Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 (The Year 1941/ Symphony No. 5) (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra/ Marin Alsop) (Naxos Blu Ray Audio: NBD0031)
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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.
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