Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
The performance of the symphony is one of considerable power, more expansive than some but conceived with a judicious balance between emotional weight and structural cohesion…
the São Paulo has a great deal to offer in terms of energy, atmosphere, humanity and also technical accomplishment in those passages (notably in the finale) where Prokofiev taxed an orchestra’s togetherness. These are healthy qualities on which to build, and, as this is the first disc of a planned series of all the Prokofiev symphonies, Alsop is the ideal conductor to make it happen. *****
GEOFFREY NORRIS, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH (UK)
13th july 2012
…the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and its conductor Marin Alsop held my attention as never before…The Fifth Symphony comes up trumps in a dramatic yet highly polished performance…I was particularly impressed by how Alsop brings out the first movement’s characteristic power with a purposefulness that prevents it from seeming merely ponderous…Altogether, this first volume of Prokofiev is an outstanding achievement.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
…this is one of the most gorgeously engineered orchestra CDs to come my way in some time…Even if you have several Prokofiev Fifths, you need to make room for this one.
INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW
…this is the best recording of [The Year 1941] that I have heard…Alsop’s performance should go some way towards bringing it to the public’s attention. She injects the first movement with sufficient drama and the second movement – my favorite of the three – is poignant and touching. The orchestra sounds world class both here and in the symphony.
They are a fine orchestra and this is an electric performance of Prokofiev Five: it’s majestic, witty, characterful, fast, keen and lean.
MICHAEL TUMELTY, THE HERALD (SCOTLAND)
27th May 2012
Under the baton of its new chief conductor, Marin Alsop, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra proves that Brazilians do not excel only at football, with a new CD of works by Prokofiev on the Naxos label. This recording of Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony, with its incisive opening motif, is also opening a new aegis.
Marin Alsop, the orchestra’s director since March, pioneered the transformation of the orchestra and its audience. She appreciates the various possibilities and the creative, dynamic range in Sao Paulo and Latin America. The orchestra’s home is already overwhelming: the Sala Sao Paulo is a converted railway station, impressive not only for its acoustics, but also as a cultural oasis in which to recover from the megacity. (Almost) always sold out, it offers the opportunity for large groups of visitors to attend free open-air concerts on Sundays, newly commissioned works meet with great acceptance.