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Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6 / Myaskovsky: Symphony No. 27
Sergei Prokofiev, Nikolai Myaskovsky

Vasily Petrenko

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6 / Myaskovsky: Symphony No. 27

Price: € 19.95 13.97
Format: CD
Label: Lawo Classics
UPC: 7090020182377
Catnr: LWC 1215
Release date: 21 May 2021
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19.95 13.97
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Label
Lawo Classics
UPC
7090020182377
Catalogue number
LWC 1215
Release date
21 May 2021

"In Petrenko's view, it is above all the orchestral coloring that caresses the ear"

Opus Klassiek, 07-1-2022
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
Press
EN

About the album

Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953) composed his Symphony No 6 in E flat minor, Opus 111 between 1945 and February 1947, though his sketches date from 1944 - before his completion of the Fifth Symphony. The scoring is for large orchestra includ­ing piccolo, cor anglais, E flat clarinet, contrabassoon, harp, piano, celesta and an array of percussion. Although the key of E flat minor is extremely rare in the symphonic literature, Myaskovsky also wrote a sixth symphony in that key.

Disappointed with the reception of his music in the West, Prokofiev hoped for a great welcome on his return to Rus­sia. As Francis Maes has written in A History of Russian Music, “While Serge Prokofiev’s talent is beyond question, his career as a composer was a succession of misjudge­ments …. All his actions from 1918 to 1932 can be seen as a step-by-step return, first to Western Europe, and then to Moscow …” By the latter part of the thirties many lead­ing composers were in America, while Prokofiev was locked away in Russia. By the time of his Sixth Symphony he had generally adapted to the state’s demand for upbeat, op­timistic music, yet this is a deep and personal work with an unmistakeably tragic element. Biographer Israel Nestyev wrote: “It seems as though the two Prokofievs, the old [of­ten spiky and subversive] and the new, were engaged in a struggle [between] powerful, genuine lyricism and sudden outbursts of unrestrained expressionism ...” Initially well re­ceived (Evgeny Mravinsky and the Leningrad Philharmonic gave the premiere in October 1947), the work was officially condemned the following year and was omitted from the
repertoire of Soviet orchestras for many years.

Prokofiev’s own comments on the work were typically (and unhelpfully) terse: “The first movement is agitated, at times lyrical, at times austere; the second movement, Largo, is brighter and more tuneful; the finale, rapid and in a major key, is close in character to that of my Fifth Symphony, save for reminiscences of the austere passages in the first movement.” He also acknowledged that the symphony was partly inspired by the war years. “Now we are rejoicing in our great victory, but each of us has wounds which cannot be healed”.

Nikolai Myaskovsky (1881–1950) completed the last of his symphonies – in C minor, Opus 85 – in November 1949. His twenty-seven works in this genre are so remarkably diverse in character that it is almost impossible to define the “typical” Myaskovsky symphony. No 27 is often described as one of his most popular, but actually we would be very fortunate to find any of his symphonies, or any other compositions, programmed in a concert-hall outside Russia. Were it not for CDs and a very rare broadcast, we should never hear a note of his music. However, in the late 1930’s his music was more frequently performed in America, the Chicago Symphony’s conductor Frederick Stock being a notable advocate. Other major American-based conductors who “fought over rights to his scores” (Richard Taruskin) included Stokowski, Koussevitsky and Artur Rodzinski. Shostakovich regarded him as “the major symphonist after Mahler”, while Prokofiev wrote that Myaskovsky “was something of a philosopher – his music is wise, passionate, gloomy and self-absorbed”.

Artist(s)

Vasily Petrenko (conductor)

