- Symphony No. 1 in D major ("Classical"), Op. 25
- Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100
If Mozart or Haydn had been alive in 1918, they might have written a work like Prokofiev's "Classical" Symphony -- at least, that was the composer's intention. Penned with an audible wink, this symphony -- Prokofiev's first -- is a brilliant and effervescent homage to a bygone era. Turning to the Fifth Symphony, you might feel you're hearing the music of a different composer. Written during the final months of the Second World War, Prokofiev's Fifth reflects the tensions, fears, disillusionment, and guarded optimism of its time -- although the composer provided a more upbeat synopsis to please the Soviet authorities. Darkly scored and primarily lyrical, it contains a sardonic, machinelike scherzo and a deeply moving slow movement whose high, aching violin line is as tragic an utterance as can be found in all of music. Under the spell of Herbert von Karajan's baton, the Berlin Philharmonic could sometimes play too prettily for such dark and serious stuff. But here, underneath the polished surface, the intensity burns.