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Prokofiev: Symphony No 6, Waltzes Suite / Järvi, Scottish No


Release Date: 10/09/1992 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 8359   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Prokofiev’s Sixth was pretty much neglected by major conductors in the West (Ormandy and Martinon excepted) until Neeme Järvi scored a sensation with this recording in 1985, and then the floodgates opened with versions from Previn, Ashkenazy, Rostropovich, Ozawa, Kuchar, and others appearing in rapid succession. I think I have the chronology roughly right, but even if I don’t, this was the version that put the symphony back on the musical map, and it remains on balance the finest available.

It’s not an easy piece to pull off. Unlike the Fifth, the Sixth is a dark, often tragic work, less melodically ingratiating, with a big, fat, meandering Largo at its center that’s very
Read more difficult to sustain. In a way it recalls Shostakovich’s Fourth in its hard-hitting, often harsh sonorities. That is a work that Prokofiev could not have known–although strangely, the codas of the respective first movements are eerily similar both conceptually and sonically.

As in all of his Prokofiev symphony recordings–this was the first, by the way–Järvi really digs into the music. The first movement’s gangly melodies have an impulsive swing to their step, and the climax is epic. That problematic Largo, with its bittersweet lyricism alternating with violent eruptions and passages of desolation, hangs together if only because of Järvi’s refusal to knit its disparate episodes together by underplaying the formal tension that they generate. Similarly, Järvi’s generous indulgence of the militant drumming that constantly undermines the finale’s jolly principal theme perfectly sets up the terrifying coda, played here with unsurpassed violence.

As with the Fifth Symphony, the coupling consists of (the other) three waltzes from the Waltz Suite, not very generous, but also not very important. The engineering is as big and bold as the performances. Now almost 30 years old (!) this recording deserves classic status.

-- ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945-1947; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/1984 
Venue:  Glasgow City Hall, Scotland 
Length: 41 Minutes 22 Secs. 
2.
Waltz Suite, Op. 110: no 2, In the Palace by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/1984 
Venue:  Glasgow City Hall, Scotland 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
3.
Waltz Suite, Op. 110: no 5, New Year's Eve Ball by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/1984 
Venue:  Glasgow City Hall, Scotland 
Length: 5 Minutes 48 Secs. 
4.
Waltz Suite, Op. 110: no 6, Happiness by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USSR 
Date of Recording: 08/1984 
Venue:  Glasgow City Hall, Scotland 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111: I. Allegro moderato
Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111: II. Largo
Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111: III. Vivace
Waltz Suite, Op. 110: II. Cinderella in the Palace
Waltz Suite, Op. 110: V. New Year's Eve Ball
Waltz Suite, Op. 110: VI. Happiness

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