Sergey Prokofiev's Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor bears a strong resemblance to the Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, both in style and orchestration, yet it has neither been as popular with audiences nor as frequently recorded. This SACD from Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra performs a great service for the Sixth, not only by presenting the piece with bold tone colors, a wide dynamic range, and spacious mutichannel sound, but for adding a deeply sympathetic interpretation to the catalog. As one of Prokofiev's wartime symphonies, the Sixth is at times rather martial in character and full of conflict, particularly in the struggle of the first movement, though it has a strong elegiac feeling that dominates the second movement, and a contrasting playfulness that runs through the finale, strongly reminiscent of the Fifth. For the sake of attracting new listeners, Litton includes two perennial favorites, Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé Suite and the suite from The Love for Three Oranges, which also receive fine performances by the Bergen Philharmonic. Because BIS recorded these performances with state-of-the-art direct stream digital technology, the reproduction is clear and vivid, with a great sense of presence and dimensions.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111|
|Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op. 60|
|The Love for Three Oranges, suite, Op. 33b|