GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Danny on April 07, 2007, 08:29:23 AM

Title: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 07, 2007, 08:29:23 AM
Baby, child, sarcastic youth, perceptive Man, husband, lover, father, exile, prodigal son and one great composer to boot!  I'm talking about Sergei Prokofiev!!!!!  He gave us some of the most gorgeous and brilliant music of the 20th century.  Imo, he was the greatest composer from that century.

My Favorites at present:

Romeo and Juliet
Violin Sonata #2
Violin Sonata #1
VC #2
Symphony #5
Symphony #1
Symphony #3
Symphony #7
Symphony-Concerto
Piano Concerto #3
Piano Concerto #5
Piano Sonata # 2
Piano Sonata #6

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Harry on April 07, 2007, 08:34:58 AM
There are almost never clear favourites amongst a composers oeuvre, with me, I see merit in almost every composition from Prokofiev.
And that is with all the composers I know, well almost!
His Ballet music, is played by me often, as his Symphonies.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 07, 2007, 08:44:24 AM
There are almost never clear favourites amongst a composers oeuvre, with me, I see merit in almost every composition from Prokofiev.
And that is with all the composers I know, well almost!
His Ballet music, is played by me often, as his Symphonies.

Agreed; I love the entire catalogue, too, and ususally can find something to like or appreciate in the works of my favorite composers.  But for Sergei, there's a certain something about his music that draws me. 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 08:58:12 AM
There are almost never clear favourites amongst a composers oeuvre, with me, I see merit in almost every composition from Prokofiev.
And that is with all the composers I know, well almost!
His Ballet music, is played by me often, as his Symphonies.

Several of Prokofiev's works easily rise to the top for me:

Piano Concerto no. 3
Symphony no. 5
Toccata in d minor
Romeo and Juliet
Piano Sonatas (esp. 2 in d minor; and nos. 6/7/8)
Symphony no. 1
Piano Concerto nos. 1/2/4
Alexander Nevsky
Violin Concerto no. 2
Violin Sonata no. 1
Love for 3 Oranges
Visions Fugitives
Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op 60 

Interested in learning about:

War and Peace
Sinfonia Concertante for Cello and Orchestra, Op 125 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: BachQ on April 07, 2007, 09:14:26 AM
An excellent summary of available recordings of the 3rd piano concerto can be found HERE (http://www.prokofiev.org/catalog/workessential.cfm?WorkID=83):
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brewski on April 07, 2007, 09:26:58 AM
Favorite Prokofiev works at the moment:

Scythian Suite - About as barbaric as music gets.
Piano Concerto No. 3 - My favorite recording right now is with Gary Graffman, George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, steely and precise.
Semyon Kotko - A very underrated opera.  I've only seen it once, with Gergiev and the Kirov when they brought it to Lincoln Center a few years ago, but it remains seared in my memory.
Symphony No. 3 - The centerpiece of my favorite CD (here in the "favorite CD covers" thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,19.msg193.html#msg193)), this seems very underplayed.  I don't recall ever hearing it live.

Next season the Met is doing two Prokofiev operas, The Gambler and War and Peace.  I saw both when they premiered a few seasons back, and both are filled with terrific music, although The Gambler took a little more concentration.  Rather than long vocal lines, it uses smaller phrases, i.e., little gestures that only increase the sense of nervousness and agitation swirling around the title character.  But the orchestral parts have typical Prokofiev energy and color.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 07, 2007, 09:40:43 AM
My favorite Prokofiev concerto: Piano Concerto No. 2
My favorite Prokofiev symphony: Symphony No. 2

I think TWO pieces is enough?

But I do like all the rest too, of course (the ballets, the operas, the film scores, the chamber music etc. etc.).

Maciek
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 07, 2007, 11:21:14 AM
An excellent summary of available recordings of the 3rd piano concerto can be found HERE (http://www.prokofiev.org/catalog/workessential.cfm?WorkID=83):

Hey, thanks, D Minor!  :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 07, 2007, 11:25:02 AM
Favorite Prokofiev works at the moment:

Scythian Suite - About as barbaric as music gets.
Piano Concerto No. 3 - My favorite recording right now is with Gary Graffman, George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, steely and precise.
Semyon Kotko - A very underrated opera.  I've only seen it once, with Gergiev and the Kirov when they brought it to Lincoln Center a few years ago, but it remains seared in my memory.
Symphony No. 3 - The centerpiece of my favorite CD (here in the "favorite CD covers" thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,19.msg193.html#msg193)), this seems very underplayed.  I don't recall ever hearing it live.

Next season the Met is doing two Prokofiev operas, The Gambler and War and Peace.  I saw both when they premiered a few seasons back, and both are filled with terrific music, although The Gambler took a little more concentration.  Rather than long vocal lines, it uses smaller phrases, i.e., little gestures that only increase the sense of nervousness and agitation swirling around the title character.  But the orchestral parts have typical Prokofiev energy and color.

--Bruce

Forgot about the Sythian Suite; need to give it a re-listen today.  Agreed that the PC #3 with Szell and Graffman is superb.  Symphony #3 is indeed magnificent, and I have noticed that it is underplayed.  Still need to check out War and Peace.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on April 07, 2007, 02:09:03 PM
Symphony #3 is a great piece to hear live: the only time I've heard it live was when Bryden Thomson conducted the RSNO in it in Dundee a few days before his death, but it was a tremendous experience. The only symphony I prefer is #6.

My other absolute favourites are the 6th sonata and 1st violin sonata, but I am always happy to hear the very underrated Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, one of the most mindboggling pieces out there.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on April 08, 2007, 12:39:01 PM
I think the Piano Sonatas should be mentioned specifically, as I feel they are the last really great piano sonata cycle composed. Also I've listened to the complete Chout recently (Roshdestvensky/Melodiya) and found it a marvellous inventive and melodic work. I feel that very few, if any, 20th century composers composed so masterfully in so great a variety of genres as Prokofiev did.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Siedler on April 09, 2007, 02:07:59 AM
Symphony No. 3 - The centerpiece of my favorite CD (here in the "favorite CD covers" thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,19.msg193.html#msg193)), this seems very underplayed.  I don't recall ever hearing it live.
Indeed a great symphony and I actually did hear it live last fall. I consider myself as lucky. :) The music of the 3rd symphony derives from The Fiery Angel opera, which I'm eager to hear as well.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 09, 2007, 12:02:42 PM
I think the Piano Sonatas should be mentioned specifically, as I feel they are the last really great piano sonata cycle composed. Also I've listened to the complete Chout recently (Roshdestvensky/Melodiya) and found it a marvellous inventive and melodic work. I feel that very few, if any, 20th century composers composed so masterfully in so great a variety of genres as Prokofiev did.

The piano sonatas need more praise ,for sure, but I especially love the violin sonatas and think they aren't mentioned enough.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lady Chatterley on April 09, 2007, 03:26:08 PM
Baby, child, sarcastic youth, perceptive Man, husband, lover, father, exile, prodigal son and one great composer to boot!  I'm talking about Sergei Prokofiev!!!!!  He gave us some of the most gorgeous and brilliant music of the 20th century.  Imo, he was the greatest composer from that century.




 Danny,
 A great composer,but a terrible driver.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Harry on April 09, 2007, 09:35:39 PM
Danny,
 A great composer,but a terrible driver.

Really?
Well he had a license to compose, and that is sort of driving right? ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 10, 2007, 03:08:00 AM
Danny,
 A great composer,but a terrible driver.

Lady, you drive straight to the heart of the matter!  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: val on April 10, 2007, 03:49:40 AM
My favorites of Prokofiev:

Alexander Nevsky (Ancerl)

3rd piano Concerto (Argerich, Abbado)

Sept ils sont sept (Rojdestvensky)

Pas d'Acier (Makevitch)

5th Symphony (Szell)

The opera "The Fiery Angel" (in french with Jeanne Rhodes and Charles Bruck)

Romeo and Juliet (Maazel)

The 7th piano Sonata (Horowitz)

The 8th piano Sonata (Gilels)

The 6th Symphony (Mravinski)

The two violin Concertos  (Stern, Ormandy)

The First Symphony (Markevitch)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 10, 2007, 04:09:24 AM
Some of my favorites which (perhaps) have not yet been mentioned:

Sinfonietta in A, Opus 5/48
Toccata, Opus 11
Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova, Opus 27
L'enfant prodigue, Opus 46
Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Opus 125
Symphony No. 7 in C# Minor, Opus 131

Two pieces which Maciek mentioned, which deserve a repeat mention:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Opus 16
Symphony No. 2, Opus 40

And one of Edward's mentioning:

Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Opus 74
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lady Chatterley on April 11, 2007, 08:45:30 AM
Lady, you drive straight to the heart of the matter!  8)

 Sergi drove the narrow country roads of France like a maniac.One time rolling the car over while traveling with his wife and two young sons.He was hurt in the accident,his shoulder and right arm were so bruised he couldn't play for a while.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 11, 2007, 08:50:09 AM
I remember.

I mean: I know.  I wasn't there, so I couldn't remember, not like that  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 11, 2007, 08:50:37 AM
Sergi drove the narrow country roads of France like a maniac.

When in Rome . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lady Chatterley on April 11, 2007, 08:56:15 AM
I remember.

I mean: I know.  I wasn't there, so I couldn't remember, not like that  ;)

 I disremember what ballet he was working on at the time ,Three oranges,perhaps,the accident forced him into his chair for weeks so he finished the ballet in record time.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 11, 2007, 11:48:12 AM
Lady, you drive straight to the heart of the matter!  8)

He wore those tiny, odd looking spectacles...............art for art's sake, I guess. :P
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: pjme on April 11, 2007, 11:57:32 AM
(http://www.symphonypromusica.org/notes/Prokovief2.jpg)

Listened to fragments from Ivan - Eisenstein. Muti conducting .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 11, 2007, 12:23:53 PM
Forgot to mention another one of my favorites: the ballet Shut’ (The Buffoon)

Maciek
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 12, 2007, 10:06:32 AM
Chout is good fun, Maciek!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on April 12, 2007, 03:02:03 PM
Forgot to mention another one of my favorites: the ballet Shut’ (The Buffoon)

Maciek

Have you heard the recent complete ballet performance from Jurowski?  It's marvelous!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 13, 2007, 01:55:32 AM
No, just an old Melodya CD.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 03:23:10 AM
Brett's right, Maciek, I think you'll very much like the Jurowski!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 13, 2007, 04:10:34 AM
It's the CPO one, isn't it? I'm adding it to my wishlist then! ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 04:36:04 AM
It's the CPO one, isn't it?

Yes, indeed.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: m_gigena on April 13, 2007, 05:55:43 AM
My favorites of Prokofiev:

3rd piano Concerto (Argerich, Abbado)
(...)
The 8th piano Sonata (Gilels)

I second you in the Argerich selection. There's no better Prok 3 than hers. Watching her live doing this work is a must for everyone who claims to be a Prokofiev lover (Even if she is playing with a cheap mid-range orchestra, as was my case a couple of years ago).

But for the 8th sonata my votes go for the unstopable and out-of-control Gavrilov. Followed by some live Richter one of the fellow GMG members shared in the past.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: BachQ on April 13, 2007, 05:59:45 AM
I second you in the Argerich selection. There's no better Prok 3 than hers. Watching her live doing this work is a must for everyone who claims to be a Prokofiev lover (Even if she is playing with a cheap mid-range orchestra, as was my case a couple of years ago).

As to modern recordings, Argerich is indeed excellent; but as to less recent recordings, Byron Janis and Sergei Prokofiev ( :o) offer stellar interpretations. 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 13, 2007, 06:03:27 AM
I could try to list my favorite Prokofiev works, but that list would go on forever, even clips from his lesser know works like Chout make my mouth water.
The only two works, to this day, that I really don't care about much even after listening to many times, are the last 2 piano concertos. The 6th symphony is also questionable, but it might change over time. This is saying a lot since I have a pretty big Prokofiev collection   8)

one day, i'll get them all............
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: m_gigena on April 13, 2007, 06:51:26 AM
As to modern recordings, Argerich is indeed excellent; but as to less recent recordings, Byron Janis and Sergei Prokofiev ( :o) offer stellar interpretations. 

I also like Kapell very much. And there's one with Mitropoulos conducting from the piano I enjoy too.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 07:05:07 AM
It is one of the more poignant might-have-beens in music, that Shostakovich never set the words of Akhmatova (though he did pay tribute to her, by setting a poem about her, in the Tsvetayeva cycle).

Prokofiev set five early poems of Akhmatova in 1916, for his Opus 27, which is to say, from a period when neither had yet had occasion to run afoul of the cultural upheavals which would characterize the Soviet Union in after years.

