Cover Prokofiev: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3

Album info



Label: PentaTone

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Orchestral

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953): Symphony No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 40:
  • 1I. Allegro ben articolato12:30
  • 2IIa. Theme01:46
  • 3IIb. Var. 102:07
  • 4IIc. Var. 202:42
  • 5IId. Var. 302:15
  • 6IIe. Var. 404:38
  • 7IIf. Var. 503:02
  • 8IIg. Var. 6 & Theme06:12
  • Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 44:
  • 9I. Moderato13:54
  • 10II. Andante07:29
  • 11III. Allegro agitato - Allegretto09:03
  • 12IV. Andante mosso - Allegro moderato06:50
  • Total Runtime01:12:28

Info for Prokofiev: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3

The acclaimed Russian-born maestro Vladimir Jurowski kicks off his new cycle of the complete symphonies of Prokofiev for PENTATONE with a searing account of the challenging and uncompromising second and third symphonies.

“There is something profoundly, even unmistakably Russian in these works”, writes Jurowski. “I am deeply convinced that only a Russian orchestra can add something special to this music … That is why I am delighted to record Prokofiev’s symphonic oeuvre with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov” for PENTATONE. Especially to Western ears, this could open up a whole new sound-world.”

Forged out of “iron and steel”, the rarely-performed Symphony No. 2 uses strident fanfares, martial rhythms and clashing dissonances to create great walls of sound to represent the inexorable march of the machine age. It’s a deliberately modernist work, written while the composer was in Paris in the 1920s and intent on provoking audiences. The stark first movement is balanced by the second movement which is in the form of six disparate variations. Containing more subdued and lyrical moments, these variations build towards a relentless march, culminating in a series of hammer blows from the orchestra to end the work with a ghostly calm.

The Symphony No. 3 recycles material from his opera The Fiery Angel to dramatic and terrifying effect. It’s an angry, defiant and complex work which contains a lyrical slow movement, a dazzling third movement in the form of a devilish scherzo and an almost unhinged final movement which starts as a sinister march and builds to an apocalyptic climax of alarming power.

Vladimir Jurowski has recorded extensively for PENTATONE and has received enthusiastic critical acclaim. In July 2017, he signed a long-term, multi-album agreement with PENTATONE which includes a new complete cycle of the symphonies of Sergei Prokofiev with his State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov”. Also scheduled for 2018 with the same forces is a recording of Tchaikovsky’s complete ballet Swan Lake. Recent releases by Jurowski for PENTATONE include violin concertos by Britten and Hindemith with Arabella Steinbacher, and tone poems by Mahler and Strauss, performed with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin where he is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director.

State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia
Vladimir Jurowski, conductor

State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia
In 2016 the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov", one of the country’s oldest symphonic ensembles, celebrated its 80th anniversary. The State Orchestra debut performance took place eight decades ago, on 5 October 1936, at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.

During the years, the orchestra has been led by outstanding musicians such as Alexander Gauk (1936-1941), Natan Rakhlin (1941-1945), Konstantin Ivanov (1945-1965), and Evgeny Svetlanov (1965-2000). On 27 October 2005 the State Academic Symphony Orchestra was officially named after E.F. Svetlanov. From 2000 to 2002 the orchestra was headed by Vasily Sinaisky, and from 2002 to 2011 by Mark Gorenstein.

On 24 October 2011 Vladimir Jurowski, a world-renowned conductor collaborating with many leading opera companies and orchestras, was appointed as the Artistic Director of the State Orchestra. Starting with season 2016/2017 Vasily Petrenko is the Principal Guest Conductor of the orchestra.

The orchestra has performed at the most prestigious venues, such as the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Bolshoy Theatre, Pillar Hall of the House of the Unions, the State Kremlin Palace (Moscow), Carnegie Hall (New York), the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Musikverein (Vienna), the Royal Albert Hall (London), Salle Pleyel (Paris), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). In 2013 the orchestra had a performance at the Moscow Red Square for the first time.

The orchestra was conducted by H.Abendroth, E.Ansermet, L.Blech, N.Golovanov, A.Jansons, O.Klemperer, K.Kondrashin, L.Maazel, N.Malko, I.Markevitch, E.Mravinsky, C.Munch, M.Rostropovich, K.Sanderling, S.Sondeckis, I.Stravinsky, A.Boreiko, C.Dutoit, V.Gergiev, M.Jurowski, A.Lazarev, I.Marin, K.Masur, G.Rozhdestvensky, A.Sladkovsky, L.Slatkin, Y.Temirkanov, A.Vedernikov, and other great musicians.

