Great Performances - Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3, Piano Sonatas Nos. 2 & 3
Cleveland Orchestra, Gary Graffman & George Szell
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Of these four works included, the only "legendary" recording on this album is the third sonata. Buy it for 99 cents and I can assure you that you will not miss anything from the rest. The problem is that it's not biting and satirical as Prokofiev intended. In particular this recording of the prokofiev first piano concerto is too emotional and overdone. There is too much sustain. I personally admire Borris Berman in this work above all others; the Yefim Bronfman recording does come close though. For the third, the first movement is, again overdone. It's played like Rachmaninov not Prokofiev. The second movement is fine but it doesn't snag me like it should. The third movement is fine up until the finale at which point it is much too slow. I highly recommend the Yefim Bronfman or Martha Argerich recordings of the third. And the second sonata is not nearly dry enough. Borris Berman on the sonatas and first concerto and Yefim Bronfman on the third; those are the recordings for a lifetime, not these.
I love Prokofiev
He is really talented, and I feel that the love of some of the composers of this era are not as great as composers of the classical and romantic era. Prokofiev makes a piece of music way more exciting than any other concerto for piano that I've ever heard. These recordings and flawless by the way.
Performances unlikely to be surpassed..
These recordings of the First and Third Concertos have set a standard for years - they are amazing performances. The recording of the Third Sonata is simply the best I have heard. His delineation of the inner voices is amazing - he finds thematic references other pianists ignore or overlook. And it is nice that the folks at Sony finally realized that his Second Sonata would fit on a CD with these works - if you do not own this, you must.
Formed: 1918 in Cleveland, OH
Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s