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Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4

Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Jarvi , Prokofiev Sergey Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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1. Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.44: Moderato
2. Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.44: Andante
3. Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.44: Allegro Agitato
4. Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.44: Andante Mosso - Allegro Agitato
5. Symphony No.4 In C Major, Op.47 (Original 1930 Version): Andante Assai - Allegro Eroico
6. Symphony No.4 In C Major, Op.47 (Original 1930 Version): Andante Tranquillo
7. Symphony No.4 In C Major, Op.47 (Original 1930 Version): Moderato, Quasi Allegretto
8. Symphony No.4 In C Major, Op.47 (Original 1930 Version): Allegro Risoluto

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That these symphonies are not more famous than they are simply amazes me. Prokofiev understood the nature of symphonic writing, and after the dainty cuteness of Symphony 1, he was ready to make his own mark. The Symphony 3 (1929) begins with a brash sense of alarm, then becomes quieter, more operatic in nature. And the composer's weird clashing harmonies are throughout the piece. Two versions of the Symphony 4 (1940) exist. This is the original version, which is shorter than the latter 1940 version. Neeme Järvi and the SNO have recorded the entire series for Chandos, and these are the ones to have. --Paul Cook.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy Now Jan. 24 2002
Format:Audio CD
Seriously, if you have never heard Symphony #3, you must purchase this disk. Stravinsky idolized Tchaikovsky's immense lyricism. When Prokofiev is at his best, the result is a chimera of the two (to me, the piece Le Baiser de la Fee that Stravinsky finished for Tchaikovsky sounds like Prokofiev). Symphony 3 is probably the best example of Prokofiev's immense genius in fusing these disparate elements. The first movement is centered around a dark, hypnotic circular theme that bursts out like an explosion at the start of the piece, fading rapidly into a more assuring subtheme which is quickly dismissed by quivering strings and then a long descent into madness which is capped in an outrageous conclusion to the first movement, followed by one of the most hauntingly beautiful second movements in all music.
As was noted elsewhere, Prokofiev poached this music from his opera 'The Fiery Angel' when, after 10 years, he was unable to get it staged. The opera is about a woman who keeps having visions and she can't tell if they are an angel or the devil. The music lives up to this lofty billing, alternately mixing the beatific and the infernal, until it ends in a mad, farcical romp. On the very short list of works you can't live without...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Jan. 17 2001
By John
Format:Audio CD
Both of the symphonies on this disc are based on material from other works. The 3rd uses material from Prokofiev's opera 'The Fiery Angel' (which is, in my opinion, one of his most outstanding works), and the 4th is constructed of unused material from his ballet 'The Prodigal Son'. If you enjoy either of these works, you will enjoy these symphonies. That being said, if you've never heard the ballet or the opera these are two incredible (and underrated) symphonies that can more than hold their own. Jarvi shows off his true talent for conducting Prokofiev, bringing unsurpassed lyricism to the slow movements, and chaotic, yet clear intensity to the terrifyingly sinister dissonances of the 3rd. The Scottish National Orchestra is an extremely capable partner. The sound is crisp and clear and very loud. If you're a fan of Prokofiev, 20th century music or great symphonies I strongly urge you to purchase this disc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars six stars if they had them to give! Jan. 21 2001
Format:Audio CD
All of the positive writing above is right as far I am concerned. The 3rd is crazy, insanely beautiful. The man froze me in my chair in the 1st movement!(and it went that way to the end) Many composers seemed to have been great artist, this guy was a kind of musical magicman! The 4th revised is much more fluid and dramatic than the first 4th. It's got more of the most beautiful music you'll ever hear.You can get it with the 1st. symphony. Jarvi and the Scottish Royal are all one cold dream. Words to discribe #3- violent,brutal,ellegant,magical,dreamy,jazz,sinful etc etc! Caution: if you do not enjoy some atonalness or music with "many" unusual shifts to many different themes, this may not be your bag!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Reflection to Prokovief's Sym. No.3 Sept. 23 2001
Format:Audio CD
I ordered this cd shortly before the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. I have since listened to the 3rd Symphony over and over. It seems to reflect so much of my own emotional turmoil following these horrific events. The crashing alarm of the openning, the soft quizzical lament of the ensueing theme, the brutal brassy vengeful march, the anxiety of the restlessly scurrying strings, the mystical other-worldly searching that also seems present in the first movement: all this makes this symphony one of the few pieces of music that I turn to in the face of these shattering assaults on peace and normalcy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Nov. 15 2001
Format:Audio CD
Neeme Jarvi's grasp of Prokofiev's music is astounding. This CD is one of a collection on Chandos of all of Prokofiev's symphonies. First the recoding quality is Chandos which is second to none and worth every penny. Secondly both Orchestra and conducter are committed to this biting saterical sometimes brutal and sometimes gloriously beautiful work. The smashing opening bars propel you into a dark and somber world. The ending is even more shattering. In between is vintage melodic Prokofiev. Get this. Get them all if they are Chandos and Neeme Jarvi....
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