Among the outstanding soloists who have performed with the orchestra are singers I.Arkhipova, S.Lemeshev, E.Obraztsova, G.Vishnevskaya, M.Caballe, P.Domingo, M.Guleghina, D.Hvorostovsky, and J.Kaufmann; pianists V.Cliburn, E.Gilels, H.Neuhaus, N.Petrov, S.Richter, M.Yudina, V.Afanassiev, B.Berezovsky, E.Kissin, N.Lugansky, D.Matsuev, and G.Sokolov; violinists L.Kogan, Y.Menuhin, D.Oistrakh, V.Pikayzen, V.Repin, V.Spivakov, V.Tretyakov, and M.Vengerov; violist Y.Bashmet; cellists M.Rostropovich, N.Gutman, A.Kniazev, and A.Rudin. Recently, this roster was expanded to add singers A.Garifullina, M.Diener, W.Meier, A.Netrebko, H.Gerzmava, A.Pendatchanska, I.Abdrazakov, D.Korchak, and V.Ladiuk, R.Pape; pianists L.O.Andsnes, A.Volodin, J.Y.Thbaudet, M.Uchida and R.Buchbinder; violinists L.Kavakos, P.Kopachinskaja, S.Krylov, J.Rachlin, J.Fischer, D.Hope, and N.Znaider. A lot of attention is also devoted to collaboration with young musicians such as conductors M.Emeljanchev, M.Stravinsky, V.Yryupin and P.Chizhevsky; pianists L.Debargue, P.Kopachevsky, J.Lisiecki, D.Masleev, and A.Romanovsky; violinists A.Bayeva, A.Pritchin, V.Sokolov, and P.Milyukov; and cellist A.Ramm to name a few.

Ever since its first tour abroad in 1956 the orchestra regularly represents Russian culture in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the US, and many other countries.

The orchestra’s discography includes hundreds of vinyl records and CDs released by leading Russian and foreign labels such as Melodiya, Bomba-Piter, Delos, EMI Classics, BMG, Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, Chandos, Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm, Toccata Classics, Fancymusic, and others. The special place in this list belongs to the Anthology of the Russian Symphonic Music encompassing audio recordings of Russian composers from M.Glinka to I.Stravinsky, a Svetlanov’s project, to which he dedicated many years. Mezzo, Rossiya 1, and Kultura television companies, digital channel as well as Radio “Orpheus” also made recordings of a number of the ensemble’s concerts.

Lately the orchestra has performed at the Grafenegg Festival (Austria), Kissinger Sommer in Bad Kissingen (Germany), The Arts’ Square in Saint Petersburg, “Another space”, “Opera Art” and the VIII Mstislav Rostropovich Festival in Moscow, the III Symphonic Forum of Russia in Yekaterinburg, Platonov art festival in Voronezh. The orchestra performed world premieres of works by A.Vustin, S.Goss, E.Podgaits, S.Slonimskiy, A.Nikolaev, J.Sherling, and Russian premieres of works by J.Adams, L. van Beethoven – G.Mahler, D.Kurtag, V.Silvestrov, R.Schedrin, J.Tavener, A.Skryabin – A.Nemtin, C.Orff, G.Gladkov, V.Tarnopolskiy, K.Stockhausen. Moreover, the ensemble took part in the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition and the I International competition for young pianists Grand Piano Competition, presented five annual educational concert cycle “Stories with the Orchestra”. The orchestra visited numerous cities in Russia, Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Spain, Turkey and China.

Starting in January 2016, the orchestra has been working on a special project, which is aimed on supporting professional composing, that involves close collaboration with modern Russian authors. Aleksander Vustin is the first composer in residence of the orchestra.

The orchestra was granted the honorary title “academic” for the exceptional creative achievements in 1972 and received the Order of the Red Banner of Labour in 1986. In 2006, 2011 and 2017 the ensemble was rewarded with Presidential commendations.

