Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 (Classical); Symphony No. 6

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COMPOSERS: Prokofiev
WORKS: Symphony No. 1 (Classical); Symphony No. 6
PERFORMER: Berlin Philharmonic/Seiji Ozawa
A disc of two halves. Ozawa’s Classical zips along in fine style, relaxing for a gloriously suave account of the Larghetto and an appropriately whimsical Gavotte. The air of festivity is tangible. Not surprisingly the modernist rhetoric of the Sixth puts everyone in a more sober mood – though it is a shock that the renowned Berlin strings are not their usual infallibly silky selves. The usually resonant Berlin Jesus Christ Kirche on this occasion lends the Sixth an appropriate air of claustrophobia. Beside the poster-paint approach of Neeme Jarvi, Ozawa can seem a little introspective, but there is no arguing with the integrity of it all. Simon Cargill