After just one week working with Vasily Petrenko in 2009, the Oslo Philharmonic invited the Russian conductor to be its fifteenth Principal Conductor. At a landmark concert in Oslo on 28 August 2013, Petrenko was inaugurated in his new role conducting Stravinsky’s 'The Rite of Spring'. Vasily Petrenko is one of the most significant and galvanizing musicians alive. He became famous for his transformative work at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the oldest orchestra in the United Kingdom, where he refashioned the orchestra’s sound, reconnected the organization to its home city and presided over a huge increase in ticket sales. He quickly came to represent a new generation of conductors ready to combine their uncompromising artistic work with a passion for communication...
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After just one week working with Vasily Petrenko in 2009, the Oslo Philharmonic invited the Russian conductor to be its fifteenth Principal Conductor. At a landmark concert in Oslo on 28 August 2013, Petrenko was inaugurated in his new role conducting Stravinsky’s "The Rite of Spring".
Vasily Petrenko is one of the most significant and galvanizing musicians alive. He became famous for his transformative work at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the oldest orchestra in the United Kingdom, where he refashioned the orchestra’s sound, reconnected the organization to its home city and presided over a huge increase in ticket sales. He quickly came to represent a new generation of conductors ready to combine their uncompromising artistic work with a passion for communication and inclusion.
Vasily was born in St Petersburg in 1976 and trained at the city’s famous conservatoire. As a student, he took part in a master-class with Mariss Jansons, the conductor who helped establish the Oslo Philharmonic as one of the great orchestras of the world. After winning a handful of competitions, Vasily became Chief Conductor of the St Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra in 2004 and later principal guest conductor at the city’s Mikhailovsky Theatre.
Vasily is one of the most acclaimed classical recording artists alive and has won numerous accolades for his recordings of Russian repertoire, including two Gramophone awards. In 2017 he received the Gramophone Award "Artist of the Year".
With the Oslo Philharmonic, he has recorded Shostakovich and Szymanowski concertos, "Romeo and Juliet" by Prokofiev, and a major new cycle of orchestral works by Alexander Scriabin, of which this release is the last in the series of three CDs.
Vasily has conducted the London, Sydney, Chicago, Vienna, San Francisco, and NHK Symphony Orchestras as well as the Russian National Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. In February 2018 he made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker. He has conducted at the Zurich, Paris and Hamburg Operas and at Glyndebourne.
At Oslo Konserthus, Vasily provides the backbone of the Oslo Philharmonic’s subscription series. He has conducted the orchestra in London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Berlin, Vienna, Bratislava, Dublin, Paris, Tokyo, Edinburgh, San Sebastian, Santander, Hong Kong and Taipei.


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Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

On 27 September 1919, a new orchestra took to the stage of the old Logan Hall in Oslo to give its first public concert. Conductor Georg Schnéevoigt presided over thrilling performances of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Christian Sinding’s First Symphony. After forty years of making-do, the Norwegian capital had at last got the orchestra it deserved. The Oslo Philharmonic was born. In the eight months that followed, the Oslo Philharmonic gave 135 concerts, most of which sold out. It tackled passionate Mahler, glistening Debussy and thrusting Nielsen. Soon, world famous musicians were coming to conduct it, relishing its youth and enthusiasm. Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel visited Oslo to coach the musicians through brand new music. National broadcaster NRK...
more

On 27 September 1919, a new orchestra took to the stage of the old Logan Hall in Oslo to give its first public concert. Conductor Georg Schnéevoigt presided over thrilling performances of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Christian Sinding’s First Symphony. After forty years of making-do, the Norwegian capital had at last got the orchestra it deserved. The Oslo Philharmonic was born. In the eight months that followed, the Oslo Philharmonic gave 135 concerts, most of which sold out. It tackled passionate Mahler, glistening Debussy and thrusting Nielsen. Soon, world famous musicians were coming to conduct it, relishing its youth and enthusiasm. Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel visited Oslo to coach the musicians through brand new music. National broadcaster NRK began to hang microphones at the orchestra’s concerts, transmitting them to the whole of Norway.
Over the next half-century, the Oslo Philharmonic’s reputation grew steadily. Then, in 1979, it changed forever. A young Latvian arrived in Norway, taking the orchestra apart section-by-section, putting it back together a finely tuned machine with a whole new attitude. Under Mariss Jansons, the orchestra became a rival to the great Philharmonics of Vienna, Berlin and New York. It was soon playing everywhere, from Seattle to Salzburg, Lisbon to London. Back home in Oslo, it got a modern, permanent concert hall of its own. In 1986, EMI drew up the largest orchestral contract in its history, ensuring the world would hear the rich, visceral sound of the Oslo Philharmonic.
Three decades after that, the world is still listening. The Oslo Philharmonic retains its spirit of discovery and its reputation for finesse. Under Jukka-Pekka Saraste it cultivated even more the weight and depth that Jansons had instilled; under Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko, it works at the highest levels of detail and style. Still the orchestra travels the globe, but it has never felt more at home. Its subscription season in Oslo features the best musicians in the business. Outdoor concerts attract tens of thousands; education and outreach programmes connect the orchestra with many hundreds more. In 2019/2020 the thriving city of Oslo will celebrate 100 years of the Oslo Philharmonic, the first-class orchestra it still deserves.


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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...
more
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

In Petrenko's view, it is above all the orchestral coloring that caresses the ear
Opus Klassiek, 07-1-2022

The finale is rhythmically razorsharp, fresh, kicking like a synchronous horde of fourlegged friends.
Opus Klassiek, 05-1-2022

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