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Prokofiev: Classical Symphony; Milhaud / Alberto Zedda


Release Date: 08/06/2007 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 61104   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude DebussyDarius MilhaudSergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Alberto Zedda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Most collectors will surely already have Prokofiev's Classical Symphony, but those who do not will find this new Lausanne performance ranks with the best. The balance is slightly recessed and the resonant acoustic adds to the impression of warmth and geniality. In fact the tempo of the first movement is very close to those of Marriner and the conductorless Orpheus group. The extra vividness which the engineers give to these Decca and DG versions contrasts with the mellowness of the Virgin ambience, yet the lightness of Alberto Zedda's touch brings its own rewards. The woodwind playing has plenty of character and charm, and the sweetness of the strings is even more striking in the Larghetto, where the poised high first entry of the violins Read more is dainty and unassuming, a delightful effect. The Gavotte is played very flexibly (as is the Orpheus account) and the central section with its engaging woodwind decoration leads on to a less assertive reprise and a softly delineated coda. Then the finale sets off very much molto vivace, flutes chortling, but the lightness remains and the exhilaration is the more telling when articulation is both precise and mercurial.

Prokofiev, himself could not understand why the early Sinfonietta (1909) did not approach the Classical Symphony in popularity and he carefully rescored it in 1929. The outer movements are both marked giocoso: their mood is gentle and their humour is winningly fragile. In between come an Andante—more angular than the Larghetto of Op. 25—a brief Intermezzo and a witty scherzo (felicitous pizzicatos and flute). Zedda's touch is again sure, never heavy-handed, and the playing is expert, with the orchestra obviously relishing Prokofiev's colourful palette.

The two Debussy miniatures make a good foil for each other, the Sarabande, elegantly melancholy and made very Ravelian by the scoring, the Danse, with its sprightly syncopations, fetching and high spirited. They are very neatly played. But the work that may attract many collectors to this disc is Milhaud's ballet, La creation du monde, which has a surprising yearning tenderness dominating its jazzy core. It is an attractively spontaneous work which has been elusive on disc. But Zedda and his players let their hair down in the jazzy sections (which are very brightly projected by the recording), yet remain rhythmically quite subtle, while the desperate tranquillity of the main lyrical theme has a real blues feeling. The performance brings out the Gershwin affinities too, and makes one realize that the musical interplay between Paris and Harlem in the 1920s was profound. Milhaud was Jewish and the Jewish influence during the development of American jazz proved to be one of its major ingredients, which is why this ballet score is so memorable. All in all this is a first-rate collection.'

-- Ivan March, Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

1. Tarentelle styrienne "Danse" by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Alberto Zedda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1890; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1989 
Venue:  La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Maurice Ravel 
2. Suite for Piano "Pour le piano": no 2, Sarabande by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Alberto Zedda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1896-1901; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1989 
Venue:  La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 4 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Maurice Ravel 
3. La création du monde, Op. 81 by Darius Milhaud
Conductor:  Alberto Zedda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; France 
Date of Recording: 04/1989 
Venue:  La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 16 Minutes 38 Secs. 
4. Symphony no 1 in D major, Op. 25 "Classical" by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Alberto Zedda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 04/1989 
Venue:  La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 14 Minutes 12 Secs. 
5. Sinfonietta in A major, Op. 48 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Alberto Zedda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 04/1989 
Venue:  La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 20 Minutes 41 Secs. 

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