Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Opus 100

Sergei Prokofiev's 5th Symphony, written in 1944 during the Second World War, ranks as his main symphonic work. On the one hand it is a document of Prokofiev's allegiance to the Soviet society and musical æsthetic, while on the other it goes far beyond that, using the means of socialistic realism not only to evoke a heroic-emotional human image, but also to reveal a genuine humanistic approach. Prokofiev himself had described the work as a symphony "celebrating the greatness of the human spirit" and as a "song for a free and happy person". The symphony is just as effective in its orchestration as in its melodic characteristics, which is why, ever since its first performances in 1945 in Moscow and soon thereafter in Boston and Paris, it became one of the best known and most popular of Prokofiev´s orchestral works.