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Ballets - Released March 9, 2018 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
While most of Sergey Prokofiev's music has gone in and out of fashion in western countries, a few works have always remained popular: the "Classical" Symphony, Peter and the Wolf, the Third Piano Concerto, the Lieutenant Kije Suite, and perhaps most beloved of all, the ballet Romeo and Juliet. Conductor Marin Alsop completed her cycle of Prokofiev's seven symphonies in 2017, showing a commitment to the composer that few of her contemporaries can match, and she follows that achievement with this 2018 Naxos release, a nearly flawless performance of the complete Romeo and Juliet with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. This recording is typical of Alsop's clear-headed approach, revealing her thorough mastery of details, balanced phrasing, close attention to the orchestral sound, and fidelity to the score, which provides many challenges in its episodic structure. This first-rate performance may remind listeners of the classic complete recordings by André Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra, and Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and even though those recordings are still readily available, Alsop's shows that Romeo and Juliet can still inspire a fine interpretation in the digital era, making this recording essential listening for Prokofiev fans. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 12, 2010 | LSO Live

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Classical - Released January 22, 2021 | Warner Classics

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The third and last of the "war Sonatas", the Eighth Sonata was premiered by Emil Gilels in 1944. Serious and virtuosic, it is also the longest and, probably, the most "human" (Michel Hofmann) sonata by its author. The French-American pianist Nicholas Angelich gives a fascinating translation, with great fluidity, with much left unspoken, and a heightened sense of  poetic and dreamy sound. This album, which is wholly dedicated to Prokofiev is of a very high standard. Thanks to his exceptional technical mastery and his musical intelligence, Nicholas Angelich manages to reveal the infinite richness of a music too often known for its virtuosic side, which tends to be, under some fingers, quite brutal. The twenty pieces of Visions Fugitives unfold with a wide variety of refined, liquid and mysterious timbres. The performer's fine filigree work perfectly matches that of the composer in this beautiful recording that ends brilliantly with a selection of five pieces from the ballet Romeo and Juliet transcribed for the piano by the composer himself. The variety of the colours and the power of Angelich's piano would almost make us forget the orchestral magic of this famous score. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released February 4, 2014 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month
Many of Sergey Prokofiev's musical inspirations were French, and a light French touch often works well in his piano pieces. With the field open to a new generation for the composer's five piano concertos, this one merits strong consideration. The sparkling Piano Concerto in D flat major, Op. 10, is perhaps the highlight of the whole set here; Bavouzet and conductor Gianandrea Noseda with the BBC Philharmonic achieving a bright, almost ebullient atmosphere. The Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26, cut from the same cloth but with a greater quotient of acidic dissonant humor, is very nearly as good. There's hardly a weak spot throughout: the technically perilous and still-edgy Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16, which occasioned a scandal at its premiere, keeps its threatening quality, and the less common Piano Concerto No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 53, composed for a one-armed pianist, is entirely competent, and the delicate finale of the neo-classic Piano Concerto No. 5 in G major, Op. 55, is gorgeous. Strong studio sound and excellent, personal booklet notes from Bavouzet himself are added attractions. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Nestled up cosily with Sergei Babayan, gazing into the distance, rather like Juliet next to Romeo, Martha Argerich seems to have had an eye on marketing when she produced the "Prokofiev for Two" album cover for her longstanding publisher, Deutsche Grammophon. Although well-known, these works haven't yet been released in this format: each of the 19 pieces is an accomplished transcription by Sergei Babayan. More than half of this album is given over to extracts from the ballet Romeo and Juliet, originally a symphonic work, but one that sounds devilishly good when brought to life by these two exceptional pianists. The remainder of the album is made up of various pieces of stage music, from Hamlet, Eugene Onegin and the opera War and Peace. This is a reinvigorating album, with an eighty-year-old Martha Argerich who has lost none of her extraordinary technique. As for the Armenian pianist Sergei Babayan, a student of Mikhail Pletnev and a teacher of Daniil Trifonov, he seems to be having great fun with his own transcriptions alongside his long-time partner and friend. