Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.6 in E minor
Sergey Prokofiev: Symphony No.5 in B flat
Rich orchestral colours, melodic brilliance and a wide dramatic scope are features of both British and Russian 20th-century composers. When they turn their talents to the subject of war, the results have been spectacular.
Not often heard in London and described as the most 'European' of the great Russian orchestras due to their refined sound, the Russian National Orchestra under guest conductor Jurowski, take on two powerful symphonies born out of the Second World War.
Vaughan Williams' richly melodic work belies its composer's pastoral tendencies with music that cries out in violence and desperation. Whereas Prokofiev's war response created his most compelling, heroic orchestral work, a piece he said at the time was intended as 'a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit'.
'They played with such captivating beauty that the audience let out an involuntary sigh of pleasure at the end.' (London Evening Standard on the Russian National Orchestra)Performers
Russian National Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski conductor