Prokofiev’s songs are charmingly simple in presentation, delightful in their accompaniment.  Alas, the set is brief enough, that it simply makes the listener eager for more.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 13, 2007, 09:58:25 AM
I don't think I know any Prokofiev songs. Will have to rectify that!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 10:00:33 AM
You might start with The Ugly Duckling, Opus 18, Maciek!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 13, 2007, 10:01:42 AM
The title alone makes me want to have it, Karl! ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 15, 2007, 11:09:22 AM
You might start with The Ugly Duckling, Opus 18, Maciek!
That must've been embarassing for him, when his old girlfriend wrote the lyrics and the main character described Prokofiev exactly.  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: 71 dB on April 15, 2007, 01:55:43 PM
Romeo and Juliet made me an great impression when I bought it in December 2005 (Maazel)

I haven't heard much Prokofiev but he is definitely one to explore. He has a bit Elgarian qualities in his music. I guess his symphonies are good.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 15, 2007, 02:25:51 PM


I haven't heard much Prokofiev but he is definitely one to explore. He has a bit Elgarian qualities in his music.

No he doesn't. Stop it already will you ? Not every great composer has an Elgarian quality, especially Prokofiev. Prokofiev's music is about simplicity, wit, clarity, and unrelenting drive and rhythm. His music is angular and provacative. Whatever merits might be in Elgar's music, none of them are in Prokofiev's.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on April 15, 2007, 02:48:24 PM
No he doesn't. Stop it already will you ? Not every great composer has an Elgarian quality, especially Prokofiev. Prokofiev's music is about simplicity, wit, clarity, and unrelenting drive and rhythm. His music is angular and provacative. Whatever merits might be in Elgar's music, none of them are in Prokofiev's.

What he said...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: scottscheule on April 15, 2007, 03:37:36 PM
No he doesn't. Stop it already will you ? Not every great composer has an Elgarian quality, especially Prokofiev. Prokofiev's music is about simplicity, wit, clarity, and unrelenting drive and rhythm. His music is angular and provacative. Whatever merits might be in Elgar's music, none of them are in Prokofiev's.

Can't say I've ever made the connection either.  Were you thinking of something in particular?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 15, 2007, 03:55:24 PM
What he said...

Can't say I've ever made the connection either.  Were you thinking of something in particular?

I'm gonna chime in with you guys. ;D



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 16, 2007, 11:58:19 AM
"Single greatest Prokofiev work" would be a futile exercise, of course.

But some days, that's just how I feel about the F Minor Violin Sonata. And I can't fight this feeling anymore . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 17, 2007, 07:06:42 AM
"Single greatest Prokofiev work" would be a futile exercise, of course.

But some days, that's just how I feel about the F Minor Violin Sonata. And I can't fight this feeling anymore . . . .
uh-oh! Karl is going to surrender to saying that he has a favorite!  :o
no way, i never thought he had a favorite anything.......
now hell's gonna freeze over! it's the apocalypse!

 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:)
 >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lady Chatterley on April 17, 2007, 08:10:04 AM
uh-oh! Karl is going to surrender to saying that he has a favorite!  :o
no way, i never thought he had a favorite anything.......
now hell's gonna freeze over! it's the apocalypse!

 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:) 0:)
 >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D

 Well he did feel under the weather,perhaps it was fever?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Harry on April 17, 2007, 08:14:03 AM
"Single greatest Prokofiev work" would be a futile exercise, of course.

But some days, that's just how I feel about the F Minor Violin Sonata. And I can't fight this feeling anymore . . . .

I agree with this one. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 17, 2007, 08:21:27 AM
it's the apocalypse!

Thank goodness for Standard Disclaimers  0:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 17, 2007, 09:11:44 AM
Call me crazy, but I love the D Major Violin Sonata more.  I just love that piece..................but both are sublime.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 18, 2007, 07:36:47 AM
Call me crazy, but I love the D Major Violin Sonata more.  I just love that piece..................but both are sublime.
i guess it's cuz you're the only non-gothic here then  >:D  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 18, 2007, 08:36:53 AM
i guess it's cuz you're the only non-gothic here then  >:D  ;)

Run...........................its the debil! :P
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 18, 2007, 08:41:29 AM
Run...........................its the debil! :P
in that case, no need to run since he'll already be weak enough to knock out with a single blow  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 18, 2007, 10:22:12 AM
Danny, I don't think it is at all crazy to prefer the D Major Sonata  0:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 19, 2007, 04:24:48 AM
Danny, I don't think it is at all crazy to prefer the D Major Sonata  0:)
me neither, and i was just kidding about the gothic thing  ;D
but still the F Minor Sonata does have a sort of dark charm to it- they did play it at his funeral. Maybe they should've played it at Stalin's, too- wait........

what did they actually play at Stalin's funeral? They shoulda played something like Joy to the World, the 2nd movement of Shostakovich's 10th, or maybe Peter and the Wolf. That last one would be completely bizarre.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 19, 2007, 09:32:20 AM
Danny, I don't think it is at all crazy to prefer the D Major Sonata  0:)

Amen to that!  Its one of my favorite pieces by any composer.   0:)   0:)   0:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 19, 2007, 09:33:58 AM
me neither, and i was just kidding about the gothic thing  ;D
but still the F Minor Sonata does have a sort of dark charm to it- they did play it at his funeral. Maybe they should've played it at Stalin's, too- wait........

what did they actually play at Stalin's funeral? They shoulda played something like Joy to the World, the 2nd movement of Shostakovich's 10th, or maybe Peter and the Wolf. That last one would be completely bizarre.

I hear the second movement to Shosty's Tenth was supposed to represent Stalinism. 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 20, 2007, 04:46:15 AM
I hear the second movement to Shosty's Tenth was supposed to represent Stalinism. 
exactly, that's why i mentioned it  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 20, 2007, 06:19:36 AM
That's what Volkov said . . . and (surprise, surprise) that remark has gotten a lot of play.

I have a hard time believing that the brilliant, blistering second movement is, simply, "a portrait of Stalin."

For only one thing, how does the movement end?  With a triumphant major chord.  What does that mean?  The triumph of Stalin?  Oh. maybe not, maybe not . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 20, 2007, 02:23:28 PM
That's what Volkov said . . . and (surprise, surprise) that remark has gotten a lot of play.

I have a hard time believing that the brilliant, blistering second movement is, simply, "a portrait of Stalin."

For only one thing, how does the movement end?  With a triumphant major chord.  What does that mean?  The triumph of Stalin?  Oh. maybe not, maybe not . . .
why don't you ask Shosty himself?
........
........
ok, fine, if you won't, i will


"Hey, Shosty, is that second movement of your 10th symphony a portrait of Stalin?"

"Да, a мое нот миле"
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 20, 2007, 07:47:01 PM
That's what Volkov said . . . and (surprise, surprise) that remark has gotten a lot of play.

I have a hard time believing that the brilliant, blistering second movement is, simply, "a portrait of Stalin."

For only one thing, how does the movement end?  With a triumphant major chord.  What does that mean?  The triumph of Stalin?  Oh. maybe not, maybe not . . .

Excellent post, Dr. Karl.  I've always loved that movement (it doesn't sound dark or evil to me--maybe ominous--) and hoped that the supposed Stalinist element wasn't true.  I believe it was composed right around the time of the Festive Overture, so maybe Volkov is full of it! :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 21, 2007, 05:13:38 AM
while taking a break from reading Prokofiev's memoirs (which are quite a fun and interesting read).
oh yeah, that's the stuff
one of my favorite unforgettable parts was when he goes to America and thinks all the change is going to spill out of his pockets and he's like, "i don't wanna be the laughing stock of American! Mwaaaaaaaa  :'(!"  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 21, 2007, 08:40:55 AM
Need to get a hand on those memoirs.  Looks like a good read.  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 21, 2007, 08:47:12 AM
There are almost never clear favourites amongst a composers oeuvre, with me, I see merit in almost every composition from Prokofiev.
And that is with all the composers I know, well almost!
His Ballet music, is played by me often, as his Symphonies.




Just discovered Profokiev, and his "Classical" symphony, last night. What a fantastic discovery!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 21, 2007, 09:09:31 AM



Just discovered Profokiev, and his "Classical" symphony, last night. What a fantastic discovery!

Welcome aboard, Haffner; time to jump on the Prokofiev praisin' paddy wagon!  :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 21, 2007, 09:11:36 AM
Welcome aboard, Haffner; time to jump on the Prokofiev praisin' paddy wagon!  :D




I can't wait to check out some more of this incredible composer, Danny! I was (and remain) completely knocked out by that Symphony.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 21, 2007, 09:42:15 AM



I can't wait to check out some more of this incredible composer, Danny! I was (and remain) completely knocked out by that Symphony.

First piece I heard by him was Lt. Kijje.  I was floored by that one, and the Classical Symphony was the next piece I heard (the perfect follow up!). 

More goodies await you!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 21, 2007, 12:45:39 PM
First piece I heard was one of the Romeo and Juliet suites (or maybe both?) on a concert for youths. It was staggering - turned me into a fan right off. :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on April 22, 2007, 01:51:45 AM



Just discovered Profokiev, and his "Classical" symphony, last night. What a fantastic discovery!

For God's sake, don't go from the Classical to the 3rd Symphony.....try the ballets first. Cinderella, Rome & Juliet, then the violin sonatas, when you love that music, you are ready for the heavier stuff....
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 22, 2007, 03:37:00 AM
For God's sake, don't go from the Classical to the 3rd Symphony.....try the ballets first. Cinderella, Rome & Juliet, then the violin sonatas, when you love that music, you are ready for the heavier stuff....




Thank you, Erato!  I think I will grab Romeo and Juliet next, as my girl will probably be very interested as well.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 22, 2007, 04:27:21 AM
OTOH, I think the Seventh Symphony (e.g.) would be more like [readily likeable] than [too heavy].
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 22, 2007, 11:02:32 AM
Quote
OTOH, I think the Seventh Symphony (e.g.) would be more like [readily likeable] than [too heavy].
i wonder where that leaves the 2nd?  ;D
no really, by now i've decided the 2nd and 7th are my two favorites of his symphonies after the 5th- and on the Ozawa set, they are both on the same disc- it's like eating steak and then eating ice cream  0:)

one topic i've been wanting to talk about is why is the 2nd symphony so underrated? Prokofiev didn't care for it himself. Was the premiere just poorly played? I can't see what's so bad about it.....  ???
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 22, 2007, 11:09:43 AM
Thank you, Erato!  I think I will grab Romeo and Juliet next, as my girl will probably be very interested as well.
OTOH, I think the Seventh Symphony (e.g.) would be more like [readily likeable] than [too heavy].

For what it's worth, Romeo and Juliet and the Seventh Symphony are Mrs. Rock's favorite works. Either or both might get you back into good grace with your girl, Andy, after all that Wagner  ;)

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 22, 2007, 11:16:08 AM
i wonder where that leaves the 2nd?  ;D
no really, by now i've decided the 2nd and 7th are my two favorites of his symphonies after the 5th- and on the Ozawa set, they are both on the same disc- it's like eating steak and then eating ice cream  0:)

one topic i've been wanting to talk about is why is the 2nd symphony so underrated? Prokofiev didn't care for it himself. Was the premiere just poorly played? I can't see what's so bad about it.....  ???

I don't care for the Second.  Not that it is bad, but....................with all of the other treasures and nuggets in the Prokofiev catalogue, the Second just pales in comparison.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 11:19:39 AM
I don't care for the Second.  Not that it is bad, but....................with all of the other treasures and nuggets in the Prokofiev catalogue, the Second just pales in comparison.

Watch what you're saying about my favorite Prokofiev symphony! $:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 22, 2007, 11:23:39 AM
Watch what you're saying about my favorite Prokofiev symphony! $:)
no way, serious?  :D
hey, nice to see i'm not the only who thinks the second kicks butt  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 11:25:37 AM
Of course I'm serious! :D

My favorite Prokofiev concerto: Piano Concerto No. 2
My favorite Prokofiev symphony: Symphony No. 2
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 22, 2007, 11:26:18 AM
Watch what you're saying about my favorite Prokofiev symphony! $:)

Sorry officer!  I promise I won't do it again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 11:29:37 AM
OK, I'll let you go once... ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 22, 2007, 11:33:57 AM
Sorry officer!  I promise I won't do it again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ;D
the second offense will be dealt with the cop from the underworld

 >:D
 $:)

(he has a medical condition, or deformity, where he has two heads. please don't point or laugh..... life's hard on such a guy)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 22, 2007, 11:36:14 AM
OK, I'll let you go once... ;D

And I promise to play the Second everyday for the rest of my life!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 22, 2007, 11:37:12 AM
the second offense will be dealt with the cop from the underworld

 >:D
 $:)

(he has a medical condition, or deformity, where he has two heads. please don't point or laugh..... life's hard on such a guy)

Two heads........................hahahahahahahahahahaha..............................hang in there, little buddy! ;P
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: 71 dB on April 22, 2007, 12:10:50 PM
Just discovered Profokiev, and his "Classical" symphony, last night. What a fantastic discovery!

Andy, I am also in the slow process of discovering Prokofiev. Romeo & Juliet (Maazel) was very impressive discovery. What a stunning ballet! Violin Concertos (Sitkovetsky) haven't grown on me yet. Piano Concertos (Kun Woo Paik) 1, 3 & 4 are good. That's what I have so far. I find Prokofiev's music warm and cold at the same time. It has some Elgarian warmth and some iron coldness of Shostakovich.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 23, 2007, 03:01:27 AM
For what it's worth, Romeo and Juliet and the Seventh Symphony are Mrs. Rock's favorite works. Either or both might get you back into good grace with your girl, Andy, after all that Wagner  ;)

Sarge



 ;) :D


Empress Jasmine was let down right off the bat with Levine's "Ring..." cycle, mostly because the Rhine Maidens didn't look much like mermaids. But she adores what she calls the "mermaid prelude" to that piece.


