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  • Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25 (Classical); Symphony No. 5 in B Flat Major, Op. 100
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Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25 (Classical); Symphony No. 5 in B Flat Major, Op. 100 Import


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Audio CD, Import, November 14, 1995
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 14, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GMB
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,352 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sym No.1 in D, Op.25 'Classical': 1. Allegro
2. Sym No.1 in D, Op.25 'Classical': 2. Larghetto
3. Sym No.1 in D, Op.25 'Classical': 3. Gavotta: Non troppo allegro
4. Sym No.1 in D, Op.25 'Classical': 4. Finale: Molto vivace
5. Sym No.5 in B flat, Op.100: 1. Andante
6. Sym No.5 in B flat, Op.100: 2. Allegro marcato
7. Sym No.5 in B flat, Op.100: 3. Adagio
8. Sym No.5 in B flat, Op.100: 4. Allegro giocoso

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
James Levine's renditions are different by dint of their sound, but little else.
Andre Gauthier
A great symphony; both works on the disk are the heights of Prokofiev's symphonic writing.
Brett A. Kniess
It's quite smooth and a bit cold and one might say, isn't it sort of like Karajan?
dv_forever

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brett A. Kniess on November 29, 2005
On this disk is a nice representation of Sergei Prokofiev's symphonic works, ones which at first seem diametrically opposed, but which in the end, is clearly the voice of a modern master.

The Classical Symphony, Prokofiev's first symphony, was not just an exercise in composition, but Prokofiev, who normally composed at the piano, wanted to try without. The end result is a surprisingly charming work, little expected from Prokofiev at the time. In all four movements, he writes charming, imaginative and memorable melodies of a "classical" structure, along with "classical" textures and articulations. The harmonies are "romantic" in nature, often taking unusual side trips to unexpected progressions. Not a terrible long work, the style is evocative of Stamitz's classical symphonies rather than Mozart or Haydn's, but the voice is clearly a modern one. The outer movements are whimsical and brash while the inner ones are a bit more on the courtly side.

The Fifth Symphony is a much more aggressive work. Creating sounds we are used to from Prokofiev, he uses dissonance in accord with his great orchestrations and melodic writing. The 1st and 3rd movements are ones of great angst and the longest (both over 12 minutes). One wonders if Prokofiev were not constrained by the Stalin regime if his musical language would show such emotion. It is in the 2nd and last movements that Prokofiev's mastery of melody shines forth. The jumpy scherzo melody of the 2nd movement continues the gloom of the 1st, but sheds some humor (or perhaps folk elements) on the work. The almost sunny, but certainly expansive, melody of the 4th movement is given to the clarinet, giving the finale a more lighthearted feel after the great lyricism and gloom of the 3rd movement.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt on June 29, 2001
Some parts are very close. But this CD falls short ultimately. The "Classical" is the biggest misfire: Levine's concept is very romantic and heavy for a quicksilver work. Much of the clever economy of thought and charm of content are lost. But even the mighty 5th isn't quite right. Some of the tempi relationships are tenuous, and the first movement is just too FAST. Epic shapes are glossed over, climactic moments are missed, and the percussion, while impressive, isn't impressive *enough.* The third movement too is inexpliucably rushed--Andante rather than Adagio--and the big central climax never seems to arise organically from the material that preceeds it but rather just appears out of nowhere, almost sounding spliced in (in an aesthetic sense...technical it sounds fine). The finale is also a bit too fast for its own good--it feels as though the CSO is skating over the music and thus it feels disconnected from the other movements rather than a logical and inevitable build-up. Still there are some fine moments in this 5th: the scherzo is a gas, as is much of the finale (at least from a virtuoso standpoint). And some parts, leading into and out of the central section of the slow movement, work. The finest Prokofiev 5th I've ever heard is (believe it or not) Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, 1977, on RCA, unfortunately never released on CD. (This is not to be confused with the Sony recording, which is on disc...that recording is fair, but not great.) If RCA ever sees fit to put their recording on CD grab it, or if you collect used vinyl and come across it, do the same. Meanwhile this recording is fine. You wouldn't "go wrong" in buying it. But somehow with the caliber of forces at work, and the excellent reviews, I expected better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Knowlton on February 1, 2011
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You might be interested to know that amongst people who follow Prokofiev like some have followed the Grateful Dead - this is one of the most preferred versions of Symphony No. 5. I really could care less about Symphony No. 1. There are 500,000 recordings of Symphony No. 1 and they are all fine. The piece plays itself. Not so at all with No. 5. Levine's tempi may be a little original but he understands this work extremely well. And BTW if you are curious to see if I am telling you the truth - go to [...] and see what you can dig up about this recording. All the Prokofiev nerds can be found at that website.

I love this recording.
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