Prokofiev - Symphony no.5 | RCO Live RCO16002

Prokofiev - Symphony no.5


Usually available for despatch within 2-3 weeks

Label: RCO Live

Cat No: RCO16002

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 22nd April 2016



Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra


Mariss Jansons


Prokofiev, Sergei

Symphony no.5 in B flat major, op.100


Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra


Mariss Jansons


In this recording of Sergei Prokofiev's masterful Fifth Symphony, Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra find themselves on familiar ground. Already in 1948 (four years after the world premiere) Eduard van Beinum introduced it to the orchestra. A long line of famous conductors followed, including André Previn, George Szell, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Valery Gergiev. The fact that this music is part of Mariss Jansons' musical DNA, may explain the feeling of authenticity in this recording.

Recorded live at Concertgebouw Amsterdam on 17-19 and 21 September 2014

"Jansons conducted as if his life depended on it. The performance was threatening, rough, energetic - even manic. This was about truth rather than splendor." - Thiemo Wind, De Telegraaf

"Jansons conducted a refreshingly optimistic performance of Prokofiev that made me change my opinion of the Symphony no.5 in B minor. The encouraging, uplifting spirits in the Andante came alive with beautiful nuance. The brass offered their most brilliant colours; even the tuba had its moment of glory. In playful mood, the Allegro marcato connected to the Shostakovich’s Allegro con brio in the piano concerto. In rapid tempo, each instrument helped develop the playful melody: it was like a game of tag. In the third movement Adagio, Jansons finally exhibited how threatening and broodingly Russian the RCO can sound. After that preceding gravitas, the quiet opening of the final movement’s Allegro giocoso offered another moment of touching pianissimo. Slowly all the sections followed Prokofiev’s light-hearted melody and continued the optimistic towards the triumphant finale." -


We get beautiful playing from the great Dutch orchestra: lines unfolding graciously with that majestic Concertgebouw sound, which glowers and glows from the bottom up and in which Jansons takes plenty of time to wallow. Tempos are august but never drag, so long as you sit back and accept the pacing. There’s a grandeur to the architecture centring around a third movement that plays out like a noble collective confessional. Don’t expect quick thrills or biting wit; this is a Prokofiev Five built on gravitas and reflection, and for that it is glorious.  Kate Molleson

The Guardian 22 April 2016

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