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The life of Sergey Prokofiev in seven symphonies – and in one of the first complete recordings.
Sergey Prokofiev’s seven symphonies reflect all the stylistic transformations along his artistic path – from a “modernist”, whose works echo the headlong development of music in the first two decades of the 20th century, to the mature creator of Symphony No. 7 (1951/52), characterised by melodiousness and freedom of expression.
While the Scythian Suite, with its harshly “barbarian” aggressiveness, is the work of a young innovator, the simple Haydn-like melody treatment and lucid texture of the First Symphony, which the twenty-five-year-old Prokofiev referred to as “Classical”, made it perhaps his most frequently performed work, one that anticipated the neo-Classical trend in modern music.
Despite Prokofiev’s endeavour to create new “great music” devoid of complexity and accessible to the people, his later compositions were constantly fiercely criticised for being “formalist”. Zdeněk Košler drew attention to his artistry by winning globally prestigious competitions (Besançon, New York), as well as by assisting Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic.
His Prokofiev with the Czech Philharmonic is one of the very first complete recordings of the composer’s symphonic works. The newly remastered sound confirms its timeless qualities.
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