She reacted as I did when first hearing Profokiev's "Classical": that is,with a general wonderment that we hadn't heard anything by this obviously superior composer before.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 23, 2007, 03:03:45 AM
I find Prokofiev's music warm and cold at the same time. It has some Elgarian warmth and some iron coldness of Shostakovich.





Now that is an irresistible match for me, db!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 23, 2007, 09:32:50 AM
no way, serious?  :D
hey, nice to see i'm not the only who thinks the second kicks butt  8)

Greg, you did not know that I am orphotrypylose over the Prokofiev Second Symphony?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: 71 dB on April 23, 2007, 10:21:20 AM
Now that is an irresistible match for me, db!

Well, do not resist Andy!  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 05:15:39 AM
I will find it interesting later today to explore the Slava/LSO/Ozawa recording of the Opus 125 . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 09:44:22 AM
Greg, you did not know that I am ubloobideega over the Prokofiev Second Symphony?
no, i didn't  :D
but i find your choice of adopting the name of a serial killer and threat to the universe as a synonym for "in love with/enjoy a lot" very interesting.....
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 09:53:53 AM
Let me rephrase that . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 09:54:32 AM
Let me rephrase that . . . .
oh wait... you mean you don't like it?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 09:56:25 AM
I adore the Prokofiev Opus 40.

As to that favorite name of yours, I cannot utter it any longer, nor deliberately cause it to be viewed on-screen . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 10:01:43 AM
I adore the Prokofiev Opus 40.

As to that favorite name of yours, I cannot utter it any longer, nor deliberately cause it to be viewed on-screen . . . .
oh...... i see what you mean now

i didn't specify the details to Ubloobideega's misbehavior, though... (you see, he's really stupid)

he's a mass murderer because:
...
...
one of his favorite hobbies is going to the park to find ant piles to step on them; he's killed more ants than any person who's ever lived

he's a threat to the universe because:
...
...
he's trying to find 0KDU, which is a formula to create 0 Kelvin to destroy the universe, but we all know that'll never happen.

so will you use the sacred name of Ubloobideega once more, Pope Karl XXI?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 24, 2007, 10:06:51 AM
Actually, that's Pope Karl I.  (Know your Catholic history, youngin!) :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 10:10:58 AM
Actually, that's Pope Karl I.  (Know your Catholic history, youngin!) :D
yeah, but Karl is from another galaxy, duh, they have a different system over there

haven't you ever heard of the planet Karl where everyone is named Karl?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 24, 2007, 10:13:00 AM
yeah, but Karl is from another galaxy, duh, they have a different system over there

haven't you ever heard of the planet Karl where everyone is named Karl?

I hail from the planet Daniel, where everyone is named Daniel, Danny, or Dan.  ;)

All hail me!   ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 10:21:01 AM
I hail from the planet Daniel, where everyone is named Daniel, Danny, or Dan.  ;)

All hail me!   ;D
i haven't heard of that planet... wait, i might've seen it on a map once. Oh yeah, it was that one that was the size of Luxembourg
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 24, 2007, 11:03:37 AM
i haven't heard of that planet... wait, i might've seen it on a map once. Oh yeah, it was that one that was the size of Luxembourg

Watch it, buster; we have WMDS!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 11:14:49 AM
 WMDS = Wolferl Mozart Dmitri Shostakovich?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 11:19:10 AM
Meanwhile, back on topic . . . .

So who's heard Winter Bonfire, Opus 122?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 24, 2007, 11:25:40 AM
Meanwhile, back on topic . . . .

So who's heard Winter Bonfire, Opus 122?

No, haven't heard, but that makes me want to hear it!   :o
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on April 24, 2007, 11:26:48 AM
Meanwhile, back on topic . . . .

So who's heard Winter Bonfire, Opus 122?
I heard it once and it didn't impress me enough to go back for a second bite.

I'm not the biggest fan of late Prokofiev (the Symphony-Concerto and 7th Symphony aside).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 24, 2007, 12:13:54 PM
Meanwhile, back on topic . . . .

So who's heard Winter Bonfire, Opus 122?
i haven't, but like all of Prokofiev i haven't heard, i'd LOOOOOOVE to hear.
this is the same Winter Bonfire Prokofiev used to destroy Danny's planet...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 24, 2007, 12:26:56 PM
i haven't, but like all of Prokofiev i haven't heard, i'd LOOOOOOVE to hear.
this is the same Winter Bonfire Prokofiev used to destroy Danny's planet...


This..................means.........................war...........................................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 >:D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: MishaK on April 24, 2007, 12:51:27 PM
Guys, in the current issue of the New York Review of Books there is a lengthy article on Prokofiev's early diaries by Orlando Figes (print only, not available online, unfortunately). Haven't finished reading yet, but interesting sofar.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 25, 2007, 05:43:53 AM
I hail from the planet Daniel, where everyone is named Daniel, Danny, or Dan.  ;)

All hail me!   ;D




I hail from the planet Haffner, where everybody is named Andy, and only posts avatars of his fiancee online.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 25, 2007, 05:44:41 AM
Well, then it's a good job that your affianced is so easy upon the eye, Andy  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 25, 2007, 07:57:04 AM
Yeah; does she have a sister, Andy?   ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Harry on April 25, 2007, 07:57:57 AM
Yeah; does she have a sister, Andy?   ;D

Spoken for me lad! $:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 25, 2007, 08:02:52 AM
Well, then it's a good job that your affianced is so easy upon the eye, Andy  8)



There are times I adore Karl-ian jargon! "affianced" is terrific!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 25, 2007, 08:05:03 AM
Yeah; does she have a sister, Andy?   ;D



Sadly (for others) no. Interestingly, her mother is butt-ugly (at the risk of sounding needlessly unkind).

As you can imagine, I don't attend holiday group occasions involving her family  :-\ ;).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 25, 2007, 11:14:30 AM
This may be the appropriate time, Andy, to encourage you to seek out Prokofiev's The Ugly Duckling, Opus 18  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 26, 2007, 05:06:23 AM
This may be the appropriate time, Andy, to encourage you to seek out Prokofiev's The Ugly Duckling, Opus 18  8)
Yeah, he could send it into his future mother-in-law for a Christmas present.
i could just see it now...
"What's this, a CD? Pro... koo... what?"
"It's Prokofiev".
"And why'd you give me this? It says the Ugly Duckling?"
"Well, I just thought it'd be so appropriate for you."
*Andy gets slapped into last week and then changes his mind about buying the CD.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 26, 2007, 05:25:34 AM
That's the genius of it.  Andy plays it in another room, the performer is singing in Russian, the mother-in-law suspects nothing, Andy laughs up his sleeve sardonically (or, if he is wearing a T-shirt, laughs into a convenient styrofoam Dunkin Donuts cup).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 26, 2007, 05:30:25 AM
now you're making me think of iced coffee again.....
but when you're unemployed and get to sleep till 9, that stuff isn't necessary  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 26, 2007, 05:48:26 AM
Yeah, he could send it into his future mother-in-law for a Christmas present.
i could just see it now...
"What's this, a CD? Pro... koo... what?"
"It's Prokofiev".
"And why'd you give me this? It says the Ugly Duckling?"
"Well, I just thought it'd be so appropriate for you."
*Andy gets slapped into last week and then changes his mind about buying the CD.



Andy is probably better off never meeting Jasmine's mother. Period.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 26, 2007, 05:50:30 AM
A beautiful name, Jasmine!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on April 26, 2007, 05:51:52 AM
Andy  laughs into a convenient styrofoam Dunkin Donuts cup).



 :o

How did you..."Dr. Karl Henning, Psychic"
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 27, 2007, 06:47:41 AM


 :o

How did you..."Dr. Karl Henning, Psychic"
nah, it's normal- everyone from planet Karl is a psychic.
occasionally, he even send telepathic messages into people's minds, so if you have some thoughts and you don't know where they came from, just keep in mind it might be him  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2007, 06:48:20 AM
I thought, Greg, you would enjoy those thoughts I just sent you.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: BachQ on April 27, 2007, 06:49:32 AM
Happy Birthday, Prokofiev!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 27, 2007, 06:54:16 AM
Happy Birthday, Prokofiev!
it's his birthday?
oh yeah....... i already wished him a happy birthday on his myspace page (everyone else does it around the same week)....
i kept on asking him for free composition lessons, but it seems he isn't interested (no reply)....  :'(

Quote
I thought, Greg, you would enjoy those thoughts I just sent you.
an advertisement for Kleenex?  ???
that's strange.......
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 27, 2007, 09:48:00 AM
it's his birthday?
oh yeah....... i already wished him a happy birthday on his myspace page (everyone else does it around the same week)....
i kept on asking him for free composition lessons, but it seems he isn't interested (no reply)....  :'(
an advertisement for Kleenex?  ???
that's strange.......

Sergei is my buddy on MySpace, too.  Small world, huh, Greg?

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 27, 2007, 02:04:04 PM
Sergei is my buddy on MySpace, too.  Small world, huh, Greg?


wow, cool  :D
oh, you gotta be my buddy too then  ;)- what's your address?
(just pm me if you don't want the whole world to know)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 27, 2007, 05:44:53 PM
wow, cool  :D
oh, you gotta be my buddy too then  ;)- what's your address?
(just pm me if you don't want the whole world to know)

Check your myspace when you have the chance. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on April 30, 2007, 01:59:23 PM
I plan to give the Second another listen asap.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on April 30, 2007, 02:14:49 PM
About time! >:(



;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 03:39:14 AM
I plan to give the Second another listen asap.

Ну, как?  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on May 04, 2007, 12:43:54 PM
I love the first movement (good, feisty, tempestuous stuff).........................gimmee some time and I'll probably love the second (and all of its variations), too!  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on May 05, 2007, 09:19:59 AM
Out of curiosity, is there any consensus here regarding the best performance of the 4th piano concerto.

I'm very satisfied with my favoured recordings (Richter or Moravec in the first, Baloghova in the second, the composer in the third, Richter in the fifth) of the other ones, but not the left-hand one.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on May 06, 2007, 10:50:34 PM
I have Ashkenazy, but need more in the Fourth (obviously).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 07, 2007, 02:48:43 AM
As has been the case with certain other pieces, for a variety of reason which resist "unpacking" at this temporal remove the Richter (a Richter?) recording somehow didn't illuminate this for me.

That service was reserved by Fate to the Vladimir Krainev / Dmitri Kitaenko / Frankfurt Radio Symphony recordings.

Even better, though, is the Michel Béroff / Masur / Gewandhaus, I find.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 09, 2007, 03:37:36 AM
Look, I just found a "gem of the internet" (anyone who has ever watched "Attack of the Show!" from the G3 channel will know what I'm talking about)  ;D

https://urresearch.rochester.edu/handle/1802/2232

It's an analysis of much of his piano music, breaking in it down and stuff- haven't read it yet, but looking forward to it.  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 27, 2007, 05:54:00 AM
Down to page 6? Where's the outrage?

[ TTT ]
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on September 14, 2007, 01:48:34 PM
Just to maybe bump this thread a little bit, I soon plan to revisit all of Prokofiev's operas.  For some reason I bought them all several years ago, but only gave them a passing listen.  I am looking forward to The Gambler.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: scottscheule on September 15, 2007, 06:29:04 PM
Look, I just found a "gem of the internet" (anyone who has ever watched "Attack of the Show!" from the G3 channel will know what I'm talking about)  ;D

https://urresearch.rochester.edu/handle/1802/2232

It's an analysis of much of his piano music, breaking in it down and stuff- haven't read it yet, but looking forward to it.  :)

Bravo!  Excellent find.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on September 19, 2007, 08:38:59 AM
Bravo!  Excellent find.
man, that was awhile ago! i read the quote and i'm thinking "what, i wrote that?!"
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: BachQ on September 19, 2007, 09:22:33 AM
Can anyone recommend a kickass Schythian (sp) Suite?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: pjme on September 19, 2007, 10:10:09 AM
Abbado on DGG and Gergiev.

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CZKCRC63L._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: pjme on September 19, 2007, 10:13:10 AM
Out of curiosity, is there any consensus here regarding the best performance of the 4th piano concerto.

I'm very satisfied with my favoured recordings (Richter or Moravec in the first, Baloghova in the second, the composer in the third, Richter in the fifth) of the other ones, but not the left-hand one.

I have an interesting recording by Leon Fleisher and the BSO under Ozawa. I find the performance excellent. The coupling : Ravel's concerto for the left hand and Britten's Diversions. A great disc!

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SYVV706RL._AA240_.jpg)

Peter
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brewski on September 19, 2007, 10:15:33 AM
I have an interesting recording by Leon Fleisher and the BSO under Ozawa. I find the performance excellent. The coupling : Ravel's concerto for the left hand and Britten's Diversions. A great disc!

