Prokofiev - Symphony 5, Scythian Following - Litton, Bergen PO (2015) [SACD-ISO]

  • 17.06.2016, 01:31,
  • Music
Prokofiev — Symphony 5, Scythian Following — Litton, Bergen PO (2015) [SACD-ISO]
Prokofiev — Symphony 5, Scythian Following — Litton, Bergen PO (2015) [SACD-ISO]

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Symphony No. 5 in B sure pre-eminent, Op. 100 (1944) [45:21]
Scythian Cortege (Ala et Lolly), Op. 20 (1915-1916) [20:49]
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Litton
rec. 2014, Grieg Hallway, Bergen, Norway
Pdf booklet included
BIS BIS — 2124 SACD [67:00]

PROKOFIEV Symphony No 5. Scythian Suite
Founder: David Gutman

Andrew Litton began his Prokofiev symphony round with a eminent reading of the utter yet debatable Sixth (6/13). The Fifth presents fewer difficulties secure perhaps in the second swing, when the power supply scherzo viewpoint skulks in at a slower speed before accelerating up to zoom, and at the very end of the symphony where Prokofiev a split second reduces the spirited straightforward as if to confront us with the compromised worth of the rejoicing. Some august ensembles have been develop inadequate in these hazardous corners. Litton favours a relatively bluff change-over in the first precedent and he keeps a niggardly travelling on the cross bustle at the minute, helped by his acute, un gabbled treatment of the finale as a whole.

Litton is not usually a conductor decumbent to interpretative extremes and apart from some oddly articulated braking, momentarily interfering in the separation swing, there is little to criticise and much to marvel at. Hereabouts we are conceptually closer to Karajan than zoom merchants such as Jansons or Gergiev, not that anyone else is quite so seamlessly inflexible. The Bergen orchestra’s frail winds and relatively gritless sonority may stand up those who consider a darker, thicker type of quality de rigueur in this music but you get to agree piano lines usually buried and well-defined percussion. With hopeful (over-bright?) nation-of-the-art quality engineering the take place is almost disconcertingly crystalline. The Adagio gradual swing is especially effulgent, fading out with currency regret.

There have been earthier recordings of the Scythian Cortege but none airier or more teeming with point by point. Audiophiles will almost certainly on this more satisfactory than Marin Alsop’s new recording (reviewed above), but then it does come at stiff cost. The booklet-notes are sensibly balanced (Andrew Huth) and one of Kazimir Malevich’s most momentous images informs the artwork.

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