PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 3, Scythian Suite, Autumnal Sketch

"[Marin Alsop] gets unfailingly good string‑playing, often more sensitively nuanced than that of her rivals…" --Gramophone, June 2015

"Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra deliver the Third and the Scythian Suite with powerful, incisive rhythms and volatile dynamics, which makes for exciting listening, while their performance of Autumn offers smoother gradations of textures and a gentler feeling. Naxos provides adequate reproduction with good details and clear textures…", May 2015 Editors' Choice

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop

This fourth volume in Marin Alsop’s acclaimed Prokofiev symphonic cycle features two of his most viscerally exciting works. Using material salvaged from his opera The Fiery Angel, the Third Symphony was hailed by Serge Koussevitzky at its 1929 première as ‘the best symphony since Tchaikovsky’s Sixth’. Originally commissioned as a ballet by Sergey Dyagilev but rejected as un-danceable, the Scythian Suite has become a popular orchestral showpiece, while Prokofiev retained a lifelong fondness for his dark-hued early symphonic sketch Autumn.

Judging by the response to the previous volumes of this fruitful partnership with Marin Alsop and the excellent São Paulo Symphony Orchestra this new release will have no problems in becoming a market leader. The First and Second Symphonies disc (8573353) was an ‘Editor’s Choice’ for its “first-rate performance”, and the Fifth Symphony was described as “an outstanding achievement” by BBC Music Magazine, which also regarded the Fourth Symphony (8.573186) as “compelling”. The Blu-ray releases have also been widely acclaimed, with NBD0031 made Audiophile Audition ‘Best Disc of the Year’ in 2012, and prompting BBC Music Magazine to write, “this exceptional account of Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony is partnered by a revelatory performance of The Year 1941, while the recording bursts out of the speakers.”

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