Prokofiev: Greatest Hits
Juilliard String Quartet, Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, New York Philharmonic & Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York
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Prokofiev is the type of composer I imagine liked to take orchestral colors by the handful and throw them at the wall. Splat. Michael Tilson Thomas is a conductor who apparently feels the same. He keeps the orchestra tight, as in the surprisingly vivace entrance of the brass during "The Birth of Kijé" and the scattering strings around the trumpet's solo in "Kijé's Wedding." Beyond that, he knows that most listeners associate "Troika" with sleigh rides and winter, so the sleigh bells get top billing. Everything about this humorous suite, the bass and tuba solos, the trumpet's distant opening and final call, even the slightly off-balance piccolo are featured lovingly and playfully. I can't provide the listener with any critique of the rest of this recording as I only downloaded "Lieutenant Kijé," but that alone, for me, is worth the price of the whole thing.
Formed: 1946 in New York, NY
Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s