Symphonies nos. 6 and 7 (2016)

Prokofiev

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

James Gaffigan

Prokofiev wrote his Sixth Symphony almost straight after the Fifth. The Sixth is quite different from the Fifth, despite the success of the latter at its premiere, which the composer himself conducted in January 1945. Where the mood of the Fifth is triumphant and heroic (the Nazis had almost succumbed to defeat by this stage), the Sixth is more elegiac, less compact and more diffuse. Opinions differ widely on the work’s form; the Russian musicologist Nestiev, one of Prokofiev’s first biographers and of course toeing the Party line as he wrote, argued that the composer had swapped over the exposition and development in the first movement. If this is true, it may explain why the opening seems like a bombardment of motifs tumbling over each other, so that the surfeit of themes only gradually gives way to a semblance of order as the movement progresses. 

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James Gaffigan

Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding American conductors working today. James Gaffigan is currently the Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also appointed the Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne in September 2013, a position that was created for him. 

In addition to these titled positions, James Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan’s guest engagements have included the Munich, London, Dresden and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsches Symphony-Orchestra (Berlin), Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchester, Zurich, Bournemouth Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Sydney Symphony. In the States, he has worked with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, San Francisco and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra among others.

Born in New York City in 1979, Mr. Gaffigan has degrees from both the New England Conservatory of Music and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. He also studied at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, and was a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.

In 2009, Mr. Gaffigan completed a three-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony in a position specially created for him. Prior to that appointment, he was the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra where he worked under Music Director Franz Welser-Möst from 2003 through 2006. James Gaffigan’s international career was launched when he was named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. 

photo: cover CC72779 (Challenge)

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Symphonies nos. 6 and 7 (2016)

Prokofiev

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

    Stereophile Magazine

"These releases in a projected cycle of all of Prokofiev's symphonies are blockbusters. First, James Gaffigan's view of these works is passionate. This is Prokofiev with weight and wit. The Netherlands RPO carries it all off with power and precision. The engineering by Bert van der Wolf is spectacular, with a spacious soundstage and formidable bass."

Kal Rubinson's Recordings In The Round column in Stereophile Magazine[read full review]

Symphonies nos. 6 and 7 (2016)

Prokofiev

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

Cables: Siltech
Digital Converters: dCS
Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Mastering Equipment: Avalon
Microphones: Sonodore
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording location: MCO Hilversum, The Netherlands
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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CC72714: Symphonies nos. 6 and 7
01:12:52   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Symphony no. 6 in E-flat minor op. 111- I. Allegro moderato
Prokofiev
00:15:04   Select quality & channels above
2.
Symphony no. 6 in E-flat minor op. 111- II. Largo
Prokofiev
00:14:03   Select quality & channels above
3.
Symphony no. 6 in E-flat minor op. 111- III. Vivace
Prokofiev
00:11:40   Select quality & channels above
4.
Symphony no. 7 in C-sharp minor op. 138 - I. Moderato
Prokofiev
00:09:39   Select quality & channels above
5.
Symphony no. 7 in C-sharp minor op. 138 - II. Allegretto
Prokofiev
00:08:05   Select quality & channels above
6.
Symphony no. 7 in C-sharp minor op. 138 - III. Andante espressivo
Prokofiev
00:05:36   Select quality & channels above
7.
Symphony no. 7 in C-sharp minor op. 138 - IV. Vivace
Prokofiev
00:08:45   Select quality & channels above

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