Symphonies Nos. 2, 4 (second version) (2018)

Prokofiev

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

James Gaffigan

The Dutch composer, music journalist and novelist Elmer Schonberger once described the Second Symphony as a sub-genre of a primarily psychological nature, albeit with considerable stylistic consequences: in a first symphony, a composer will more or less reflect the traditions from which he comes, and in a second he will deliberately break away from them.

Prokofiev’s Second, composed eight years after the First, appears to be a defiant ode to the modern era, witnessed by the layers of mechanically persistent rhythms, expressionist harmonies, ostensibly unfathomable forms and its very expansive take on tonality. The work was premiered in Paris in 1925, conducted by Serge Koussevitsky.

Prokofiev decided to revise his Fourth Symphony, Op. 47, after the successful premieres of his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. The original four movements remained largely intact, but the changes say a great deal about his style at that point. The first alteration was to insert or expand some passages that were predominantly reflective, with a strong emphasis on melody. Another example is the attempt to align the scale more closely with what was required by Social Realism, in which the neo-classical is overlaid with a considerable dose of heroism and sometimes even bombast. The association of Op. 112 with Social Realism subsequently proved to be an obstacle to its acceptance in the West.

Once again, James Gaffigan interprets these works with incredible candor and dazzling aplomb.

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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. 2, 4 (second version) (2018)

Prokofiev

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

Cables: Siltech Mono-Crystal Cabling
Digital Converters: dCS, Merging Technologies
Loudspeakers: Avalon Acoustics
Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Microphones: Sonodore
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Bert van der Wolf - Northstar Recording Services BV
Recording location: Studio 5, Muziekcentrum van de Omroep, Hilversum, The Netherlands - Symphony 2 – 23-25 August 2016 - Symphony 4 – 2-4 March 2015

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CC72779: Symphonies Nos. 2, 4 (second version)
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Tracks.
1.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor - Allegro ben articolato
Prokofiev
00:11:26   Select quality & channels above
2.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor - Theme - Andante
Prokofiev
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3.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor - Variation 1 - L?istesso tempo
Prokofiev
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4.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor - Variation 2 - Allegro non troppo
Prokofiev
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5.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor - Variation 3 - Allegro
Prokofiev
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6.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor - Variation 4 - Larghetto
Prokofiev
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7.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor - Variation 5 - Allegro con brio
Prokofiev
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8.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor - Variation 6 - Allegro moderato
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9.
Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 in D Minor - Theme
Prokofiev
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10.
Symphony No. 4 (second version) Op. 112 in C Major - Andante ? Allegro eroico
Prokofiev
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11.
Symphony No. 4 (second version) Op. 112 in C Major - Andante tranquillo
Prokofiev
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12.
Symphony No. 4 (second version) Op. 112 in C Major - Moderato, quasi allegretto
Prokofiev
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13.
Symphony No. 4 (second version) Op. 112 in C Major - Allegro risoluto
Prokofiev
00:10:25   Select quality & channels above

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