Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5/ The Year 1941 (Naxos: 8.573029) (São Paulo State Symphony (OSESP)/ Marin Alsop)
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Written in 1944, Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony is one of his greatest and most complete symphonic statements. At its premiere he himself called it"a symphony of the grandeur of the human spirit". The first movement couples considerable strength with unexpected yet highly characteristic twists of melody. After a violent scherzo followed by a slow movement of sustained lyricism, with a fiercely dramatic middle section, the finale blazes with barely suppressed passion. The Year 1941 is another wartime work, a symphonic suite written in response to the German invasion of the Soviet Union. This is the first volume of a complete cycle of the Prokofiev Symphonies with the OSESP and Marin Alsop, the orchestra's newly appointed Principal Conductor.
Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. Her appointment as Principal Conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP), starting in 2012, marks another historic appointment for her. Having released more than fifty CDs, OSESP has become an inseparable part of Sao Paulo and Brazilian culture, promoting deep cultural and social transformations. In 2008 Gramophone magazine included OSESP in a list of three emerging orchestras to which attention should be paid.