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Prokofiev: The Piano Concertos 1-5 CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Prokofiev: The Piano Concertos 1-5
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  • Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-4
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  • Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto Nos. 1-3/Violin Concerto
Total price: £14.97
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Product details

  • Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Orchestra: London Symphony
  • Conductor: Andre Previn
  • Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
  • Audio CD (7 July 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041LA
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,206 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Product Description

ASHKENAZY / PREVIN / LONDON S.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 1 Sept. 2005
Format: Audio CD
It was quite an achievement to have recorded all five Prokofiev
concertos one after the other. Vladimir Ashkenazy was at his
best in the seventies. As well as the brilliant playing he
showed deep maturity. I actually like him playing the number
three better than the way Pletnev interpreted it on a much more
recent recording. Of course I think Pletnev is a magnificent
pianist and his conductor was Rostropovitch on his recording.
All my life I have been an enormous fan of Rostropovitch. In
their recording, they deliberately take certain passages much
slower and the famed part where the piano bass leads
effectively in the slow movement, Pletnev suddenly deliberately
plays it percussively. I personally like that small section
played the usual smoother way.
I know that Ashkenazy got on particularly well playing with
Andre Previn. Previn himself being an excellent pianist. One
feels there is true understanding between Ashkenazy and Previn.
One must remember, that Ashkenazy made his New York debut in
the later fifties with Leonard Bernstein as conductor with the
New York Philharmonic playing the Prokofiev second concerto.
His playing is brilliant throughout all the concertos, but his
playing of the number two is magnificent. I have the same
recording on the orrigional L.P. I definitely feel it sounds a
little more harsh on the C.Ds. That sometimes happens when they
trasfer recordings to C.Ds.
I would still highly recommend this recording. It certanly
gives me great pleasure listening to it.
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Format: Audio CD
These discs were recorded in 1974-5 and were much liked as performances at that time. The choices as regards alternative sets were very limited then and Ashkenazy pretty well had the field all to himself. The recording was relatively bass-heavy and this tended to obscure much of the detail above and make the performances seem sonically dull. This has now been rectified on these new discs and the balance is now good as checked on three sets of reference playback equipment. As a result the performances sound much more lively than before.

In the meanwhile there have been a number of alternative and fine sets made which can now be chosen from. The set with Bronfman has not been totally liked by critical opinion but the disc featuring concertos 2 and 4 can still be considered to be a fine pair of performances. Chandos made use of two pianists for their set and the disc featuring Gutierrez playing concertos 2 and 3 delivers very high powered virtuoso performances. The cadenza in the second concerto is notably impressive in that respect.

Kun Woo Paik on Naxos shows complete empathy with the five concertos which are played with light-hearted relish, some humour and a willingness to scamper about the keyboard in a mischievous way. The recordings are all good and the accompaniment is also very good. This is a serious contender. So too is the set with Krainev and Kitaenko. This is more powerful than Paik and has more of a 'Russian' feel about it. Technically and musically Krainev is right on top of these works and has an excellent accompanist and a fine recording. Beroff with Masur is also a main contender on a moderately priced EMI disc with Masur and the Leipzig orchestra in full support and in good sound too. (see my full reviews of those for more detail).
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By ziggy_fan TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Sept. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Ashkenazy together with Andre Previn conducting the LSO, give the most exhilarating performances of these piano concertos. The 3rd concerto is widely available recorded by several other top artists, and Ashkenazy's remains amongst the best out there. The the added bonus here is the fact that the same dedication and depth of understanding and communicating the music is applied to the other 4 less well known concerti, and to have them all in one budget double CD set makes this an absolute must have for Prokofiev fans, and fans of virtuoso piano playing! My personal favourite in this set is No.2 with its dark, brooding and sometimes shocking quality. It's a big contrast when compared to the more lyrical and mercurial No.3
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Format: Audio CD
Having read the above reviews the first thing that struck me as a little off were the complaints about the recording. It is actually very good! And it is less 'warm' than most good modern recordings. To say that prokofiev requires cold/bright recorded sound is absurd. The sound should reflect accuracy in timbre and acoustic. In all seriousness, if it sounds dodgy or too warm then you need to upgrade your hi-fi.. Those with good ears will enjoy the balance I'm sure!
Anyways, just to add to the compliments - this is still an old fave of mine after many years and there is not a dull moment. It's not perfect by any means, but the atmosphere and synergy with piano and orchestra is still exhilarating. It sounds live and spontaneous. Previn's conducting as always with Prokofiev is amazing as he set a wonderful standard with many of his works in the 1970's. Ashkenazy is perfect for the role and provides all the humour, wit and sarcastic romance required.
Don't even hesitate!
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