Author Topic: Prokofiev Symphonies  (Read 2949 times)

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Offline Malx

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Prokofiev Symphonies
« on: January 01, 2018, 08:21:25 AM »
This request may start an avalanche of replies or a trickle as many posters may have been asked for their thoughts and recommendations previously.

I am looking to add a set of Prokofiev Symphonies to my collection, I currently have the Weller on Decca and would like an alternative take on what is for me a relatively unknown body of work.

Thanks in anticipation.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 09:07:37 AM »
If you want something very different from Weller, there's Rozhdestvensky, who does not play down any of the barbarity in these works.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2014/Oct14/Prokofiev_sys_MELCD10011797.htm

I think Litton on Bis is probably the best of recent cycles.  I liked the Karabits cycle, but that got mixed reviews.

I'd also like to single out this Ashkenazy set for praise:








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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 09:23:59 AM »
I´d go for the Järvi chandos set, maybe supplemented with a few individual extras, if one is really into them.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 09:26:16 AM »
I have a patchwork set with several recordings of 1 and 5, the Ashkenazy twofer shown above, the cheap "white" Sony box with Leinsdorf (2,3,5,6) and Rozhdestvensky in 1-4 (on an older BMG twofer). The last one is quite "intense" and rough but would probably be a good complement to Weller's.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 09:29:32 AM »
The Ozawa/Berliner box was my second set (my first was the Järvi, which I wound up returning to circulation) and it remains largely my favorite set.

I have a patchwork set with several recordings of 1 and 5, the Ashkenazy twofer shown above, the cheap "white" Sony box with Leinsdorf (2,3,5,6) and Rozhdestvensky in 1-4 (on an older BMG twofer). The last one is quite "intense" and rough but would probably be a good complement to Weller's.

The Leinsdorf/BSO box is very nice;  I second this   8)
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 09:55:47 AM »
I’d personally go with Järvi (on Chandos) with Litton’s partial cycle making a nice supplementary set. The Ashkenazy set that Daverz linked is a good one, too. Speaking of Ashkenazy, I haven’t heard his new cycle on the Exton label (w/ the Sydney SO (?)). Has anyone here heard any of those performances?
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Offline relm1

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2018, 05:41:10 PM »
Not much to add except to agree with others.  I think the Weller set is very good and probably the most musical which sometimes is a disservice to this music when you want rawness rather than lyricism.  Jarvi is a very good supplement.  I also like Dutoit on No. 1 and 5. 

Offline amw

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 05:53:18 PM »
I'd also go for Rozhdestvensky although the orchestral playing is not always 100%. Ozawa, Järvi and Kuchar are all quite good as well—sample if you want—although I'm not sure I'd put any of them in the top league.

Offline GioCar

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 11:41:47 PM »
I'd go for the Gergiev/LSO set, mainly for two reasons:
- the inclusion of both versions of the fourth;
- the terrific performances of the second and the seventh.

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 11:55:57 PM »

Kontrapunctus

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2018, 10:11:21 AM »
This series has gotten very good reviews. I have the one pictured and like it very much--great playing and spectacular sound.


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 01:14:31 AM »
I like the cycles by Martinon and Rozhdestvensky in addition to the Weller:


« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 01:23:27 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 05:47:12 AM »
The Ozawa/Berliner box was my second set (my first was the Järvi, which I wound up returning to circulation) and it remains largely my favorite set.

The Leinsdorf/BSO box is very nice;  I second this   8)

I'd go for the Gergiev/LSO set, mainly for two reasons:
- the inclusion of both versions of the fourth;
- the terrific performances of the second and the seventh.



I'll let these two do the talkin (typin).  8)

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 05:52:10 AM »
Cheers, Greg!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Malx

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2018, 02:16:49 PM »
Thanks for all for the replies - much food for thought.

This may be hard to believe but I had completely forgot that I had the Jarvi box it was for some reason filed in completely the wrong area of my collection, slightly scary!
I have sampled all the suggested sets I could and I am thinking about Gergiev to give a Russian perspective on the symphonies but I am also drawn to Rozhdestvensky, poorer sound and all there seems to be a bit of soul, if that is the right description, in the samples I listened to.

Thanks again,
Malx.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2018, 04:06:06 PM »
Listening to this recording of 2 and 3 now via Tidal.  Sounds fantastic.



Offline Leo K.

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2020, 07:13:10 AM »
I was not prepared to be destroyed on hearing Prokofiev's Symphony No.7 for the first time (Kitayenko/Gurzenich-Orchester Koln). Wow, simply wow.

I'm now going through the Kitayenko/Gurzenich-Orchester Koln box and have gone through symphonies 1-4. A great journey, I'm totally new to Prokofiev. I've decided this was the year to finally explore Sibelius, Nielsen, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Myaskovsky. Aces!

« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 07:15:23 AM by Leo K. »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2020, 09:57:48 AM »
I was not prepared to be destroyed on hearing Prokofiev's Symphony No.7 for the first time (Kitayenko/Gurzenich-Orchester Koln). Wow, simply wow.

I'm now going through the Kitayenko/Gurzenich-Orchester Koln box and have gone through symphonies 1-4. A great journey, I'm totally new to Prokofiev. I've decided this was the year to finally explore Sibelius, Nielsen, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Myaskovsky. Aces!



Excellent!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline relm1

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2020, 03:57:07 PM »
The Ozawa/Berliner box was my second set (my first was the Järvi, which I wound up returning to circulation) and it remains largely my favorite set.

The Leinsdorf/BSO box is very nice;  I second this   8)

Did Dutoit/Montreal make a set?  His 1 and 5 are fantastic as is all his other Prokofiev but I'm not aware if they went beyond 1 and 5.

Offline Leo K.

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Re: Prokofiev Symphonies
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2020, 08:40:28 AM »
Prokofiev's Symphonies 5 and 6 (Kitayenko/Gurzenich-Orchester Koln) are so incredible I'm at a loss of words!

I also listened to Ashkenazy in these performances and they kind of do a better job! I now have the Ozawa set and can't wait to get into that. Aces!