Rhinegold

Colin Clarke

Prokofiev Symphonies Nos 2 & 3

8:00, 22nd January 2018

The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia/Vladimir Jurowski
PENTATONE PTC 5186 624 73 mins
*****

Vladimir Jurowski has left Londoners in no doubt of his affinity for the music of his homeland in his performances with the LPO. Here, he heads the State Academic SO of Russia in powerful performances of two of Prokofiev’s lesser-performed symphonies.

Both symphonies date from before the second world war. Jurowski himself describes the second symphony as ‘strange, futuristic’. The dissonant, forward-moving first movement is viscerally presented; the set of variations that comprises the works’ second part houses real beauty. The recording is impeccable, picking up every nuance. A terrific account, sparkling and intense.

The third symphony uses musical material from the composer’s opera
The Fiery Angel. Jurowski strikes at the very heart of the work: the first movement is gloriously pounding but there is flexibility and lyricism, too, while the enigmatic, shadowy slow movement is beautifully done.

Virtuoso performances of huge power; although not for the faint-hearted.

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