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SYVV706RL._AA240_.jpg)

Peter

Seconded.  A really marvelous CD (you don't see the Britten that often), and I'm not always the biggest fan of Ozawa, either, but everyone seems in synch here.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jurajjak on September 19, 2007, 10:07:34 PM
Can anyone recommend a kickass Schythian (sp) Suite?

Abbado is indeed excellent all-around.  The Gergiev has a truly outstanding 4th movement, with overwhelming brass, and extremely hard-edged 2nd and 3rd movements; his recording might've been the best ever were it not for an inexplicably slow 1st movement.

Dorati's old recording on Mercury is worth hearing for well-phrased accounts of the 1st and 2nd movements, but his sunrise finale is too tame.

I recall Jarvi being somewhat academic in this piece.

Kuchar's recording on Naxos suffers from terribly, tinny sound--like all of his Prokofiev recordings--but has some nice moments, including clearer-than-usual tam-tam crashes.


andrew
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 20, 2007, 02:40:58 AM
Agree with Andrew viz. the Abbado/CSO;  I should revisit the Dorati.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jurajjak on September 20, 2007, 09:26:11 AM
Agree with Andrew viz. the Abbado/CSO;  I should revisit the Dorati.

The Dorati has a nearly perfect rendering of the Dance of the Evil God and Pagan Monsters; unfortunately, he rushes through the work's finale, and doesn't hold the suspense of the brass long enough during the sunrise.

Much as I love Prokofiev--he's probably my favorite composer--I've always had mixed feelings about this piece.  The "big" parts are amazing, but there's rather too much mood music in the 1st and 3rd movements.  I wish the first movement had ended with a bang rather than slowly petering out.  Still, this type of mysticism was short-lived for Prokofiev; I usually consider the idiomatically similar (and utterly brilliant) "Seven, They are Seven" to be more successful than the Scythian Suite.


andrew   
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brewski on September 20, 2007, 09:40:38 AM
I am very fond of Scherchen's Scythian Suite, even though the orchestral playing (Vienna Symphony Orchestra) is not as good as Abbado's or Gergiev's recordings, and it's in mono rather than stereo.  But the "primitive" sound sort of suits the "primitive" feel of the music, and Scherchen sort of dashes into the piece with a fury that is really satisfying. 

--Bruce

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: BachQ on September 20, 2007, 09:45:15 AM
I am very fond of Scherchen's Scythian Suite, even though the orchestral playing (Vienna Symphony Orchestra) is not as good as Abbado's or Gergiev's recordings, and it's in mono rather than stereo

Any other problems with this recording that you'd care to share, Bruce? ........  :D  :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brewski on September 20, 2007, 09:47:39 AM
Any other problems with this recording that you'd care to share, Bruce? ........  :D  :D

Well, there's that laugh track... ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on October 06, 2007, 11:21:17 AM
Just discovered this recording and have thought the playing quite good and up to task for Sergei's sonatas.  Great sound, as well, and the disc was quite inexpensive, too, so am looking to get volume 1 soon.

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/91/607991.jpg)

Anyone else heard this?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 06, 2007, 04:42:47 PM
Not I, Danny, though at that price, I've considered giving one or two of the Arte Nova discs a try at some point.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Bonehelm on October 07, 2007, 09:59:37 AM
Guys, I'm seeing Prokofiev's 2nd PC live in January 2008. I heard it's a tempestuous, fiery and strikingly-dissonant piece. What should I listen for in the music? The chaotic piano chords? The messy orchestra? The performers will be Yundi Li, and HKPO conducted by Edo de Waart. Thanks!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on October 07, 2007, 10:09:32 AM
just enjoy it, man, one of the greatest piano concertos ever  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on October 07, 2007, 02:11:52 PM
Not I, Danny, though at that price, I've considered giving one or two of the Arte Nova discs a try at some point.

Worth the buy, Dr. Karl, worth the buy! :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on October 07, 2007, 02:12:22 PM
just enjoy it, man, one of the greatest piano concertos ever  8)

Will give that piece a spin right now.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jurajjak on October 07, 2007, 05:10:44 PM
Guys, I'm seeing Prokofiev's 2nd PC live in January 2008. I heard it's a tempestuous, fiery and strikingly-dissonant piece. What should I listen for in the music? The chaotic piano chords? The messy orchestra? The performers will be Yundi Li, and HKPO conducted by Edo de Waart. Thanks!

Prokofiev's 2nd is most famous for the cadenza in the first movement--at about 5-6 minutes, possibly the longest cadenza in any piano concerto (usually the pianist has to take a little break before the second movement).  What makes the cadenza so satisfying is that it's (mostly) developmental material, not superficial gloss.  The piece is also unusual in that it really doesn't have a slow movement.  Though the first mvmt. begins slowly, the tempestuousness of the cadenza disqualifies it from being considered a conventional slow movement; after that, it's fast-moderate-fast, with the 3rd, moderate intermezzo actually the most dissonant part.

I've only seen it live once, with Toradze-Gergiev.  It seems as if this piece has finally come into its own in the past 5 years or so, and is now performed as frequently as the 3rd concerto.


andrew   
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: pjme on October 08, 2007, 01:00:12 AM
At the Queen Elisabeth competition it has become quite popular.
(http://www.cmireb.be/data/images/20070602-10.jpg)

Anna Vinnitskaya has won this year with a towering performance of Prokofiev's second concerto.
There's a 3CD box with recordings by all the laureates:
Orchestre royal de chambre de Wallonie - dir. Paul Goodwin
ONB / NOB - dir. Gilbert Varga

CD / Piano /2007
Publisher: Queen Elisabeth Competition
Reference: QEC2007-1

http://www.qeimc.be/en/actu.php


The performance is -unfortunately- no longer available at the competitions website.
But I'm sure her name will be soon better known. (idem for Plamena Mangova from Bulgaria - her Chostakovitch Preludes & 2nd sonata on Fuga libera met with critical acclaim).

(http://www.fugalibera.com/data/cds/79/BIG.JPG)

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 09, 2007, 03:49:27 AM
Prokofiev's 2nd is most famous for the cadenza in the first movement--at about 5-6 minutes, possibly the longest cadenza in any piano concerto (usually the pianist has to take a little break before the second movement).  What makes the cadenza so satisfying is that it's (mostly) developmental material, not superficial gloss.  The piece is also unusual in that it really doesn't have a slow movement.  Though the first mvmt. begins slowly, the tempestuousness of the cadenza disqualifies it from being considered a conventional slow movement; after that, it's fast-moderate-fast, with the 3rd, moderate intermezzo actually the most dissonant part.

I've only seen it live once, with Toradze-Gergiev.  It seems as if this piece has finally come into its own in the past 5 years or so, and is now performed as frequently as the 3rd concerto.

Probably part of the reason it was slow to gain mindshare in programming, is related to the fact that Prokofiev's inspiration for the second (in both a general sense of stamina/technical demand, and in specific finding a formal 'groove' for a monster cadenza) was the Rakhmaninov Third Concerto.  When Rakhmaninov had finished writing that piece, he wondered himself what he had wrought;  and similarly, taking on the Prokofiev Second isn't for anyone who just wants to phone in with the Schumann  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on October 09, 2007, 10:28:07 AM
I'd love to hear Severin von Eckardstein record the Second Concerto. I heard his performance from the Leeds competition a few years back while driving through the Scottish countryside (admittedly, hardly ideal listening conditions) and found it sensational: slow, rhythmically very precise and very much focussed on long-term tension-building rather than quick emotional fixes. The closest I've come to this performance--which iirc Angela Hewitt said was the best Prokofiev concerto performance she'd ever heard--is the remarkable Baloghova/Ancerl on Supraphon, an essential Prokofiev disc if there ever were one, given that it also includes a superb Classical Symphony and Richter in the 1st Piano Concerto.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: pjme on October 09, 2007, 11:47:33 AM
Cyprès recorded (as always) the performances at the Queen Elisabeth competition 2003. Live recordings . But , of course ,he should re-record it in better circumstances.

Piano session - 2003 (3CD)

Severin von Eckardstein, Wen-Yu Shen, Roberto Giordano, Kazumasa Matsumoto, Jin Ju, Jong-Gyung Park, MinSoo Sohn & Amir Tebenikhin

S. Prokofiev: Concerto n.2 in G minor op.16
S. Rachmaninov: Concerto n.3 in D minor op.30
I. Munro: Dreams
L. van Beethoven: Sonata n.27 in E minor op.90
I. Stravinsky: Petrouchka
L. van Beethoven: Sonata n.31 in A flat major op.110
M. Balakirev: Islamey
W.A. Mozart: Concerto n.20 in D minor KV466
F. Schubert: Sonata in A major D664
L. van Beethoven: Sonata n.22 in F major op.54
J. Haydn: Sonata in C major Hob.XVI:50



CD / Piano /2003
Publisher: Cyprès
Reference: CYP9616
http://www.cypres-records.com
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on October 09, 2007, 12:01:54 PM
...uggghhhh now i feel like listening to the 2nd piano concerto again; it's just so good, impossible to resist!

but, it isn't really the longest cadenza, right? Can't be. One of the longest, but does anyone know the longest? Probably some modern work, i bet.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: rappy on October 14, 2007, 04:55:53 AM
My favourites are (yet):

Symphony #7
Symphony #5
Symphony #1
PC #1
PC #3
Lt. Kije Suite
Piano sonata #6
Piano sonata #7
Romeo & Julia
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: BachQ on October 16, 2007, 05:17:51 AM
Prokofiev's 2nd is most famous for the cadenza in the first movement--at about 5-6 minutes, possibly the longest cadenza in any piano concerto (usually the pianist has to take a little break before the second movement). 

IIRC, doesn't the 1st movement have 2 cadenzas?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jurajjak on October 17, 2007, 09:48:10 PM
IIRC, doesn't the 1st movement have 2 cadenzas?

Well, yes, there is a shorter cadenza toward the beginning of the movement, which tends to get overshadowed.

Do you know the recording by Viktoria Postnikova and Gennadi Rozhdestvensky?  I was listening to it a couple of hours ago--it has the audial drawbacks of Soviet-era recording, but I've never heard the notes in the winds and brass so clearly, and the third movement is taken at a remarkably careful pace.  Many pianists rush through the 3rd movement, but here they generate a creeping tension and suspense I've not encountered in any other recording.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: mr_espansiva on October 26, 2007, 03:15:32 AM
How about The Stone Flower - 2nd rate Prokofiev is better than so many composers best offerings:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CPO-PROKOFIEV-BALLET-THE-STONE-FLOWER_W0QQitemZ260160244775QQihZ016QQcategoryZ1049QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CPO-PROKOFIEV-BALLET-THE-STONE-FLOWER_W0QQitemZ260160244775QQihZ016QQcategoryZ1049QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on November 14, 2007, 11:57:34 PM
Just heard about a piece called Seven, They Are Seven and am wondering if this is on disc or if anyone can give any recs that are?

Right now am re-listening to the Seventh Symphony, and especially enjoy the first movement (love the somber intro and the main theme I've always thought was among the most poignant of Prokofiev melodies).  I think this symphony sadly underrated...................
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on November 15, 2007, 07:03:43 AM
Just heard about a piece called Seven, They Are Seven and am wondering if this is on disc or if anyone can give any recs that are?

Nope, there is no recording.  Awhile back, Gergiev was supposed to have recorded it (when he was recording everything else Prokofiev composed), but that recording never surfaced.  I have an old boot leg of an LP.  If you are really interested, PM me.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 15, 2007, 07:06:29 AM
Good morning, Danny, Brett!

Welcome, mr espansiva! I like The Tale of the Stone Flower very much indeed.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Drasko on December 08, 2007, 12:48:47 PM
Семеро их! (Seven, they are Seven) op.30
Yuri Yelnikov (Tenor) / Moscow Radio Chorus / Moscow RadioTV Symphony Orchestra / Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (1971)
17 MB @ 320 Kbps
http://rapidshare.com/files/53816627/Semero_Ih__Sept__ils_sont_sept___op_30__1917-18_.mp3 (http://rapidshare.com/files/53816627/Semero_Ih__Sept__ils_sont_sept___op_30__1917-18_.mp3)

Here is the original poem, if anyone is interested (though I think cantata is an adaptation)

Семеро их!

Семеро их! Семеро их!
В глубине Океана семеро их!
В высотах Небесных семеро их!
В горах Заката рождаются, семеро.
В горах Востока вырастают, семеро.
Заставляют свой голос греметь на высотах Земли они.
Раскинулись станом в пространствах Небес и Земли они,
В сокрытых вертепах.
Семеро их! Семеро их!
Они не мужчины, не женщины.
Как ветер бродячий они.
Как сети, они простираются, тянутся.
Нет у них жен, не родят они сына.
Как кони они, что внезапно возникли меж гор.
Злые, из пропасти Эа.
Благоговенья не знают они, благотворенья не знают
Молитв не услышат, нет слуха у них к мольбам.
На больших проезжих дорогах
Препоной встают, ложатся на путь.
Злые они, злые они.
Семеро их! Семеро их!
Дважды семеро их!
Дух Небес, ты закляни их!
Дух Земли, ты закляни их!
Злые Ветры! Злые Бури! Палящие Ветры они.
Вихрь, за которым приносится смерч.
Реющий вестник, за вестником Смерч.
Могучие чада, предвестники Мора.
За ними идет Нинкгал.
Проломный они потоп.
Семь богов широкой Земли.
Семь разбойных богов с Небес.
Семь властных богов.
Семь злобных богов.
Семь веющих дьяволов.
Семь дьяволов злых утеснения.
Семь в Небе, семь на Земле.
Злой дьявол, злой дух, злой Алал, злой Гигим,
злой Тэлал, злой бог, злой Маским.
Дух Неба, ты закляни их!
Дух Земли, ты закляни их!
Закляни их!


