WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Prokofiev: Symphony No 6 / Litton, Bergen PO

Prokofiev / Litton / Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 03/26/2013 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1994  
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Andrei Bondarenko
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $21.99
SuperAudio CD:  $17.99
In Stock
MP3: $9.99
What's this?




Notes and Editorial Reviews

Prokofiev’s Sixth Symphony seems to be a tough work to pull off, and it’s a credit to Andrew Litton and his team that they do it so well. The first movement, which so often fizzles at the climax, here builds inexorably to a violent but at the same time texturally transparent apotheosis. Most versions of the long central Largo (it’s longer than the first movement) expire well before the end. This one doesn’t; it’s expertly paced and well-contrasted, the bittersweet lyricism very effectively projected. The finale remains at a high voltage straight through the elegiac coda; the final pages are properly explosive.

Similarly, this performance of the suite from The Love for Three Oranges is really stunning: bright and dazzling,
Read more elegant and full of humor. The same, alas, can’t be said of Lieutenant Kijé. If Litton has a fault, it’s a tendency to outsmart himself, to be different for its own sake. He did that in his disc of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet suites, rearranged in “ballet order”, as if that’s a musical plus when the composer has arranged each suite for maximum color and contrast.

Here he includes the original vocal parts in the Romance and the Troika, as if we need to hear some clown singing, over and over in Russian, “a woman’s heart is like an inn; people come and go from everywhere day and night.” It’s hopeless, even if baritone Andrej Bondarenko sings very well. I wouldn’t say that this ruins the performance, which taken on its own terms is very good, but I’m going to listen to the other 60 minutes of music on the disc before this Kijé. The sonics, typically from this source, are very good, perhaps a touch dry in the bass, but extremely clear and honest.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945-1947; USSR 
2. Love for Three Oranges Suite, Op. 33a by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919/1924; USA 
3. Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op. 60 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Andrei Bondarenko (Baritone)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; Paris, France 

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
Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 60: I. The Birth of Kije
Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 60: II. Romance
Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 60: III. The Wedding of Kije
Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 60: IV. Troika
Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 60: V. The Interment of Kije
The Love for Three Oranges Suite, Op. 33bis: I. The Clowns
The Love for Three Oranges Suite, Op. 33bis: II. The Magician and the Witch play cards
The Love for Three Oranges Suite, Op. 33bis: III. March
The Love for Three Oranges Suite, Op. 33bis: IV. Scherzo
The Love for Three Oranges Suite, Op. 33bis: V. The Prince and Princess
The Love for Three Oranges Suite, Op. 33bis: VI. The Flight

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook