- Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111
- Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100
Sakari Oramo's 2012 release on Ondine presents Sergey Prokofiev's "Symphony No. 5 in B flat major" and his "Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor," which receive energetic and propulsive performances by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. These works were composed during the closing years of the Second World War and reflect both the valiant struggles and the immense tragedy experienced by the people of the Soviet Union. Musically, they demonstrate the maturation of Prokofiev's style on his return to Russia, in which he blended a more melodic Romanticism with the modernist elements of his earlier period. Under Oramo's baton, these are up-tempo performances that seem somewhat faster than other renditions, and there is little of the grandiose in the interpretations. Prokofiev's music is often enigmatic and expressively ambiguous, and it's valid that Oramo should emphasize the sardonic and mercurial aspects over the elegiac or heroic, though all these elements can be found in these symphonies. While the music seems to zip right along effortlessly, the performances are still quite rich and deep sounding, and the recorded sound showcases the orchestra in all its vibrant tone colors and powerful dynamics.