К.Д.Бальмонт. Светлый час. Стихотворения./ Москва,1992.- с.422.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on December 08, 2007, 11:04:30 PM
Thank You, Drasko!  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on December 09, 2007, 02:07:36 AM
Yes, many thanks.  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: techniquest on December 13, 2007, 12:32:45 AM
That Rozhdestvensky Seven They Are Seven is by far the best of the 3 performances I have heard (his plus 2 live Gergievs). Incidently, the Gergiev performance with the London Symphony Orchestra was shown on BBC4 TV last Friday as part of a short series of concerts showcasing Gergiev conducting Prokofiev / Debussy / Stravinsky at a series of concerts earlier this year. Next episode is on tomorrow (Friday 14th) at 7.30pm, with final the next Friday (21st) at the same time. One of those broadcasts should have the Scythian Suite which Gergiev interprets with a really intense and very slow ending, holding the last chord far longer than even Celebidache!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on December 13, 2007, 07:43:28 AM
thanks, Drasko, i've been wanting to hear that one for a while now.....
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: techniquest on December 14, 2007, 11:50:50 AM
Tonights' Gergiev concert on BBC4 TV which has just started includes Prokofievs' Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution, a real rarity.
As I write they are performing Stravinsky's 'Les Noces' (Orff for music intellectuals! It is so much like Trionfo di Aphrodite..)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on December 14, 2007, 12:18:38 PM
Tonights' Gergiev concert on BBC4 TV which has just started includes Prokofievs' Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution, a real rarity.

Great accordion licks  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on December 14, 2007, 12:19:23 PM
Tonights' Gergiev concert on BBC4 TV which has just started includes Prokofievs' Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution, a real rarity.
And a really underrated work: sure, it's uneven, but where else can you find a top rank composer giving of his best in a piece like this?

I've heard a Gergiev performance (I assume probably the same one as this) and it's instructive to compare it to Jarvi's studio recording. I found Gergiev's reading much more attuned to the brutality in the work--Jarvi's performance is much more straightforwardly heroic in nature, while Gergiev I found rather disturbing. (I've not heard Kondrashin's version--understandably cut, shorn of the Stalin's Vow and Stalin's Constitution movements--but I imagine what there is of it would probe deeper than Jarvi's admittedly exhilarating reading.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: techniquest on December 14, 2007, 01:19:50 PM
As a performance, I felt that the second half worked far better than the first half - in fact the introduction was really quite poor. To be fair, I think the BBC had mis-mic'ed (or had a mic problem) - much of the string sound was very thin and distant and the woodwind really seemed to be struggling. Incidently I get so frustrated by the BBC camera director! Just as during The Proms, the director insists on close-ups of 2 or 3 players from a section (usually brass) and seems to have a thing against percussion - so much going on during that 'Revolution' movement and not a bass drum, tam-tam or bell to be seen. And where was the siren?
Anyhow, certainly enjoyable and a real treat to see such an underated piece on our TV screens. In comparison to other performances, the Kondrashin is still the up-front winner despite being the censored version and having ropey Russian recording values; but I've always liked the way that 'Philosophy' is reprised at the end. The Jarvi (on Chandos) is superbly recorded, terrifyingly dramatic and well worth seeking out. The only other recording I know of is the Mark Elder live performance from some years ago and available as a give-away with BBC Music magazine. It occasionally turns up on ebay, but it's most definitely the poorest.
Incidently, this piece is a treasure trove of film composer James Horner themes and riffs! You'll hear stuff from Red Dawn, Land Before Time, Willow...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheJoe on December 14, 2007, 03:01:18 PM
The only other recording I know of is the Mark Elder live performance from some years ago and available as a give-away with BBC Music magazine. It occasionally turns up on ebay, but it's most definitely the poorest.

Hmm, may I ask why you think the Elder recording is the poorest?

I have that recording as well as the Neeme Järvi one and I've always strongly favored the Elder one.  Therefore, it's been such a long time since I last listened to the Järvi recording that I may have forgotten why I didn't initially like it.  I think I found the tempos and sound effects much more convincing in the Elder recording. 

I'll go back and listen to the Järvi again now.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: techniquest on December 14, 2007, 03:21:17 PM
TheJoe - how odd. It's the lack of powerful sound and general run-of-the-mill interpretation that steers me away from the Elder recording. It has no 'bite' whatsoever.
By the way, has anyone heard the Titov recording with the New Philharmonia on Beaux Authentics?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheJoe on December 14, 2007, 03:46:17 PM
TheJoe - how odd. It's the lack of powerful sound and general run-of-the-mill interpretation that steers me away from the Elder recording. It has no 'bite' whatsoever.
By the way, has anyone heard the Titov recording with the New Philharmonia on Beaux Authentics?

I'm almost through the Neeme Järvi recording right now and I think the main reason I was turned off by it originally was the Revolution movement.  Järvi's tempos generally feel sluggish to me compared with Elder's, and the "machine gun" sound effects (in my opinion) sound pretty pathetic compared to the violent booming gunfire in the Elder recording.

Of course, the sound quality is much better and more powerful than Elder's live performance, which sounds like it could have been a bootlegged recording.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: techniquest on December 14, 2007, 11:49:37 PM
Quote
Of course, the sound quality is much better and more powerful than Elder's live performance, which sounds like it could have been a bootlegged recording.

Yes, that's exactly right. If you want to hear a really manic, powerful and completely OTT 'Revolution' movement, you must try to source the Kondrashin - it positively gallops. I'm not sure if it's ever been released on CD, but occasionally the vinyl LP turns up on ebay.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on December 15, 2007, 09:09:45 AM
Yes, that's exactly right. If you want to hear a really manic, powerful and completely OTT 'Revolution' movement, you must try to source the Kondrashin - it positively gallops. I'm not sure if it's ever been released on CD, but occasionally the vinyl LP turns up on ebay.
It has appeared on CD (I don't know if officially or not) ... I once turned down a used copy because it was expensive and the performance was cut. :(
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Drasko on December 15, 2007, 09:26:51 AM
It has appeared on CD (I don't know if officially or not) ... I once turned down a used copy because it was expensive and the performance was cut. :(

(http://www.russiandvd.com/store/assets/product_images/imgs/front/43282.jpg)

http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=43282&genreid= (http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=43282&genreid=)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on December 16, 2007, 06:15:55 AM
It has appeared on CD (I don't know if officially or not) ... I once turned down a used copy because it was expensive and the performance was cut. :(

The cuts were entirely understandable, of course, though from a sheer musical point of view, there was an opportunity lost.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The Six on January 10, 2008, 07:48:38 PM
I want to say that Prokofiev's best sonata is number 8. The first movement is incredibly powerful, the second brilliant in its playfulness, and the third is just fun, and has great melodies. The problem is that I just don't see the three movements connecting. They are all amazing on their own, but the second movement doesn't sound right after the first, which is so dark and dramatic. I know he mixed some themes from the first into the final movement, but besides that obvious point I don't see the connection. Someone help.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Danny on February 10, 2008, 10:38:18 PM
Enjoying this doozy from Naxos:

(http://www.naxosdirect.com/templates/shared/images/titles/largest/730099442923.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Pierre on February 23, 2008, 09:54:54 AM
I want to say that Prokofiev's best sonata is number 8. The first movement is incredibly powerful, the second brilliant in its playfulness, and the third is just fun, and has great melodies. The problem is that I just don't see the three movements connecting. They are all amazing on their own, but the second movement doesn't sound right after the first, which is so dark and dramatic. I know he mixed some themes from the first into the final movement, but besides that obvious point I don't see the connection. Someone help.


I think that's partly because for the central movement Prokofiev simply recycled music he'd originally written as incidental music to a projected stage production of Eugene Onegin. But I don't think that was just 'cutting corners'; apart from the fact the Onegin production never happened and so Prokofiev wanted to rescue some music, it also - I think - recalls a more gracious period than the one Prokofiev was writing in (almost certainly he had in mind the pre-Revolutionary St Petersburg he knew as a young student); he underlines the point further by the brutalisation of that music in the finale. I think the slow movement of the Sixth Sonata serves a similar purpose in that work; and to some extent the slow movement of the Seventh, though that is more like a bitter-sweet lament (it's been pointed out by one of Prokofiev's biographers that he weaves in a near-quotation of Schumann's 'Wehmut' from Liederkreis, Op. 39 which is about a nightingale singing as if it's happy, when in fact it's singing a 'song of longing from their dungeon's depth... no one feels the pain, the deep sorrow in the song.' It should be borne in mind that Prokofiev started composing sonatas 6, 7 and 8 in the wake of the arrest - and eventual execution - of his dear friend, the theatre director Meyerhold, by Stalin's NKVD).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on February 23, 2008, 10:04:07 AM
Enjoying this doozy from Naxos:

That's a good one, Danny!

Very interesting post, Pierre.

I don't know how close Prokofiev got to be with Meyerhold, though I believe that it was conversations between these two which started in motion The Love for Three Oranges.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Pierre on February 23, 2008, 10:18:19 AM

Very interesting post, Pierre.

I don't know how close Prokofiev got to be with Meyerhold, though I believe that it was conversations between these two which started in motion The Love for Three Oranges.

There were several attempts by the two to collaborate on staging an opera by Prokofiev, starting with The Gambler, the premiere of which Meyerhold would have directed; that was kayboshed by the Revolution (it was during that time that Meyerhold suggested Love for Three Oranges to Prokofiev as an opera subject). Through the 1920s they were discussing the possibility of getting The Gambler staged in Russia: Prokofiev had several meetings with Meyerhold about this during his visit to Russia in 1927, and indeed during that same visit Meyerhold said he would try to intervene in behalf of a cousin of Prokofiev's who had been arrested. Finally, Semyon Kotko was written specifically for Meyerhold to stage in 1939, but Meyerhold himself was arrested just as the opera was going into rehearsal.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on February 23, 2008, 01:24:51 PM
Thanks for the illumination, Pierre. Had entirely forgotten that Meyerhold was involved with both The Gambler and Semyon Kotko.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jurajjak on February 25, 2008, 07:21:17 PM
Hi,

Those interested in the relationship between Prokofiev and Meyerhold might check out this review and analysis of Princeton's production of the Prokofiev-Meyerhold "Boris Godunov":

http://www.sprkfv.net/journal/three14/summary14.html

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 24, 2008, 02:34:23 PM
Any listen to Chout?
I'm just starting to "get" this ballet...... although i can see why it's not considered his greatest work, in a way, it has some of his best stuff in there.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 24, 2008, 03:41:05 PM
Chout is sort of light, somewhere between commedia dell'arte and Russian folklore; but it is a fine score.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 24, 2008, 05:01:45 PM
Chout is sort of light, somewhere between commedia dell'arte and Russian folklore; but it is a fine score.
I know you said you haven't "warmed up" to Chout, though that was a long time ago.....
do you think it would sound better as a Suite? Or something with a more solid form?
I have the feeling it might, since to me it's top notch music in a *very abstract form which could only be understood by following the story.

*but not completely, since it reshuffles a lot of the themes, which you hear again and again commonly in ballets, but the way they are restated just seems more abstract when you don't know the story, compared to something like Romeo and Juliet.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 25, 2008, 04:15:39 AM
I know you said you haven't "warmed up" to Chout, though that was a long time ago.....

That was a while ago; I'm all warmed up to Chout, now.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 25, 2008, 04:43:37 AM
That was a while ago; I'm all warmed up to Chout, now.
;D ;D

see, that was what I was talking about. I was mesmerized by the clips, but the first few times I listened, I didn't quite understand it. Maybe I was too tired to listen, too, but it's hard to take in all at once. If he wrote a Suite (can't remember if he did) it probably would've been best to listen to that first.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 25, 2008, 05:01:03 AM
I'd actually heard it first as the Suite, but it was one of those 'chop-'em-out' Prokofiev recordings that Järvi disgorged hurriedly, and by the dozens, in time for marketing for the Prokofiev centenary, and it left a mnyeh impression of the piece, from which I was a long time recovering  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 25, 2008, 05:50:17 AM
I'd actually heard it first as the Suite, but it was one of those 'chop-'em-out' Prokofiev recordings that Järvi disgorged hurriedly, and by the dozens, in time for marketing for the Prokofiev centenary, and it left a mnyeh impression of the piece, from which I was a long time recovering  ;)
Wow, that's the complete opposite of what I was thinking, then  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Greta on May 30, 2008, 07:44:26 PM
You know, I have a confession to make. Though I am familiar with a good bit of Prokofiev and like the music I have never heard any Symphony of his besides the "Classical" all the way through. Don't know how I managed that feat for so long.

