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It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

RE: Oh wait! Prokofiev's Seventh Symphony was completed in 1952!

I can go with either ending. I think a lot depends on how the rest of the symphony is conducted and whether the conductor wants to bring out the irony that I hear in the music or the gloom. Was this the first stereo recording? According to The Gramophone both the 1st and 7th symphonies were recorded by Nicolai Malko in February 1955 as EMI's first stereo recordings intended for commercial release. The 2-track stereo tapes were released in 10-1955 (1st) and 8-1956 (7th).

Malko was Russian. His recording was made only a few years after the work's composition. The recording is excellent and belies its age. It's a bit distant, but has fine detailed string sound, a wide dynamic range, and good top and bottom in the frequency response. The important tuba part is easy to hear. The sound expands nicely at climaxes. Malko doesn't let the tempo drag in the 1st movement and keeps the texture light to avoid any excessive gloominess. The 2nd movement is quickly and powerfully conducted, the 3rd lyrical and simple. In the final movement he sets a very brisk tempo and chooses the "happy" ending. The last bars are accelerated slightly. The ending seems appropriate. I like to think there is something authentically Russian in this performance. I have other recordings, but none I prefer more than this one. Surely this work belongs on the list. Thanks for mentioning it, Chris.

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