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Prokofiev Piano Concertos, Nos. 1 & 2

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

S. Prokofiev ~ Prokofiev Piano Concertos Nos 1

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CBS Recordings
  • ASIN: B0000026PD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,283 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By F. Ramos on May 1, 2010
Format: Audio CD
So intelligent and great! A really extraordinary recording. Not always seaking the "loud" side, nevertheless climaxes are there really strong.
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Format: Audio CD
Prokofiev's First Piano Concerto is his most youthful, but the Second is his most original and memorable--indeed one of his supreme masterpieces. My review of Kissin's newly released rendition dealt with the greatest recorded versions (Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3). As also noted there, this concerto, in spite of its greatness, seems to attract mainly niche pianists--such as Vladimir Feltsman, Russian émigré in the US since the late 1980s, whose recorded legacy largely consists of a few large Russian concertos plus Bach.

Even if Feltsman is reasonably well up to the immense technical challenges of the Second Concerto, he is not able to leave a personal impression. Neither is Tilson Thomas's support, although being sufficiently alert. In general, I don't warm to unwarranted slowness in Prokofiev. Therefore, the Scherzo at 2:42, taken Allegro rather than Vivace, does not score highly--which also holds true for the beginning of the Finale, taken Moderato rather than Allegro. But at the end of the day, this concerto sort of stands or falls with the massive first- and fourth-movement Cadenzas. Alas, Feltsman sounds rather weak and colourless in both of them, particularly in the former.

In the First Concerto, Feltsman's pianism is fresh enough to do decent justice to its spontaneous youthfulness, if, again, not memorably so. The slow movement is indeed quite beautifully done. However, the third-movement Cadenza is a tad heavy.
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Format: Audio CD
The Prokofiev Second Piano Concerto is 100 years old this year (2013); the First is a year older -- and both belong to Prokofiev's conservatory years. He's very much setting out to be the enfant terrible in these works, but as played here by Vladimir Feltsman, well accompanied by Tilson Thomas and the LSO, they sound energetic and charming rather than revolutionary. There are the sudden transitions between the motoric and the limpidly lyrical, between the pianos and the fortes, but our ears have grown accustomed to weirder things, and besides, Feltsman plays with great warmth, even when he's raising the roof. The piano tone is lovely throughout, and I was reminded at times of passages in Mussorgsky's "Pictures" and even bits of "Nutcracker," because the music does seem to be characterizing something and not just seeking to impress with the required virtuosity. Not that there isn't virtuosity -- the second movement of the Second Concerto goes like the dickens, and there is complicated and dense piano writing in the long cadenza that seems to take almost half the first movement of that concerto and which Feltsman handles beautifully. The third movement, designated "Intermezzo" is perhaps the most striking, with its two very strongly differentiated themes. If you own Beroff's or Ashkenazy's set, I don't know that this is a must-buy, but on its own terms, and in fine 1988 sound, it's very appealing.
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