Well, until today. I was going through my extra hard drive, and ran across a recording I forgot I had, of the 5th, Eschenbach/Houston, live late 80s. .Always meant to listen to the piece, and had nothing else going this afternoon...so...

Man, what a work!!! Cracking recording too. But I have no clue what to make of the 1st mvmt Andante...it reminds me of Mahler, that mvmt, rathe wild, I think I like it but I just can't make any sense out of the thing. The last half, the brass, wow....but it's nearly flat out atonal for stretches, quite a far cry from Romeo and Juliet!

The rest of the movements are much easier to handle, the Allegro marcato being very classic Prokofiev to me. The Adagio is really cool, I think my favorite mvmt on first hearing. The last mvmt is tons of fun and the end infectious. But the first mvmt perplexing!

What other symphonies would you recommend next? I don't even know what's out there recording wise, except I remember hearing about Ozawa and Gergiev.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on May 31, 2008, 03:20:19 AM
I'd suggest the 6th after hearing the 5th. To my mind it's an even finer work (it's much darker as well). As far as recordings go, this is one work where I've heard one single recording that blows away all others--Mravinsky and the Leningrad PO live in Prague:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21RC96GW41L._SL500_AA130_.jpg)

After that, I'd probably suggest the deceptively charming (but darker below the surface) 7th--probably the best performance in the Gergiev set--and the demonic, dissonant 3rd (the superb Concertgebouw/Kondrashin recording is oop but available as an ArkivCD).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 31, 2008, 05:17:56 AM
I'd suggest the 6th after hearing the 5th. To my mind it's an even finer work (it's much darker as well).
That's one symphony I just don't understand no matter how many times I listen. And I really don't understand how it could be liked more than the 5th!  :o


Quote from: Greta
You know, I have a confession to make. Though I am familiar with a good bit of Prokofiev and like the music I have never heard any Symphony of his besides the "Classical" all the way through. Don't know how I managed that feat for so long.
;D
well, he's written so much good music besides his symphonies, we all can understand.....
i went quite a while only hearing 1 and 5 (and just catching 6 on the radio) myself.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: rappy on May 31, 2008, 11:15:11 PM
Agreed, I don't like the 6th that much, either, apart from the lovely last movement.
My order would be: 5, 3, 2, 7, 1, 6 - 4 I don't know yet, 1 I've listened to too often.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidRoss on June 01, 2008, 03:06:50 AM
You know, I have a confession to make. Though I am familiar with a good bit of Prokofiev and like the music I have never heard any Symphony of his besides the "Classical" all the way through. Don't know how I managed that feat for so long.
...
What other symphonies would you recommend next? I don't even know what's out there recording wise, except I remember hearing about Ozawa and Gergiev.
I'm curious as to what you will make of the 2nd.  The Ozawa recording is good with stunning turn-on-a-dime playing from the BP, and it's quite a bargain, to boot--4 discs for $20.  As for the other symphonies, I probably listen most often to the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 1st.  Think about them reminds me that I scarcely know the 3rd and am not sure if I've ever even really listened to the 4th.  Time to remedy that!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on June 01, 2008, 03:58:39 AM
I'm curious as to what you will make of the 2nd.  The Ozawa recording is good with stunning turn-on-a-dime playing from the BP, and it's quite a bargain, to boot--4 discs for $20. 
This is what I meat to recommend to Greta (the set I have) but somehow forgot!


Think about them reminds me that I scarcely know the 3rd and am not sure if I've ever even really listened to the 4th.  Time to remedy that!
I don't think those two symphonies really have the personality that the other symphonies have. Sure, they're nice and all, but very very forgettable.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidRoss on June 01, 2008, 04:57:39 AM
This is what I meat to recommend to Greta (the set I have) but somehow forgot!

I don't think those two symphonies really have the personality that the other symphonies have. Sure, they're nice and all, but very very forgettable.
Yep.  I just listened to the 4th and it's not much--warmed over ballet music, pleasant but hardly the stuff of greatness.  Next time I'll have to give Gergiev's a try--both the original and the revised versions--to see if his generally more driven approach spices it up any.

The recycled opera music the 3rd was based on is better, IIRC--more dramatic and memorable and more cohesively structured, so that it hangs together better and seems less like some expanded episodic bits and pieces pasted together to make movements and complete a commission.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on June 01, 2008, 05:00:36 AM
Next time I'll have to give Gergiev's a try--both the original and the revised versions--to see if his generally more driven approach spices it up any.

Report back when you do!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2008, 05:07:28 AM
Yep.  I just listened to the 4th and it's not much--warmed over ballet music, pleasant but hardly the stuff of greatness.

The Fourth has never quite found its way in to my ears' graces, either;  but the Ur-text, L'enfant prodigue, is another matter completely.  The original ballet I find breathtaking in its simplicity and unforced charm.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 01, 2008, 10:18:44 AM
Seems I'm the only one who really cares for the Fourth. As I told David in the listening thread, it's hash I enjoy consuming.

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2008, 10:31:16 AM
Well, to add some little nuance, Sarge, I like all the stuff in the Fourth, but it doesn't quite convince me that it's a symphony, somehow . . . not in the way that all the other six do.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on June 25, 2008, 11:27:54 PM
Current Top 7 Symphonies:

1 - Malko: Brisk but elegant, tasteful but cheeky.
2 - Gergiev: I didn't like his cycle, as he seemed to be conducting from moment to moment as though it was opera or ballet, but in this case he (plus LSO & engineers) make this often dense, harsh work into quite an interesting journey. A bit more moulding wouldn't have gone astray.
3 - Kuchar (provisional): I haven't heard better but I'm sure better is possible. I'd particularly like to hear the opening taken more slowly, to get a real blasting quality.
4 - Kuchar: Nicely understated; most beautiful 2nd movement I've heard.
5 - Temirkanov (provisional): This is the most "neo-classical" performance I've heard (a good thing in my book), but could dig deeper.
6 - Rozhdestvensky: So far the only performance I've heard that isn't killed by dull tempos. A great cynical finale; haven't heard Mravinsky.
7 - Malko: The only conductor with the sense to play what's on the page and let the feeling emerge by itself.

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 26, 2008, 03:14:09 AM
But the Fifth isn't really a neoclassical piece, is it, now?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: M forever on June 26, 2008, 03:03:44 PM
5 - Temirkanov (provisional): This is the most "neo-classical" performance I've heard (a good thing in my book), but could dig deeper.

It is? I thought it was just slow, drawn out, undetailed, tedious. Sounds like Temirkanov was drunk again when they made the recording.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: some guy on June 26, 2008, 05:10:23 PM
Amazing how many people admit not having heard all that much by Prokofiev. He's so engaging and delightful and all that.

But that's as may be. I wasn't all that taken with Gergiev's symphony set (nor with his concerto set, either). And I adore his performances of the dramatic works. Not sure why, but he seems just a bit unengaged when he's doing something other than a ballet or an opera. Otherwise, if you're looking to become familiar with the fourth symphony, there are two distinct versions, and if you don't like the more popular (and more frequently recorded) revised version, then still give the original version a spin or two, I'd say. It's tighter and leaner and altogether better than its corpulent younger brother.

As it were.

I just recently listened again to the Beroff/Masur set of piano concerti. Wow. I hadn't been as impressed when I first bought this,* but I found the performance of the second just blew me away.

And if you're looking for a truly fine performance of the other second, the second symphony, I don't think you'll do any better than Leinsdorf's, which is out on CD now (though very pricey--20 bucks as I recall). It's savage for the savage bits and tender for the tender bits and lyrical for the lyrical bits. If only Leinsdorf had done the 6th, too (which I would put at the very top of the list--if I made lists).

Oh, wait! He did do that one. And it's on that 20 dollar CD with the second, though I don't think it replaces Rozhdestvensky's. It's scrappy and rough-edged, almost too much so to be an utterly convincing account. I have yet to hear an utterly convincing performance of the sixth.

*Partly because the Richter performance of the fifth is so outrageously superior to everyone else's.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on June 26, 2008, 05:20:20 PM
But the Fifth isn't really a neoclassical piece, is it, now?
Well, I've been struggling with the enigma of Prokofiev for a while now - cosmopolitan but Russian, modern but romantic, ironic but heartfelt, elegant but raw.... I've concluded (for the moment) that it doesn't do to over-stress the bombastic aspect of P's work, certainly not at the expense of detail. Anyone can do bombast, but no-one writes notes like Prokofiev! Temirkanov currently gets my vote because of clarity of sound and orchestral detail, doing a fairly objective interpretation without sounding like a run-through.

You'll see this preference in most of my choices above, except for 6. My previous top pick of a weak bunch was Ashkenazy, because it sounded fairly convinced, in good sound. But, to give a prime example, the ending of the symphony, when Prok rejects the home key in the last bar, sounded in the Ashkenazy performance quite grand and a bit curious, whereas under Rozdh it sounds like a big "f--- you" to the Man. Attitude matters in this symphony, and most recordings I've heard are failures in this respect.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on June 26, 2008, 05:44:02 PM
whereas under Rozdh it sounds like a big "f--- you" to the Man.
curiously noted.  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 27, 2008, 02:41:46 AM
I just recently listened again to the Beroff/Masur set of piano concerti. Wow. I hadn't been as impressed when I first bought this,* but I found the performance of the second just blew me away.

Yes, this recording of the concerti was one of the first things I loaded onto my fauxPod.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 27, 2008, 02:42:26 AM
Well, I've been struggling with the enigma of Prokofiev for a while now - cosmopolitan but Russian, modern but romantic, ironic but heartfelt, elegant but raw.... I've concluded (for the moment) that it doesn't do to over-stress the bombastic aspect of P's work, certainly not at the expense of detail. Anyone can do bombast, but no-one writes notes like Prokofiev!

Good observations, thanks.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on June 29, 2008, 05:19:04 PM
Regarding the ranking of Prokofiev's symphonies, I agree with previous posters who have questioned the current fashion for raising the 6th as his best. I haven't really been convinced by this work yet, I guess partly because most performances are so dull.

On the other hand, I won't hear a word against the 3rd! I think it's a terrific work, at least the equal of the 5th. Again, many performances are unconvincing, lacking sufficient vigour and fire.

("Fire", geddit?)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 29, 2008, 05:36:54 PM
Well, it's time I gave the Fourth a fresh try . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jurajjak on June 30, 2008, 12:04:00 AM
"Regarding the ranking of Prokofiev's symphonies, I agree with previous posters who have questioned the current fashion for raising the 6th as his best. I haven't really been convinced by this work yet, I guess partly because most performances are so dull."
 

...I confess that, after many years, I now believe the 6th is the best. It may be the case that the 6th is preferred by people who have heard every single piece by Prokofiev (as obsessive as that sounds).  After you've heard everything, you realize the 6th is a unique work in his output--he truly concentrates in this work and strives deeper than he usually does. The first and second movements are his longest symphonic statements; these are rare moments when he develops themes fully rather than abandoning them (the 1st mvmt of the 5th is another example).  Having said that, it took me years to warm up this symphony; I prefer the Rostropovich recording, which is slow but very powerful if you're in the right frame of mind.  The Jarvi is also good, as is the Slatkin (especially in the 1st mvmt). 

My order for the symphonies is probably 6, 5, 2, 3, 4 (revised), 7, 4 (original), and then 1.  I know most people--including some of Prok's own biographers--tend to regard the revised 4th as a bloated suite, but I think it's wonderful music that can be better appreciated if we put aside the idea that a "real" symphony has to be a self-important, Mahleresque event. Just treat it as "music" and you should enjoy it. My only problem with the 4th is the overly light 3rd mvmt., which unfortunately betrays its roots as recycled ballet music. Had Prok. chosen (and developed) more vigorous themes from Prodigal Son for the 3rd mvmt. scherzo, the whole symphony might be perceived differently.   


andrew
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on June 30, 2008, 05:26:15 AM
so i'm assuming that to finally understand the 6th, i have to listen to the rest of his output and then maybe years later it'll click?  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 30, 2008, 05:59:48 AM
so i'm assuming that to finally understand the 6th, i have to listen to the rest of his output and then maybe years later it'll click?  ;D

Not necessarily;  it was a piece I heard fairly early on in my Prokofiev explorations, and I've always liked it a lot.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on June 30, 2008, 06:12:49 AM
Well, it's time I gave the Fourth a fresh try . . . .
Probably here, too. It's the only one of the seven for which I cannot summon up any enthusiasm--if I want to hear the material in it I reach for The Prodigal Son instead (and that I do think is a truly excellent work).

So I think I'll try to put the revised Fourth on my listening list for tonight.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on August 11, 2008, 07:00:23 AM
Just wanted to share this:


http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/7-WG1AgxYtI

The Humorous Scherzo for 4 bassoons, from the 9th piece of the 10 pieces for piano, op.12.
Best thing I've ever heard for 4 bassoons.

