Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sergey Prokofiev, Yoel Levi, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra|
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1/Symphony No. 5
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David Saemann | 05/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is worth noting that this CD is now available in a two CD set for the same price, called Everybody's Prokofiev. The additional works are the Third Piano Concerto with Jon Kimura Parker, an excellent performance, and excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, also conducted by Levi in somewhat iffy sonics. As for the present CD, I had to listen to the Fifth Symphony three times before I began to get a handle on what Levi was doing. Tempos in the first and third movements were the slowest I had ever heard, reminiscent of Levi's treatment of Shostakovich. It is arguable that Prokofiev was feeling the influence of both Shostakovich and Mahler here, but regardless of that, if you are accustomed to other performances then Levi's tempos will take some getting used to. One thing that can't be argued is the absolutely superlative playing of the Atlanta Symphony. Their tone quality and concentration are absolutely phenomenal. The big moments in the Symphony are bigger than I've ever heard. So, if you don't lose patience with Levi's take on the work, you are in for some sizzling thrills and spills. By the third time I heard it, I liked the performance very much. As for the First Symphony, it receives a jaunty, well paced reading, with some delectable playing by the first bassoon. I grew up with the Leinsdorf performance of the Fifth, and still think that or the Karajan is a safer first recommendation than the Levi. But if you're willing to accept something different, Levi's has a lot going for it. The sound engineering is excellent, too, some of the most natural I've heard from Telarc."
Levi keeps the ASO on their toes
Stormstryk@aol.com | Birmingham AL | 08/22/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Good interpretation of this standard work, the ASO plays with intent and energy in this sometimes relentless piece. Levi lets the sound get a little heavy for my taste at times, particularly in the finale, but overall a good choice if this is your first purchase of this recording."