatieve ontvangst van de premières worden beide symfonieën tegenwoordig overal ter wereld opgenomen en uitgevoerd. Deze opname spant de kroon en is een machtige luisterervaring!

Lees ook de informatieve recensie van Michel Dutrieue van Stretto.
Der niederländische Komponist, Musikjournalist und Autor Elmer Schönberger beschrieb die Zweite Symphonie als Untergattung, von primär psychologischer Natur, wenngleich mit beträchtlicher stilistischer Konsequenz: in einer Ersten Symphonie spiegelt ein Komponist mehr oder weniger die Traditionen, aus denen er stammt, und in einer Zweiten wendet er sich bewusst von ihnen ab. Prokofjews Zweite, entstanden acht Jahre nach der Ersten, scheint eine trotzige Ode an die Moderne, bezeugt von den Ebenen von mechanisch beharrlichen Rhythmen, expressionistischen Harmonien, scheinbar unauslotbaren Formen und einer ausgeweiteten Tonalität. Das Werk wurde 1925 in Paris unter der Leitung von Serge Koussewitzky uraufgeführt.

Prokofjew entschloss sich nach der erfolgreichen Premiere seiner Fünften und Sechsten Symphonien (im Januar 1945 und Dezember 1947), seine Vierte Symphonie, Op. 47, zu überarbeiten. Die originalen vier Sätze blieben weitgehend erhalten, doch die Änderungen verraten viel über seinen Stil zu dieser Zeit. Der erste Eingriff war, vorwiegend reflexive Passagen mit Gewicht auf Melodie einzufügen oder bereits vorhandene auszuweiten. Zu den Überarbeitungen zählt auch der Versuch, den Rahmen der Symphonie näher an dem auszurichten, was der Sozialrealismus verlangte, in dem das Neoklassische von einer beträchtlichen Dosis Heldentum und bisweilen gar Bombast überlagert werden, Die Assoziation von Op. 112 mit dem Sozialrealismus erwies sich im Folgenden bei der Akzeptanz des Werkes im Westen allerdings als Hindernis.

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

With Challenge Classics’ spectacular recorded sound, this rounds out what may well be the most completely satisfying Prokofiev symphony cycle on the market today.
Fanfare, 02-11-2018

I was immediately overwhelmed by this recording.
Luister, 18-5-2018

Sergej: the symphonies 2 & 4. 'For adults and other children.'
Klassieke Zaken, 11-5-2018

The rousing, unmoving rhythm gives a wonderful adrenaline boost
Het Parool, 24-3-2018

Warm appealing alternates with violent brutality. Quite, quite an achievement. Highly recommended.
Stretto, 21-3-2018

The sound quality is beyond reproach, bringing out detail and pure definition. Taking sound, sense and soul together, and without denying virtues and accolades to others, this set is, now completed, for me the one to have.
HRAudio, 07-3-2018

... the cycle can be called totally complete by the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of James Gaffigan.
Opus Klassiek, 28-2-2018

James Gaffigan is not so much interested in Prokofiev’s ‘iron and steel’. He is brightening the music’s textures, he intensifies the colours and generally avoids any heavy sound. That makes this a valuable recording with a singular personal touch.
Pizzicato

Play album
01.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor: Allegro ben articolato
11:26
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
02.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor: Theme: Andante
01:50
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
03.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor: Variation 1: L?istesso tempo
02:23
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
04.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor: Variation 2: Allegro non troppo
02:45
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
05.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor: Variation 3: Allegro
02:06
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
06.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor: Variation 4: Larghetto
05:02
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
07.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor: Variation 5: Allegro con brio
02:43
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
08.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor: Variation 6: Allegro moderato
04:36
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
09.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor: Theme
01:55
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
10.
Symphony No. 4 (second version) Op. 112 in C Major: Andante ? Allegro eroico
12:37
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
11.
Symphony No. 4 (second version) Op. 112 in C Major: Andante tranquillo
09:28
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
12.
Symphony No. 4 (second version) Op. 112 in C Major: Moderato, quasi allegretto
05:46
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
13.
Symphony No. 4 (second version) Op. 112 in C Major: Allegro risoluto
10:25
(Sergei Prokofiev) Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
show all tracks

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Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer / Hans Eijsackers

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