Between 2014 and 2015, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and its chief conductor, Kirill Karabits, recorded the full cycle of Prokofiev’s symphonies for the Onyx label. The series also features some of the lesser-known works by the composer, including the Autumnal Sketch (1911), Sinfonietta in A Op.5/48 (1930), Symphony Fragment (1902), Dreams Op.6 (1910), and both Op.112 (1947) and Op.47 (1930) versions of his Symphony No.4.

Karabits said, While conducting Prokofiev’s music, it is impossible not to feel the unique trust the composer grants by leaving a huge part of the interpretation to the performer, rather than demanding that they should illustrate and respect what is notated in the score: I almost feel I am involved in the creative process myself.”

Written between 1902 and 1952 — over the five decades that spanned Prokofiev’s career — the symphonic works recorded in this complete cycle display the range of the composer’s contrasting styles. Nicholas Kenyon, during the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death in 2003, suggested that Prokofiev’s output ‘raises vitally important questions about music and politics, music and personality, music and identity.’(1)  Fast forward to 2021 and we continue to ponder the answers within this fascinating and varied music.

Listen to the BSO’s complete symphonic cycle:

Prokofiev Symphonies No.1 and No.2 (Onyx ONYX4129, 2014)
1-8. Symphony no.2 in D minor op.40
9-13. Sinfonietta in A op.5/48
14-17. Symphony no.1 in D op.25 ‘Classical’
18. Autumnal Sketch

Prokofiev Symphonies No.3 and No.7 (Onyx ONYX4137, 2014)
1-4 Symphony No.3 in C minor op.44
5-9 Symphony No.7 in C sharp minor op.131

Prokofiev Symphonies No.4 (Op.112) and No.6 (Onyx ONYX4153, 2015)
1-3 Symphony no.6 in E flat minor op.111
4. Symphony Fragment (1902)
5-8 Symphony no.4 in C op.112

Prokofiev Symphonies No.4 (Op.47) and No.5 (Onyx ONYX4147, 2015)
1-4 Symphony no.5 in B flat op.100
5-8 Symphony no.4 in C op.47
9 Dreams op.6 [Träume · Rêves]

Discover more: Classic FM’s 15 facts about Prokofiev, BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week ‘Prokofiev’