And here's the score, btw:

http://imslp.org/imglnks/usimg/c/c1/IMSLP20585-PMLP03209-Prokofiev_-_10_Pieces__Op._12__piano_.pdf
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 11, 2008, 07:18:58 AM
Well, it's high time there was demand for the paddy wagon!

So I'll crack out the Sandor recordings of the Sonatas . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on August 12, 2008, 07:43:53 AM
Well, it's high time there was demand for the paddy wagon!

So I'll crack out the Sandor recordings of the Sonatas . . . .
I only got to listen to some of the op.12 thanks to youtube.  :-\


So this is what you're listening to?


http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&tag=mozilla-20&index=blended&link%5Fcode=qs&field-keywords=sandor%20prokofiev%20sonatas&sourceid=Mozilla-search

I see this is Volume I, and there's another that looks like it has a lot more of the solo piano works.

I might have an extra $40 if i can sell the tool kit i got from clearance (almost sold it- parents got a call, but i wasn't home and he never called back). So, if I get this extra money, I was thinking about buying the score to Shostakovich's 4th........ but looking at these two are making me second-guess.

What do you think, Karl?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on August 12, 2008, 10:14:43 AM
then again, there's the complete Stravinsky set for $47 i could get right here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000PTYUQG/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

which is incredibly tempting...... there's so many good choices with an extra $40.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 12, 2008, 10:45:37 AM
I only got to listen to some of the op.12 thanks to youtube.  :-\


So this is what you're listening to?


http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&tag=mozilla-20&index=blended&link%5Fcode=qs&field-keywords=sandor%20prokofiev%20sonatas&sourceid=Mozilla-search

I see this is Volume I, and there's another that looks like it has a lot more of the solo piano works.

Yes, Gyorgy Sandor Plays Prokofiev Vol I (3 discs); the nine complete sonatas, the two Opus 54 sonatinas, and the short pieces of opp. 2-4.  I don't have Vol II (2 discs), which is mostly collections of character pieces (though the Toccata, Opus 11 and the Visions fugitives, Opus 22, are essential Prokofiev IMO).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 12, 2008, 10:48:24 AM
then again, there's the complete Stravinsky set for $47 i could get right here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000PTYUQG/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

which is incredibly tempting...... there's so many good choices with an extra $40.

Well, and the Stravinsky box is a must, too  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on August 12, 2008, 12:27:53 PM
I'm sure both are a must....... but i might only have $40.  :-\
it'll be a tough choice....
the guy e-mailed me, i just saw, and he's only offering me tickets to a theme park since he's "tight on money 'latley'"  ::)

i mean, if i get an extra $40....
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 12, 2008, 12:55:08 PM
I'm sure both are a must....... but i might only have $40.  :-\
it'll be a tough choice....

Patience; no need to buy everything at once.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on August 12, 2008, 09:35:51 PM
I just bought the Gergiev War & Peace. Will see what I think when I have time to listen to it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: vandermolen on August 13, 2008, 04:26:16 AM
Just bough "Chout" (The Buffoon) today.  Never heard it before and really like it (Everest, Susskind, £6.00, but poor value at 35 mins). Very Dada but with odd, touching moments.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on August 13, 2008, 04:58:06 AM
Just bough "Chout" (The Buffoon) today.  Never heard it before and really like it (Everest, Susskind, £6.00, but poor value at 35 mins). Very Dada but with odd, touching moments.
I think this is a great work, I have the Melodiya (but seem to remember that it is longer than 35 mins), an absolutely brilliant performance.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 13, 2008, 05:07:43 AM
At 35 mins, must be the suite.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mark G. Simon on August 13, 2008, 06:37:09 AM

6 - Rozhdestvensky: So far the only performance I've heard that isn't killed by dull tempos. A great cynical finale; haven't heard Mravinsky.

Yes. This is the version I heard first, and with which I fell in love when I heard it as a 15 year old. This has been my favorite Prokofiev ever since. The cynical finale was the key: the way it starts out like a jolly old frolic, but gradually the pretense falls away and you're left with a scream of terror at the end. The reappearance of the theme from the first movement is kind of a moment of truth, and it gets extended longer than you expect, in the way a person does who doesn't want to break some terrible news to you but has to. The tremolo, with the fragmentary oboe figures that follows always gives me gooseflesh, due to the tremendous anticipation of the horrific SCREEEEEEAAAAM which then ensues. It's a really intense ending, and I consider any performance that doesn't deliver the kind of intensity I've just described to be a performance that falls short.

I find Previn's performance to be very satisfactory as well.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on August 13, 2008, 06:45:12 AM
Just bough "Chout" (The Buffoon) today.  Never heard it before and really like it (Everest, Susskind, £6.00, but poor value at 35 mins). Very Dada but with odd, touching moments.
well, then, maybe you can eventually work your way up to:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z47150STL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 0:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: vandermolen on August 13, 2008, 12:13:12 PM
well, then, maybe you can eventually work your way up to:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z47150STL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
 0:)

Thank you. Yes, it's the Suite on the Everest CD.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on August 13, 2008, 06:49:27 PM
Patience; no need to buy everything at once.

*hand over ears* Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala!


I find Previn's performance to be very satisfactory as well.

I will look out for it, thanks.
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidRoss on August 13, 2008, 06:58:14 PM
Just wanted to share this:

The Humorous Scherzo for 4 bassoons, from the 9th piece of the 10 pieces for piano, op.12.
Best thing I've ever heard for 4 bassoons.
And the piano is dazzling!  Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on August 28, 2008, 04:47:47 PM
I recently picked of the Chang/Pappano recording of the symphony-concerto. Chang is very good, but occasionally a bit syrupy for my tastes. She starts out with rather overdone vibrato but eases off after a couple of minutes. For me, the highlight was Pappano accompanying with the LSO: great sound, brisk energetic performance but very lyrical when required. I particularly enjoyed the use of brass vibrato in the 2nd movement - a nice Russian touch. A shame Pappano doesn't seem to have recorded any other Prokofiev.
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on September 30, 2008, 10:28:24 AM
if it's in-between the 2nd Concerto and Sonata, it just HAS to be good  0:)

http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/7/71/IMSLP08595-Prokofiev_-_Op.15_-_Ballade_for_Cello___Piano.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldSBC1HSOrI
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 30, 2008, 10:31:08 AM
Trying to lure Guido into the Paddy Wagon:  excellent, excellent.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on September 30, 2008, 10:32:12 AM
 ;D


 ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on September 30, 2008, 11:00:57 AM
This has to be watched, too!
Is it just me, or does Dali and Prokofiev go VERY well together!?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN1c9K92L8s&NR=1
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: 71 dB on October 03, 2008, 03:48:57 AM
Prokofiev's symphony 5 is great!  :)

Now that I have all 5 piano concertos I have to say there's something in them I don't like. Same with violin concertos. Perhaps the symphonies are for me?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on October 03, 2008, 11:00:32 AM
All 5, really? I think Corey said the same thing. Do you have any idea what you don't like about them, because I'm having a hard time imagining how anyone could dislike (the first 3) if they're not afraid of a little dissonance to begin with.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: 71 dB on October 03, 2008, 02:28:20 PM
All 5, really? I think Corey said the same thing. Do you have any idea what you don't like about them, because I'm having a hard time imagining how anyone could dislike (the first 3) if they're not afraid of a little dissonance to begin with.

Dislike is too strong. I think it's samething about the orchestra being in "supporting" role in the concertos.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on October 03, 2008, 02:38:24 PM
Interesting. In some of the concertos, like the 3rd, it's even been described as "the piano sounding like it's a part of the orchestra." The 2nd isn't as much like that, though......
hm.  :)



Does anyone know if there is a full recording of the op.7? I mean, look at this- wtf?
http://www.prokofiev.org/catalog/workall.cfm?WorkID=163

it's NOT "complete!"  :P
and I bet, as I'm going down the list, there's even more that might be like that.  >:(
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: 71 dB on October 03, 2008, 11:53:17 PM
Interesting. In some of the concertos, like the 3rd, it's even been described as "the piano sounding like it's a part of the orchestra." The 2nd isn't as much like that, though......
hm.  :)

Oh. I need to listen to more. I don't know Prokofiev much yet. About 15 years ago my best friend told me Romeo and Juliet contains brilliant music (he played violin in an amateur orchestra). At that time I didn't listen to classical music yet. Few years later I got into classical music, found Elgar and all but despise of (very) active listening of classical radio (in the beginning I didn't have many classical CDs so radio was my source of exploring). They didn't play much Prokofiev's music (why?) so I never got into his music. Three years ago I finally bought my first Prokofiev CD, Romeo and Juliet (Maazel) and I was impressed. I also bought violin concertos (LSO/Sir Colin Davis). I was less impressed. Then I tried piano concertos 1, 3 & 4 (Kun Woo Paik). Same impressions as with the violin concertos. Recently I heard the 5th symphony on TV (a culture channel) and I was impressed so I bought symphonies 1 & 5 and the rest of the piano concertos.

Prokofiev's music tastes muffin and carrot to me. It works very well when the combination is right. It seems with the concertos there is too much carrot.

I wonder if Prokofiev's chamber/solo piano music has much offer to me?
There is so much to explore with every composer!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 04, 2008, 08:42:51 AM
Try 'em again another time, Poju. By me, all 5 concerti get it just right, for all that each has a perfectly distinct profile.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: rappy on October 04, 2008, 08:47:18 AM
Try 'em again another time, Poju. By me, all 5 concerti get it just right, for all that each has a perfectly distinct profile.

While the latter two might sound a bit dry on the first listening, the first one should be very easy to get into (brilliant concerto!), the 2nd and 3rd should behind.

I love the 5th, 1st and 2nd most.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: 71 dB on October 04, 2008, 09:07:47 AM
Try 'em again another time, Poju. By me, all 5 concerti get it just right, for all that each has a perfectly distinct profile.

I listened #2 & #5 today.

While the latter two might sound a bit dry on the first listening, the first one should be very easy to get into (brilliant concerto!), the 2nd and 3rd should behind.

I love the 5th, 1st and 2nd most.

I can't tell them apart yet...

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on October 07, 2008, 03:08:57 AM
urgggh it's true:
http://www.prokofiev.org/forum/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=7&Topic=904

well, someone is going to have to record it, even if it isn't that good.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jowcol on October 09, 2008, 08:13:51 AM
I think a lot of my favorites seem to align with what's been expressed here.  I'm quite the fan.

Symphonies:

Lately 2 and 3 have been the ones I keep coming back to.  The first movement of the second may be his most ferocious. THe variations in the second movement can be dizzying, but the main theme is very cool.  I really like the third end to end.  I tend to see the 1st as a novelty-- I like it, but it's not all there for me.  I've never really gotten the 4th in either version-- it just didn't pull me back.  I like the 5th well enough, particulary the second movement, but as a whole it doesn't move me.  The second half of the first movement of the 6th is pure magic-- easily my favorite few minutes of a Prokofiev symphony, but the latter two movements don't get me as much.

The seventh is a bit lite, but the slow closing theme with the Glockenspiel is haunting, and some of his best work. You need to get a version that does not have the "happy ending" tacked on to fully appreciate it. Or learn how to edit sound files.  It is his farewell to music, haunting and moving, and the happy ending forced upon him is not the way he envisioned it.

Piano Concertos:
I haven't fully gotten 4 and 5.  I was orginally drawn to 1 and 3, but two has to be my favorite now.  A bit darker.

String Concertos:
I really, really love the 1st Violin concerto.  So innocent and playful, yet wise.  I must admit the 2nd didn't speak to me, not in the version I heard, anyway.


The Sinfonia Concertante for cello has to be my favorite of his later works.

Other Stuff:

I adore Alexander Nevsky.  I only know the score of Ivan the Terrible from the film, but it was very effective in that setting.

THe Chout Suite  has to be one of my VERY favorite of his works.  ALthough there is a lot of playful and sarcastic moments in there, there are some incredible introspective parts which, for me, channel the Berceuse from Stravinsky's firebird and the blues in equal measure.  I didn't find much extra in the Ballet that really rocked my world.

Overture for Hebrew Themes is a keeper as well. 

Scythian Suite-- have to like this.  I'm not sure if it ranks with Le Sacre, but it has some great moments to it.

Love of Three Oranges and Kije, naturally.

9th Piano sonata.


I haven't mined him too deeply-- he was very prolific. 


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2008, 08:34:44 AM
Not Sure Just What Calendar the Yale Press (http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300099140) Is Using Department:

Quote
A second volume will cover Prokofiev's life from this period to his death in 1952.

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on November 04, 2008, 07:10:22 AM
Hey, has anyone heard this new Prokofiev symphony box, conducted by Kitajenko?:

http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-The-Symphonies-Box-Set/dp/B001DELX12
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 04, 2008, 07:16:41 AM
I haven't.  I've got the Krainev/Kitaenko set of the piano concerti, though, which I like very well.  For comparison, I'd probably give the Béroff/Masur concerto set the edge;  but I like them both plenty.

