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Naxos Featured CDs

PROKOFIEV, S.: Symphony No. 7 / Lieutenant Kijé Suite / The Love for Three Oranges (excerpts)

Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891–1953)
Symphony No. 7
Lieutenant Kijé – Suite
March and Scherzo from ‘The Love for Three Oranges’

São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop
Listen to TRACK 2:
Symphony No. 7 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 131: II. Allegretto

Sergey Prokofiev’s final years were clouded by ill-health, and the Seventh Symphony was his last significant work, full of poignant nostalgia and restrained but deeply expressed emotion. The Love for Three Oranges consolidated Prokofiev’s reputation in the West in the 1920s, both this and the satirical tale of Lieutenant Kijé producing two of his most popular suites. This is the final volume of the acclaimed cycle of Prokofiev’s Symphonies with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop.


SAINT-SAËNS, C.: Cello and Orchestra Works - Cello Concertos Nos. 1, 2 / Suite in D Minor / Romance

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Works for Cello and Orchestra
Cello Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
Allegro appassionato • Romance
The Swan • Suite in D minor

Gabriel Schwabe, Cello
Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Marc Soustrot
Listen to TRACK 1:
Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33

Composed during a period of social readjustment in post-war France, the First Cello Concerto marked Saint-Saëns’ acceptance as a composer among the establishment, and has long been one of his most admired works. Recognition for the fiendishly technical Second Cello Concerto took longer, although its tranquil central movement contains one of the most sublime melodies Saint-Saëns ever wrote. The supremely famous Le Cygne appears alongside the less well-known Bach-inspired Suite in D minor, and with the inclusion of the Romance this programme contains Saint-Saëns’s complete works for cello and orchestra.


BIZET, G.: Carmen Suites Nos. 1, 2 / L'Arlésienne Suites Nos. 1, 2

Georges BIZET (1838–1875)
Carmen Suites
L’Arlésienne Suites

Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Pablo González

Listen to TRACK 11:
Carmen Suite No. 2: V. La garde montante

Despite the scandal it created when first staged in 1875, Carmen has subsequently become one of the world’s most popular operas. The love affair at its heart shocked contemporary audiences but the music is imperishably vibrant and exciting – so much so that, after the composer’s death, his friend Ernest Guiraud arranged two suites from the opera. Here the Toreador’s Song and the graphically sensuous Seguidilla and Habanera dances are heard in all their orchestral glory. The two suites from L’Arlésienne contain music of great charm and refined elegance.


BRIAN, H.: Symphonies Nos. 8, 21, 26

Havergal BRIAN (1876–1972)
Symphonies Nos. 8, 21 and 26

New Russia State Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Walker

Listen to TRACK 7:
Symphony No. 26: II. Allegro moderato e grazioso - Giocoso


Each of the three symphonies on this recording represents a significant milestone in Havergal Brian’s long musical journey, and each demonstrates the breadth of his symphonic approach. No. 8 was the first of Brian’s symphonies to be performed and is one of his most gripping and unpredictable, full of sonic invention. Behind the more apparently genial and expansive No. 21 lies profound emotional complexity, while No. 26 embodies elements of a divertimento though it retains disquieting outbursts. Gramophone wrote of the previous Brian recording by these forces (8.573408): “The New Russia State Symphony Orchestra do the music proud.” This issue completes the commercial recording of all 32 of Brian’s symphonies.




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