Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sergey Prokofiev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Joshua Bell|
Prokofiev: Complete Concertos
No brainer -- buy it!
John Grabowski | USA | 08/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great and inexpensive introduction to the concerti of Sergei Prokofiev. And there's not a boring piece--or performance--in the box. I'm generally not a big Ashkenazy fan these days, but many of his earlier recordings were often very fine, and these are among them. His direct, declamatory way of played works to the advantage of the music here as well. He seizes these works by the horns, and the results are spectacular. Previn and the LSO never sounded better--for those who are familiar mostly with the later Previn, somewhat burned out and sluggishly leading the RPO or LAPO, these recordings will be a revelation. From the mechanical workings of No. 1 to the agitated fury of No. 2 to the quicksilver lithe of No. 3 to the enigma that is No. 5, these are great performances that manage to hit the mark while being very middle-of-the-road. (I don't mean middle-of-the-road in a negative way.) You'll notice I didn't mention No. 4, which has never really worked for me. As far as left-hand concertos go, listen to Ravel's.
The violin concerto is very fine, but it won't displace either Oisktrakh (a tall order, I admit) or, believe it or not, Perlman, with Rozhdestvensky and the BBC Symphony. The two cello concerti are tremendously exciting compositions that deserve to be played a lot more often than they are. Written for Rostrapovich, they are given credible readings by Harrell here, though I wish Rosty's performances were available (other than Op. 132 in an expensive 13-CD box) to show you you're *really* supposed to burn up these works. There aren't a whole lot of other performances of either of them, so you'll have to settle for these."
Solid performance and great value
Y.P. | Mount Messiaen, Utah | 02/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This set contains almost all Prokofiev's concertos. Contrary to what is advertised as "Complete Concertos", it omits Prokofiev's early work "Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 58". Although a large amount of thematic material is reused in the later piece "Sinfonia Concertante for cello & orchestra in E minor, Op. 125", there are really substantial differences. (Traditionally, when a set is advertised as "complete", it will contain at least all works with Opus numbers.) But really, Op. 58 is not performed in the concert halls these days. (At least, none that I am aware of.) If you are really interested in comparing these 2 works, you may consult, e.g. Chandos recording The Unknown Prokofiev.
I like the performances here. For each individual piece, there are performances closer to my heart. For example, Richter's Piano Concerto in G and Argerich's Piano Concerto in C., Heifetz's Violin Concerto in g minor, besides those mentioned in other 2 reviews.(*) However, if you are looking for solid performances at an affordable price, you can not go wrong with this set.
(*) By the way, Rostropovich's Prokofiev: Sinfonia Concertante (together with Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1) is now available in DVD from EMI Classic Archive 15."
Great collection and great value
dm | rochester, ny | 10/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 3-CD set includes all of Prokofiev's concertos in one place. The best part is that it includes Ashkenzy and Previn's perfomances of the piano concertos- generally considered the best on recording.
Bell's perfomance of the violin concertos and quite good, maybe not the best, but Lynn Harell's cello renditions are excellent.