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released March 26, 2013 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Sergey Prokofiev's Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor bears a strong resemblance to the Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, both in style and orchestration, yet it has neither been as popular with audiences nor as frequently recorded. This SACD from Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra performs a great service for the Sixth, not only by presenting the piece with bold tone colors, a wide dynamic range, and spacious mutichannel sound, but for adding a deeply sympathetic interpretation to the catalog. As one of Prokofiev's wartime symphonies, the Sixth is at times rather martial in character and full of conflict, particularly in the struggle of the first movement, though it has a strong elegiac feeling that dominates the second movement, and a contrasting playfulness that runs through the finale, strongly reminiscent of the Fifth. For the sake of attracting new listeners, Litton includes two perennial favorites, Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé Suite and the suite from The Love for Three Oranges, which also receive fine performances by the Bergen Philharmonic. Because BIS recorded these performances with state-of-the-art direct stream digital technology, the reproduction is clear and vivid, with a great sense of presence and dimensions. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 2, 2020 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
As a composer Sergei Prokofiev was so versatile that audiences never quite knew what to expect. As a strategy, this could misfire but with his first symphony he got things just right. He once described what he had wanted to achieve: "If Haydn had lived into this era he would have kept his own style while absorbing things from what was new in music. That’s the kind of symphony I wanted to write...". The "Classical" Symphony has been a true classic since its first performance in 1918 and is one of the few genuinely witty pieces in the twentieth-century orchestral repertory. A few months after the performance, Prokofiev left Russia for the USA where he remained for some years before settling in Paris in 1923. It was here that he composed the Second Symphony, now with the aim to be as up-to-date as possible. The first audience in 1925 was more bewildered than enthusiastic, however, and Prokofiev himself came to have doubts, wondering whether in this symphony "made out of iron and steel" he’d overdone the rough counterpoint and density of texture. He now returned to a project he had been working on for several years – the opera The Fiery Angel. In 1928, when he began to think that no opera house would take it up, Prokofiev decided to reuse the music and found that "the material unexpectedly packed itself up into a four-movement symphony" – his Third, characterized by an overwhelming sense of anxiety and tension. © BIS Records
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Symphonic Music - Released February 2, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
In addition to Prokofiev’s two violin concertos – whose ample discography is brilliantly enriched by this interpretation of Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili and the excellent conductor Yannick Nézet-Seguin –, the album also features three treats from Prokofiev arranged by Tamás Batiashvili, the father of the aforementioned Lisa and a renowned teacher in his country. These are rewritings for solo violin and orchestra of the Dance Of The Knights from Romeo and Juliet, the Grand Waltz from Cinderella and the nefarious and quirky Grand March from The Love For Three Oranges. Batiashvili – the father – streamlines the message, allowing the solo violin to showcase its full power in moments that were bloated in the original partition, particularly in the rather bulky Dance Of The Knights which, losing some of its imposing weight, gained lyricism in return. As for the two concertos, they benefit greatly from the reasonably sized Chamber Orchestra of Europe, as it perfectly lets Prokofiev’s writing shine through. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 30, 2018 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Through his “brilliance and maturity” (as described by The Guardian) the Russian-Lithuanian pianist Lukas Geniušas has established himself on the international scene as one of the most interesting artists of his generation. He has appeared in London's Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Milan's Salle Verdi, Moscow's Conservatory and Roque d'Anthéron, and with orchestras such as the Philharmonique de Radio France, the National de Lyon, the NHK of Tokyo, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, the list goes on... He has chosen here a Prokofiev programme combining early works from his younger years (the Ten Pieces Op. 12 which is a junior work and yet so intimately prokofievian already!) with the work from his first stage of maturity (Second Sonata from 1912) and the work from his full maturity (the Fifth Sonata). Even better, this Fifth Sonata was written "for the first time" in 1923 after his time in Paris, then revised three decades later under the constraint, undoubtedly, of the infamous Jdanov decree which had accused the composer of all anti-Soviet evils, but also due to a very personal concern (he wanted to purify the piano gesture). In a way this work seems almost "Parisian" as it has so many similarities with Poulenc's style. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 8, 2021 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet
Prokofiev first became fascinated by the violin upon hearing the playing of his private teacher, Reinhold Glière. A dozen years later Prokofiev wrote his Violin Concerto No. 1 - a work of contrasting open-hearted lyricism and whimsical playfulness that features a wild central Scherzo with dazzling technical gymnastics. By contrast, the Violin Concerto No. 2 is emotionally reserved and sardonic with an inspired plaintive and long-arching slow movement. Composed to an official Soviet commission for an ensemble piece to be played by talented child violinists in unison, the witty and upbeat Sonata for Solo Violin can also be played by a single performer. © Naxos
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Symphonic Music - Released January 8, 2016 | Mariinsky

