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Prokofiev: Symphonies No. 7 Op. 131 & No. 5 Op. 100

Prokofiev , Rostropovich , Onf Audio CD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 10, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Erato
  • ASIN: B000005E80
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #586,027 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony 7, Op. 131: Moderato
2. Symphony 7, Op. 131: Allegretto
3. Symphony 7, Op. 131: Andante espressivo
4. Vivace
5. Symphony 5, Op. 100: Andante
6. Symphony 5, Op. 100: Allegro marcato
7. Symphony 5, Op. 100: Adagio
8. Symphony 5, Op. 100: Allegro giocoso

Customer Reviews

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't rise to the occasion September 23, 2004
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The 5th symphony starts out promising: the gentle whispering of the winds with a touch of the mystery about them--one of my favorite beginnings of a symphony. The tempo is just perfect (too many conductors rush this) here, but as the movement builds I find climaxes are underplayed, textures are thin, the great epic sections just too light. In short, I wanted to love this recording, for it to fill a hole in my collection, but no sale.

Rostropovich is a great cellist, and he gives his lines shape and a sort of soaring lyricism. Too bad he can't bring the same effect to the podium. These are okay performances of two of the great 20th century symphonies, but it sounds like the National Symphony Orchestra is on autopilot for much of the time. The first movement's big climax just before the recap, for example, is very underpowered. Ditto the snarling menace of the scherzo, with distant, whimpy snare drums and a bass drum that lacks bite. There's not much in the way of phrasing in, say, the slower central section, no quirky element of surprise and grotesque that's so much a part of Prokofiev.

The 7th lacks the sort of sardonicism in parts that has always made this a very interesting work of Prokofiev's--at once "simple" and "lyrical" and at the same time on a deeper level. Rostropovich doesn't *do* anything with the second theme in the first movement, and the menacing waltz, rather than being relentless, is played as a big, fat Viennese waltz--not *wrong* perhaps, but I was looking for more imagination, more subtext. (Listen to Rozhdestvensky to see what I mean.) True, as another reviewer points out, there is a lot of nuance and clarity, especially in the 7th and especially in the strings.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something special July 24, 2001
I've heard many fine Prokofiev 5ths, but Rostropovich achieves some detailed articulation from the strings that other conductors miss. Take a listen to the cogs within cogs crazy mechanics of the coda in the last movement, to hear some whirring strings that you don't hear on any other version. If you love Prokofiev's 5th you won't be disappointed by this version.
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