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This very well recorded, and reviewed, disc from 1991 was a late entry into my Prokofiev collection which was already well represented by many pianists of note. They included complete sets by Ashkenazy, Beroff (both well re-mastered) and Krainev as well as individual discs including Argerich, Bronfman and Kissin among several, not to mention the outstanding audio-video recording on DVD/Bluray of number 3 by Yuja Wang and the DVD of number one by Argerich.

Kun Woo Paik brings to these concertos a flamboyancy that perfectly suits the showman side of these concertos. In this he is helped by being possessed of a technique that seems to exult in such challenges. Consequently the technical demands of the concertos are fully met and despatched with verve.

On the other hand Paik has a ready response to the purely lyrical side of these two concertos as well as a well developed sense of musical humour which is so important in any appreciation of Prokofiev's work. This is clearly in evidence in concertos 1 and 3 in particular.

The contribution of the orchestra under Antoni Wit is very accomplished and has the benefit of some of the best recorded sound in these concertos.

I would therefore suggest that this very attractively priced disc offers performances and recording of such a quality as to deserve serious consideration from collectors interested in purchasing these concertos either as an 'only' example or as part of a larger collection with alternative viewpoints to consider. I would also suggest that, with its companion disc of the two remaining concertos, this would make an excellent integral set to consider.
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on 29 May 2015
first class all round
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