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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars involving, despite sound, 21 Nov 2003
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This review is from: Prokofiev: War and Peace (Audio CD)
I approached this recording with caution, largely because I had read in other reviews that the sound was not of the highest quality. It's true that the music does not come over as clearly or with such precision/ dynamic range as the Rostropovich set. Nonetheless, after hearing the Kirov account, I have to say that despite these limitations, it did a better job of persuading me of the merits of Prokofiev's opera. The pacing is more effective, and the singers more idiomatic as a group than on the Rostropovich. Listening through the final tableau, first Gergiev, then Rostropovich, was quite revealing. The latter's ensemble and precision is much better during the terrific opening of this scene, xylophones much more impressive and a louder, more menacing sound. But by the end of the scene with Rostropovich, I found my attention beginning to drift. This is only partly because of the more extended (and more bombastic) variant of the final chorus R. uses: Gergiev's shortened version here really is a much better way of ending the opera. In general, Gergiev seems to have a more urgent and involving way with the piece.
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Prokofiev: War and Peace
Prokofiev: War and Peace by Sergey Prokofiev (Audio CD - 2002)
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