The Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra performs Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony No.1 in D major, Op.25 ("Classical"). The concert was recorded at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, California, United States, on October 4, 2015.
Prokofiev's Symphony No.1 represents the composer's earliest mature effort in a genre he returned to time and again for the remainder of his career. Though the symphony received a warm reception in Russia and abroad – and remains one of the composer's most frequently programmed works – Prokofiev's attitude toward it remained ambiguous, vacillating between dismissive and defensive.
The First Symphony is especially intriguing in light of the view of Prokofiev as a leading figure of the Russian avant-garde in the early decades of the twentieth century. The work's anachronistic "Classical" moniker seems particularly apt in respect to a number of its features. The symphony is in a familiar four-movement form, the two fast outer movements (Allegro and Vivace, respectively) bracketing a slow movement (Larghetto) and one inspired by a stylized dance (Gavotto); its textures are economical, its scoring appropriate to an orchestra of the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century; and it is of a decidely lighthearted, even humorous character, much in the spirit of the symphonies of Haydn. Indeed, it should be noted that the "Classical" subtitle was Prokofiev's own; scholar R.D. Darell has suggested that the composer may have chosen it partly to describe the work's character, partly because he hoped that the work would one day become a classic, and partly out of pure mischief directed at critics. (In regard to the last, Prokofiev wrote that he meant to "tease the geese.")
Though the symphony is at times sharply dissonant, it maintains a steadfastly tonal basis. Certainly, the "Classical" model is stretched in the work's harmonic language, which is marked by Prokofiev's characteristic ambiguous cadences and sudden shifts between tonal centers. Still, the work retains many of the trappings of Viennese Classicism, from the sonata-allegro form of the first movement, to the Mozartean gavotte and trio of the third, to the exuberant, witty finale. Despite the suggestion of its title, the "Classical" Symphony is not really neo-Classical along the lines of contemporaneous works by Stravinsky, but rather a work of elegant simplicity that evokes the spirit of high Viennese Classicism filtered through the more adventurous sensibilities of Prokofiev's own musical language.
Source: Alexander Carpenter (allmusic.com)
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
♪ Symphony No.1 in D major, Op.25 "Classical Symphony" (1916-1917)
i. Allegro [00:00]*
ii. Intermezzo. Larghetto [04:22]
iii. Gavotte. Non troppo allegro [08:27]
iv. Finale. Molto vivace [09:55]
Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra
Zipper Hall at the Colburn School, Los Angeles, California, United States, October 4, 2015
* Start time of each movement
Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra: About
Vision. We envision a world where our commitment to a collaborative artistic process results in profound orchestral performances that inspire people to pursue cooperation and artistry in their own creative, professional and personal lives.
Mission. Kaleidoscope is a conductorless chamber orchestra dedicated to enriching lives through exhilarating concert experiences, artistic excellence, musician leadership, and connecting with the diverse communities of Los Angeles.
• We believe that our collective of musicians has ideas that are worthy of respect and consideration; that each member has a voice worth hearing; that every person, given the chance and tools, can help to create great art.
• We believe that pursuing a democratic process within the orchestra will improve the quality of the performance, fulfill the collective vision of the ensemble, and create a unique experience not found in traditional orchestras.
• We believe in developing an infrastructure that supports, empowers, and values its musicians.
• We believe in bringing our performances and artistic process to audiences who have little or no exposure to symphonic music with the belief that the experience will enrich the lives of both the audience and the performers.
Artistic Intent. We perform orchestral music that speaks profoundly to our community and is both representative of its time and timeless, whether written today or centuries ago. We stretch the boundaries for what is thought possible without a conductor, both by musicians and audiences, to allow us all to grow through the process. We regularly collaborate with living composers because their music represents our time. We design programs that explore less conventional concert experiences and allow audiences to feel more personally connected to music and the musicians who perform it.
Community Engagement and Education. Kaleidoscope is committed to music education for all ages and is happy to offer a "pay what you can" model to eliminate the barrier of a set ticket price. We want everyone in Los Angeles to have the opportunity to experience great classical music in person by a professional orchestra, think about what that experience means, and pay what makes them happy. We also perform many additional free concerts in schools, hospitals, shelters, and other underserved parts of our community.
We recently started a music education program at a title I elementary school in Culver City, providing music instruction to 200 students each week. With additional funding, we are planning to expand this program to other grades and other schools in the future. Not only do we want every child in Los Angeles to love listening to music, we want every child to have the opportunity to read, play, and write music, too.
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