Wonderful performances and an unknown gem at budget price!
T. R. SCHAEFER | 03/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD has really excellent performances of some of the most exhilarating and most consoling music written by one of the master composers of the twentieth century. The price would be worth it alone to discover the virtually forgotten and seldom performed masterwork of the Fourth concerto. Anyone who enjoys the jazz influences, and especially the slow movement,of Ravel's G major concerto will love this concerto with its beautiful nocturne andante movement. (The concerto was rejected by its intended original performer Paul Wittgenstein.)
Prokofiev's scintillating first concerto student work is given a bright and bold reading by Kun Woo Paik and the third concerto is given a performance which is as satisfying and assured as Argerich. This CD is one I listen to almost every day and never tire of. I'd recommend it to anyone as at bargain price it gives three of the finest 20th Century piano concertos in an excellent recording with a fine orchestral contribution and a brilliant soloist! And the music is therapeutic! What more could you want!?"
endoguy2 | Green village, NJ United States | 12/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These recordings of the Prokofiev 1st, 2nd and 3rd piano concertos, along with the other Naxos recording of the 2nd and 5th concertos, are remarkably high quality, not just for a budget label but in absolute terms. The sound quality is excellent and has a rich, high-fidelity 3-D quailty to it. The interpretations of all five concertos across the two CDs give full justification to the works. To my ears the interpretations are slightly different and unorthorthodox, making me look at the recordings in a slightly different, but refreshing way. They bring out details that I didn't notice in the 2-3 other recordings that I have of these concertos. Both the pianism and the orchestra are excellent, and they smoothly compliment each other. It's good, it's a little different, it's refreshing, it's cheap...I like it."
A surprise among budget CD's
Owen H | RI USA | 08/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording, though not quite as well known as the other Prokofiev piano concerto sets out there, is equally as successful as any other out there. Kun woo Paik gives a very sharp, energetic, and insightful performance to each of these concertos and is backed up well by Paik and the Polish RSO. Concerto no. 3 is IMHO the best in the set and ranks above any other I've heard. There is lots of energy and excitement in all 3 movements and the slow sections are wonderfully played. Although the playing is not exactly polished and smoothed over, I feel the rough sound adds an extra ounce of excitement to it. Concerto no. 1 is a bit slower than I am used to and doesn't exactly do much for me, but the middle slow section of the concerto is wonderfully played. Concerto no. 4 also has lots of energy, but it is not one of my favorite concertos. All in all, this CD is worth it just for the 3rd concerto."
Owen H | 11/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The concerto no. 3 is probably one of the most overplayed 20th century concertos, and, although it is a very effective concert piece and deserving of the attention, I find it hard to believe that these others have been neglected. Especially the 4th, with the tightly fitting orchestral and soloist parts, and the tension that is preserved even in the slow movements, without losing lyricism. Written when he was finishing up as a music student, the 1st concerto shows Prokofiev's talent and originality for such a young age. These performances are great, and at the Naxos price, there is little reason to consider any other recording."