Prokofiev: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7

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Photo: Prokofiev: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7

«Prokofiev: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7”


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Sergei Sergeievitch Prokofiev Symphony No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 131,
Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111.


Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra – James Gaffigan.

The second volume in the ongoing series devoted to Prokofiev’s symphonic output from American conductor James Gaffigan and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, pairs the final two symphonies, the Sixth and Seventh.

Following the cycle’s powerful start with Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (CC72584), once again these are two works separated by just few years in composition: 1945 and 1952. The harmony in Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6 is fundamentally tonal, replete with omens and dissonances that sometimes resolve but sometimes testify to his predilection for abrupt shifts of mood, derived from film music, or for unpredictable gear changes from lyrical to more restless melodies.

The Seventh symphony is one of the last works completed by Prokofiev before his death. The composer was seriously ill in his final years and continued to compose only with the greatest difficulty. It is difficult to imagine this background when listening to the piece, which the composer himself regarded as a ‘children’s symphony’. Written for children it may have been, but it contains absolutely nothing childish or childlike.

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