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 Search Beat > The Music Beat > Classical Music > Featured Composer > Sergei Prokofiev > Concerti Recommendations


recommended recordings
·     Concerti
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Prokofiev, Shostakovich: Violin Concertos no 1 / Rostropovich, Vengerov
Composer: Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Performer: Maxim Vengerov
Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
Wea/Atlantic/Teldec - #92256 / November 8, 1994

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With his brilliant tone, flawlessly centered intonation, jaw-dropping technique, and exquisitely beautiful phrasing, Maxim Vengerov is ideal in this repertory. His sparkling account of the Prokofiev conveys the music's mercurial shifts of color and mood with great élan, and turns wonderfully evocative in the ethereal pages. The interpretation of the Shostakovich is equally fine--strongly characterized and imaginative, haunting in its beauty. The young soloist is ably partnered by Mstislav...Read more


  Prokofiev: The 5 Piano Concertos / Ashkenazy, Previn

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: André Previn
Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy
Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
Uni/Philips - #452588 / August 26, 1997

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This version is really spectacular. Obviously the best known concertos are No 1 and 3. All of them suggest an aura of strangeness and beauty just at the beginning of a century (1900) which is perceived plenty of contradictions and hope though (no matter if after all, finally resulted in one of the more violent centuries out of the human history). Keep in mind that these concerts where ambiented during the pre (or in fact) revolutionary times of former Soviet Union. Vladimir Ashkenazy performs intense, fresh and decisive staccatos, attaccos and ostinatos with dynamic development of the themes not allowing any mannerism or the boring relentless of other excessive romantic versions of these concerts. The repetition of themes is performed so excellently that you can caption each one with their own personalities and singularities. The development of the themes flows easily and smoothly.

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no 5, etc / Sviatoslav Richter
Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Witold Rowicki
Performer: Sviatoslav Richter
Ensemble: Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Uni/Deutsche Grammophon - #449744 / June 10, 1997

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Sviatoslov Richter was a friend of the composer, and he played all of this music in Prokofiev's presence. His performances have since acquired almost cult status among pianists--a reputation they richly deserve. The Fifth Piano Concerto is a pithy, technically difficult work in five short movements, which Richter plays as though he had composed them himself. The Eighth Sonata, by contrast, was composed during the Second World War, and the contrast between simple lyricism and horrifying violence...Read more


Prokofiev: Piano Concertos 2 & 4, etc / Bronfman, Mehta

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Zubin Mehta
Performer: Yefim Bronfman, Giora Feidman, et al.
Ensemble: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Juilliard String Quartet
Sony Classics - #58966 / October 4, 1994

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This is the Prokofiev concerto cycle for the digital age. Yefim Bronfman relishes every steely flourish of this brilliant and angular music. His performance of the Second Concerto, Prokofiev's best but not most popular, really does achieve transcendent greatness. The first movement features a "cadenza from hell"--a solo section comprising almost half the movement--that has to be heard to be believed. Bronfman flies through it, fingers sweeping the keyboard to the point where you fear...Read more



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