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This major release programmed to showcase some of Prokofiev's finest works launches in early 2016 the Mariinsky label's projects to honour the 125th anniversary of the composer’s birth, under the baton of maestro Valery Gergiev, a long-time champion of the music of Prokofiev. Acclaimed for his highly sensitive touch and technical brilliance, Alexei Volodin plays Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No 4 for the left hand, the only of Prokofiev's piano works that was not performed during his lifetime due to the following. Commissioned to Prokofiev by the Austrian one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein (amputated during the World War I) and written in 1930, this concerto was not appreciated by the dedicatee who refused to include it in his repertoire. It was not premiered in Berlin until September 1956, by the West Berlin RSO conducted by Martin Rich, but with another pianist, Siegfried Rapp (amputated too but during World War II). Alexei Volodin's performance was described as 'superbly controlled and beautifully subtle" by The Guardian. The American-Armenian musician Sergei Babyan performs Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No 5 premiered in Berlin in October 1932 by Prokofiev himself conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler. The Telegraph reviewer was sufficiently moved to write: "Never have I seen so many fast and furious hand-crossings, so many dizzying flights from top to bottom of the keyboard, all performed flawlessly". © Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released September 3, 2013 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
Canadian violinist James Ehnes has become a familiar sight in British recording catalogs, with technically suave performances that don't draw too much attention to themselves. In Prokofiev, with his combination of formal gravity, virtuosity, crystalline, balanced lyricism, and a bit of dark humor, Ehnes finds his ideal creative match. There's not really any reason to do all of Prokofiev's violin music together as a set; it comes from various stages of the composer's career and is not really linked by any creative principle. The concertos are substantial pieces with gorgeous melodies for slow movements, the equal of any in Prokofiev's output. The sonatas are virtuoso pieces written with the great David Oistrakh in mind. There are a spare duo sonata, a solo sonata written for students, and a light set of Five Melodies for violin and piano. What holds it all together is simply that Ehnes' performances are brilliantly idiomatic to the music. The long, complex lines of the concertos seem inevitable in his hands, and the slow finale of the Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 19, is achingly beautiful. Ehnes puts on a reasonable facsimile of Oistrakh's rich tone in the sonatas, and each of the smaller pieces emerges as an individual statement. Strongly recommended. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released May 5, 2015 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released May 1, 2010 | Naxos

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Solo Piano - Released February 22, 2019 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released October 18, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
"This first volume in the complete cycle must already be given pride of place in the discography,” declared Classica magazine upon the release of Prokofiev’s Sonatas nos. 2, 6, and 8 (awarded a “Choc” in 2016). With this new volume, Alexandre Melnikov has chosen to delve into three distinct periods of the composer’s career, ranging from the dazzling though seldom-heard No. 4 to the magisterial No. 9. Inbetween those two, the Sonata No. 7 once again evokes the troubled atmosphere characteristic of the three so-called “war sonatas.” Sviatoslav Richter claimed to have learned the piece in a mere four days! © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | harmonia mundi

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With this new album devoted to Prokofiev, cellist Bruno Philippe continues his exploration of Russian music. Having already recorded a recital of Rachmaninov’s and Myaskovsky’s Sonatas with Jérôme Ducros, here he is reunited with his long-time musical partner Tanguy de Williencourt on the piano, but also with his mentor, conductor Christoph Eschenbach leading the hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt. On the program, Prokofiev’s (surprisingly?) romantic Cello Sonata, coupled with his Sinfonia concertante, that Mount Everest of technical challenges – both works having been written for the great Rostropovitch, who gave them their first performances in 1950 and 1952. © harmonia mundi
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Classical - Released July 1, 2016 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Solo Piano - Released November 18, 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama