Prokofiev: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5
Label: Linn Records
ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA SONDERGARD
Thomas Søndergård’s sophomore album as Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra marks his first recording devoted to the symphony with the orchestra. Søndergård conducts an all-Prokofiev programme juxtaposing two contrasting symphonies: Symphony No. 1 in D major ‘Classical’ and Symphony No. 5 in B flat major. Prokofiev delights in paying homage to Haydn in his neo-classical masterpiece; its characterful melodies, freshness and overall joie de vivre have established Symphony No. 1 as enduringly popular. The Scotsman awarded the concert performed live in the 2018/19 season five stars, commenting that ‘the detail in this performance was breathtaking’. In contrast the Fifth Symphony was forged in the flames of war, and dedicated, Prokofiev said, to ‘the greatness of the human spirit’. Following a concert performance, The Herald commented, ‘This was the conductor at his most energetic and impassioned, and it drew a corresponding performance from the orchestra.’ Prokofiev has been a key focus for Søndergård since 2016 and the conductor has announced plans to complete a symphonic cycle over four seasons with his orchestra.