Prokofiev: Classical Symphony; Britten: Simple Symphony; Bizet: Symphony in C
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
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Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Genre: Classical

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performs with the cohesion of a string quartet; the lack of a conductor somehow results in internal communication that results in performances that are balanced, insightful, and gleamingly beautiful.

A very fine programming idea, one of including three symphonies that quote classical modes, works extremely well. The Prokofiev 'Classical Symphony' is played with brisk tempi, witty strains, and smooth 'passion' where each is indicated. The performance of Britten's string symphony composed when Britten was but twenty years old is anything but a Simple Symphony as the title suggests. This is a complex work based on songs of Britten's youth remembered with tenderness but written with advanced techniques, many of which suggest just how great a composer he would become. Orpheus performs with utter commitment and a lush string sound.

If the Bizet is the weakest of these three it is more because of the quality of writing than the quality of performance. It simply is not in the same category as the others, but again Orpheus makes if sound finer than any other recording. This is one of those 'must own' CDs for every music lover's library.
Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, December 05

Symphonie Classique op.25: Allegro
Symphonie Classique op.25: Larghetto
Symphonie Classique op.25: Gavotta: Non troppo allegro
Symphonie Classique op.25: Finale: Molto vivace
Simple Symphony op.4: Boisterous Bourree
Simple Symphony op.4: Playful Pizzicato
Simple Symphony op.4: Sentimental Saraband
Simple Symphony op.4: Frolicsome Finale
Symphony In C Major: Allegro vivo
Symphony In C Major: Adagio
Symphony In C Major: Scherzo: Allegro vivace
Symphony In C Major: Allegro vivace
Composer: Sergey Prokofiev
UPC: 28942362420