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Symphony No.5 /War and Peace


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Audio CD, 2003
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$3.49 + $3.99 shipping Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by eQuip Online.


Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: BBC
  • ASIN: B000JKI88M
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,506 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

war and peace 1.overture.2.waltz for the new year's eve ball.3.waltz:since we met 4-7.symphony no.5 in b flat op.100

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Larry VanDeSande VINE VOICE on January 26, 2010
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This 2002 concert recording of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 and three orchestral selections from the opera War and Peace was recorded by the BBC for circulation to subscribers of its magazine, BBC Music Magazine. It was never given a general release but, thankfully, copies are still available here new and used.

Noted in the 2010 Penguin Guide The Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music 2010: The Key Classical Recordings on CD, DVD and SACD as one of two new superstar conductors, Gianandrea Noseda was the principal conductor of the BBC Philharmonic at the time of this concert and they paired for a splendid realization of Prokofiev's most popular symphony. With a generally slow beginning, Noseda builds momentum throughout the opening minutes and explodes into the main theme of the first movement. The conductor generates a relatively slow pace through the first half of the score that he picks up in the final two movements, where the quicker pace generates a contrast that works to his -- and listener's -- benefit.

This is music that was accepted by musicgoers worldwide almost immediately after the score was premiered during the war. Prokofiev himself conducted the in January 1945 in the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, leading the USSR State Symphony Orchestra. The premiere was well received and, after Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra introduced the score to America, it was regularly played in concerts around the world, becoming one of mid-century's most quickly accepted new scores.

The War and Peace excerpts don't give a complete flavor of the opera -- how could they? -- but they add seasoning to the concert.
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Although I greatly admire Prokofiev (especially the concerti, ballets, and cantatas), I've never really warmed-up to the 5th symphony, although I am very fond of MTT's recording with the LSO Symphonies 1 & 5 / Lt. Kije Suite / Cinderella in a very recommendable set. But this BBC Music live music recording with Noseda and the BBC Symphony really, really made a believer out of me. The symphony has guts, passion, beautifully recorded and demonstrates the angst I believe Prokofiev was trying to communicate. Like Shostakovich's 9th, this is no facile, grandiose celebration of victory: it is music of frustration, despair,and relief (with a careful dose of sarcasm). At the Amazon price, please check-out this performance (and the excerpts from War and Peace - although not Christopher Palmer's - are a great bonus). I look forward to Noseda's SACD recording of Britten War Requiem after the disappointing transfer of the superlative Hickox performance to SACD.
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