Vladimir Jurowski
Born in 1972 in Moscow, Vladimir Jurowski is a representative of a Russian musical dynasty: he is a son of conductor Michail Jurowski, grandson of composer Vladimir Jurowski, and great-grandson of conductor David Block (a founder of the State Cinema Symphony Orchestra). He received his musical education at the Music College of the Moscow Conservatory, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler (Berlin), and Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber (Dresden).

Jurowski was trained in conducting by his father and, later, by Alexander von Brück, Rolf Reuter, and Sir Colin Davis, and served as assistant conductor to Gennady Rozhdestvensky. In 1995 he made his triumphant international debut at the Wexford Festival Opera conducting Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night. After that, Jurowski was a guest conductor at some of the world’s major theaters, including Covent Garden (London), Opéra Bastille (Paris), The Metropolitan Opera (New York), Komische Oper (Berlin), Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Teatro alla Scala (Milan), and the Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow). He conducted leading symphony orchestras such as the Vienna, Berlin, and New York Philharmonics; the Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and Cleveland Symphony Orchestras; the Staatskapelle Dresden; the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester; the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; and many others. From 2001 to 2013 he was the Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and from 2005 to 2009 he served as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Russian National Orchestra. Since 2007 he is the Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra as well as one of the three Principal Artists of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (sharing this title with Sir Simon Rattle and Ivan Fisher). Since 2009 Jurowski also collaborates with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

In 2011 Jurowski stepped into position of the Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov”. With the orchestra he performed at the festivals The Art Plaza (Saint Petersburg) and Another Space (Moscow), at the 3rd Russian Symphonic Forum (Yekaterinburg), in concerts dedicated to the memory of Evgeny Svetlanov and to the 100th anniversary of the World War I; at symphonic gatherings for students of Moscow University and the Gnesin Academy of Music. The concerts took placev in various cities of Russia and Germany. Moreover, together with the orchestra, Jurowski performed world premieres of the opera King Lear by S. Slonimsky, Lukeria’s songs by A. Vustin and Delusion by S. Prokofiev in G. Gladkov’s orchestration and Russian premieres of V. Silvestrov’s Symphony No. 3, R. Shchedrin’s Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament, Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 5 and No. 9 in Mahler’s re-orchestration, Orff’s opera Prometheus, Scriabin’s Preparation for the Final Mystery in Alexander Nemtin’s realization, and Gennady Gladkov’s musical An Ordinary Miracle in a version for soloists, choir, and symphony orchestra. In 2012, at Jurowski’s initiative, the Music College of the Moscow Conservatory revived its traditional New Students Induction Ceremony (the annual event that takes place at the Tchaikovsky House-Museum in the town of Klin, with the participation of the State Orchestra). In 2016 at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall he presented his forth annual educational concert cycle Vladimir Jurowski Conducts and Narrates.

Jurowski carried out musical direction of the staging of W. A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte; R. Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, and Parsifal; G. Verdi’s Otello, Falstaff, and Macbeth; M. Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov, P. Tchaikovsky’s Evgeny Onegin and The Queen of Spades; R. Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Frau ohne Schatten; L. Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen; I. Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; A. Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron; A. Berg’s Wozzeck; S. Prokofiev The Fiery Angel; V. Martynov’s Vita Nuova, and others.

Jurowski’s discography includes symphonies by L. van Beethoven’s, J. Brahms, P. Tchaikovsky, G. Mahler, D. Shostakovich, A. Schnittke; symphonic works by J. Haydn, R. Wagner, R. Strauss, S. Rachmaninov, M. Ravel, G. Holst, A. Honegger, and B. Britten, J. Anderson; operas by E. Humperdinck, G. Rossini, G. Meyerbeer, J. Massenet, G. Puccini, S. Rachmaninov, S. Prokofiev, A. Semenov and others.

In 2000 Jurowski was awarded the Abbiati Prize for Conductor of the Year; in 2015 he won BBC Music Magazine Award for his recording of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg; in 2007 he was named Conductor of the Year at the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards; and in both 2012 and 2014 the Russian newspaper Musical Review named him the Person of the Year. In 2013 he was nominated for a Grammy Award. Critics emphasize the grand scale of his artistic vision, his finely interpretations, and his dedication to educational activities

In 2016 Jurowski was awarded Honorary Doctorate of the Royal College of Music (London) and Honorary Professorship of the Moscow State University.

Booklet for Prokofiev: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3

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