Of Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonies, No 2 (1924-25) is arguably the most original. Neither a reworking of music from an opera (No 3) or ballet (No 4), nor a “Soviet” symphony (Nos 5 and 7), it is a shining example of his Modernist period, written not in Russia but in Paris. The two-movement form, modelled on that of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 111, consists of a tough Allegro , followed by an extended set of variations. Though dissonant and dynamic, the score also contains hints of the melodist behind the enfant terrible

Prokofiev

This performance captures both sides of that stylistic coin. The Cleveland has always been a great Prokofiev orchestra, and here we hear the same rhythmic precision and blazing colour familiar from their iconic recording of Romeo and Juliet under Lorin Maazel. Welser-Möst, Cleveland’s Music Director since 2002 (contracted until 2027) is in his prime, finding all the punch, lyricism, and atmosphere in this unusual score. It is a rare example in today’s world...