So:  I haven't heard the Kitaenko symphony set, but I'd give it a try.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on November 04, 2008, 07:19:02 AM
Hey, has anyone heard this new Prokofiev symphony box, conducted by Kitajenko?:

http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-The-Symphonies-Box-Set/dp/B001DELX12


No, I haven't, but what a wonderful review by Scott Morrison.  It has now achieved wishlist status!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: tjguitar on November 05, 2008, 05:22:48 PM
Chandos is re-issuing the symphonies...


http://www.chandos.net/details06.asp?CNumber=CHAN%2010500
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 29, 2008, 01:08:07 PM
I think a lot of my favorites seem to align with what's been expressed here.  I'm quite the fan.

Symphonies:

Lately 2 and 3 have been the ones I keep coming back to.  The first movement of the second may be his most ferocious. THe variations in the second movement can be dizzying, but the main theme is very cool. . . .

Usually, two-movement symphonies are not my thing.  This is a glorious exception, though.

Separately . . . .

Long ago, in another place, when I first got to know Romeo & Juliet, it seemed like I listened to it, and it alone, for a week.  And I could pretty much still do that.

These days, my schedule does not permit any such thing.  But if it did, I think right now I could do much the same thing with Cinderella.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Bu on December 14, 2008, 03:51:18 AM
The Second Symphony, along with the Second and Fourth Piano Concertos, have really grown on me.

But, I still need to explore his operas..........
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on December 14, 2008, 06:33:06 AM
The Second Symphony, along with the Second and Fourth Piano Concertos, have really grown on me.

Excellent.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on December 14, 2008, 05:37:17 PM
The Second Symphony, along with the Second and Fourth Piano Concertos, have really grown on me.
Could you please tell me which recordings?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: some guy on December 14, 2008, 06:45:10 PM
I know you weren't asking me, but I think that Leinsdorf's is the best, the most bite, the crispest sound (though the recording sonics are a bit scrappy), the best balance between acerbic and lyrical.

I like Ozawa's too, in that set of all seven (all except the original version of the fourth).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Bu on December 16, 2008, 07:48:14 PM
Could you please tell me which recordings?


For the concerti, Ashkenazy/Previn was my first recording and, after close listening, I still think they are superb introductions to the pieces, with controlled, masterful playing by Vladimir. Brofman/Mehta was my next disc and have enjoyed it thorougly.

Regarding the Second symphony, I have Ozawa, Gergiev and Rostropovich.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on December 18, 2008, 06:22:25 PM
Regarding the Second symphony, I have Ozawa, Gergiev and Rostropovich.
Of that trio, I have only Gergiev. I understand Ozawa is very good in this work?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Bu on December 19, 2008, 12:08:23 PM
Of that trio, I have only Gergiev. I understand Ozawa is very good in this work?

Yes, I like the Ozawa, but there's some controversy over the set as a whole. 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Pierre on December 21, 2008, 02:06:59 AM
But, I still need to explore his operas..........

Either War and Peace or Love for Three Oranges IMHO are good ones to start with.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Daverz on December 21, 2008, 02:52:49 AM
Either War and Peace or Love for Three Oranges IMHO are good ones to start with.

The DVD of Betrothal in a Monastery with Netrebko is delightful.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Bu on December 21, 2008, 11:08:57 AM
Why, thank you, both!  :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on March 03, 2009, 03:38:42 PM
I've just noticed that mdt has the brand new Kitayenko/Phoenix symphonies set at the indecent price of £17.61. I pulled the plug to supplement my old Decca/Weller.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Guido on March 08, 2009, 09:02:07 AM
Is Prokofiev's Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution a good piece?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dax on March 08, 2009, 03:50:34 PM
Yes, it certainly is!

There was a version of Seven, they are seven broadcast by the BBC c.1965 which featured Ronald Dowd as the tenor soloist. I still have a recording of it (in even more terrible condition than it was then) which nevertheless revealed considerably more detail than the Rozhdestvensky version - it's a very busy score. I assume noone has it - or has heard it?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Daverz on March 08, 2009, 04:02:40 PM
Is Prokofiev's Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution a good piece?

Yes, tovarich.

I have the Järvi on CD (which I haven't listened to in ages) and Kondrashin (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Serge-Prokofieff-Kantate-z-20-Jahrestag-der-Oktoberrevolution/hnum/4008471) on Lp.  I think the Järvi adds in some bits that might have been supressed, I'll have to check the notes, but the Kondrashin is a very rousing performance.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Benji on March 08, 2009, 04:37:03 PM
Yes, it certainly is!

Shhhh! The October Cantata is one of Prokofiev's best-kept secrets, and a real gem of a work with some of his most beautiful music. For your listening please, here is the VII Movement - Victory.

Click to download (http://www.fileden.com/getfile.php?file_path=http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/2/5/2307936/07.%20October%20Cantata%2C%20Op.74%20-%20VII%20-%20Victory.mp3)

Or you can just listen to this clip with one of my all-time favourite Prokofiev themes:

[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/2/5/2307936/Sample.mp3[/mp3]

I'm positive that if this theme was in one of his symphonies, it would have as many recordings as the 1st or 5th. But being part of a little-known (well, by your average Joe Classical) choral work with communist connetations (however satirical) it has suffered from very unfortunate neglect. So, yes, find a recording and enjoy!  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on March 08, 2009, 04:49:29 PM
Yes, it certainly is!

There was a version of Seven, they are seven broadcast by the BBC c.1965 which featured Ronald Dowd as the tenor soloist. I still have a recording of it (in even more terrible condition than it was then) which nevertheless revealed considerably more detail than the Rozhdestvensky version - it's a very busy score. I assume noone has it - or has heard it?

I've heard two recordings, terrific little piece!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 14, 2009, 06:31:38 AM
I have a bit of a hard time with Prokofiev's string concertos because they are just rammed so full of ideas, so many episodes, so many tunes, that I find it hard to keep track of the whole. The Symphony Concerto is I think the 'biggest' concerto for the cello, even if it isn't the longest.

A monstrous piece, in wonderful ways.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 14, 2009, 06:51:21 AM
I have a bit of a hard time with Prokofiev's string concertos because they are just rammed so full of ideas, so many episodes, so many tunes, that I find it hard to keep track of the whole. The Symphony Concerto is I think the 'biggest' concerto for the cello, even if it isn't the longest.

The Sinfonia Concertante, Op. 125 isn't one of my big favorites, athough I like it, to be sure. I don't really care for the Violin Concerto No.2, Op. 63 that much either.

Some underplayed favorites that I really respect and enjoy are . . .

-Four Portraits from "The Gambler," Op.49
-Symphonic Song, Op.57
-On the Dnieper, Op.51
-Sarcasms for piano, Op.17
-Choses en sol, Op.45
-Divertissment, Op.43
-Sonata for Piano No.9, Op. 103

I really love all those pieces, and dozens more of them.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 14, 2009, 07:02:45 AM
The Sinfonia Concertante, Op. 125 isn't one of my big favorites, athough I like it, to be sure. I don't really care for the Violin Concerto No.2, Op. 63 that much either.

The second vn concerto is an old sentimental favorite; we played it at my undergrad college.  I think I should like it a great deal, notwithstanding.

The Symphony-Concerto I took a while to warm to, but now, I'm in no danger of cooling  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Cato on April 14, 2009, 07:11:45 AM
Syemero Ikh!  Syemero Ikh!  Syemero Ikh!  Syemero Ikh!  Syemero Ikh!  Syemero Ikh!

Syemero Ikh!   0:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 14, 2009, 07:36:28 AM
Some other real rarities I'd love to see are the Four Etudes, Op.2; Four Pieces, Op.4; Sonatinas, Op.54; The Year 1941, Op.90; Sinfonietta, Op.5/48, March, Op.99, Winter Bonfire, Op.122 and of course the perennially underperformed Chout, Op.21; Le Pas d'Acier, Op.41; Prodigal Son, Op.46; October Cantata, Op.74, and Ivan the Terrible, Op.116.

There are some flawed works by Prokofiev that are still really imaginative and enjoyable in my opinion, like the Ballade for the Unknown Boy, Op.93, or the Ode to the End of the War, Op.105.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 14, 2009, 05:46:34 PM
A work I have just discovered thanks to youtube... and "Senta."

The October Cantata
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0veYI4SKGw

 0:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 15, 2009, 08:02:30 AM
A work I have just discovered thanks to youtube... and "Senta."

The October Cantata

Overall, I like the Cantata better than the Fourth Symphony . . . maybe better than the Third, too  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 15, 2009, 08:17:52 AM
Isn't that such an incredible piece? Were you watching the Gergiev broadcast with the LSO? I can't say I prefer it to the Third Symphony, Op.47. The Third Symphony, Op.47 is a perfect work. But it's more than the equal of Alexander Nevsky, Op.78. It's such a tragedy that Richard Taruskin took it to lambast the October Cantata, and Steve Smith of the New York Times took to calling it Prokofiev's "greatest musical blunder."

Have you heard Symphonic Song, Op.57?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 15, 2009, 08:52:28 AM
Shouldn't take Taruskin's dislikes to heart.  Everybody's got blind-spots.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 15, 2009, 02:04:20 PM
The Symphonic Song is a disappointment for me- what'd you think about it, Prokofiev1891?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 16, 2009, 05:42:03 AM
Good God no! Listen again and again. Christ what a piece.

Very darkly scored, but with a lot of dark tunes. I don't know how to describe it. I guess it might remind some people of Richard Strauss ala Elektra, but it's thoroughly modern all the same. Be assured, there are rewards galore in this score, but only on repeated listens. It's a perfect piece.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mark G. Simon on April 16, 2009, 05:49:23 AM
Thoroughly Modern Sergei.

(could be a musical in that....)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 16, 2009, 07:13:05 AM
Have any of you heard On the Dnieper, Op.51?

Gorgeous piece, lyrical, but with a certain amount of rhythmic vitality as well. No rough spots in the whole ballet.

You know, Alexei Ratmansky is going to be choreographing it with American Ballet Theatre with a premiere June 1st.

What do any of you think of it?

Nick
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 16, 2009, 02:16:37 PM
Good God no! Listen again and again. Christ what a piece.

Very darkly scored, but with a lot of dark tunes. I don't know how to describe it. I guess it might remind some people of Richard Strauss ala Elektra, but it's thoroughly modern all the same. Be assured, there are rewards galore in this score, but only on repeated listens. It's a perfect piece.
It might take awhile then... I've already listened anywhere from 5-8 times.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 16, 2009, 04:21:18 PM
Are you listening to the Neeme Jarvi/Scottish National Orchestra recording that also has the Divertimento, Op.43, and Prodigal Son, Op.46?

I admit it actually took me many listens to enjoy the Symphonic Song, Op.57. Prokofiev may have written in the diatonic idiom more than some other composers, but that doesn't mean he's more accessible. I just love the recurring brass opening segment, the "struggle" as Prokofiev called it, and the "achievement" theme on the strings to close. Those recurring brass motifs almost sort of crunch you down to reality. But it's one of Prokofiev's darkest and bleakest works, to be sure. His bleakest perhaps. It leaves kind of a pit in my stomach and makes me uneasy. No wrong notes in this piece, though some of the passage work is very off-kilter, disjointed, and austere.

Then again, there are some Prokofiev works that other people respect a lot that I don't care as much for, like the Scythian Suite, Op.20; Violin Concerto No.2, Op.63; Hail to Stalin, Op.85; or Tales of the Old Grandmother, Op.31.

Nick
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on April 16, 2009, 06:08:38 PM
Yeah, it's that recording (not sure if there even is another one).
To me, it just doesn't stick together well. I don't follow it well... but, if it took you awhile, I guess I could come around eventually. 8)

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on April 16, 2009, 08:26:08 PM
the Ode to the End of the War, Op.105.
I've only heard Rozhdy's performance of this, and I got the impression there was a lot of potential in the score he wasn't bringing out.
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 17, 2009, 05:57:49 AM
Maybe you're referring to the Melodiya/Musical Heritage Society recording with the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra that also contains Le pas d'acier, Op.41?

I like the recording fine although it's the first one I heard so I have that bias. As always with Prokofiev it seems, there's great tunes and material in there. With a handful of works in his output, the question to me sometimes is whether I approve of the way they're connected.

A lot of times with Prokofiev's music, there seems to me to be a kind of delight in bringing things to a full stop and then starting in again, as in the Piano Concerto No.1, Op.10. And then his interest in film music and montage seemed to influence the way he spliced music material together.

Here, I kind of approve of what seems to be a hap hazard connection of ideas. That's kind of the point because it's depicting a joyous military occasion with military pipes churping away overly cheerfully, drums and timpanis beating away, and melodic fragments coming and going in rapid succession.

Still, I don't think this is first-tier Prokofiev. To me, it's definitely second-tier Prokofiev, and among the worser pieces he wrote, but still I like it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: techniquest on April 17, 2009, 10:36:00 PM
Quote
Still, I don't think this is first-tier Prokofiev. To me, it's definitely second-tier Prokofiev, and among the worser pieces he wrote, but still I like it.

Isn't music subjective? I would disagree that "The Ode to the End of the War Op.105" is second-tier in any way. With it's unique orchestration and use of various percussion as almost solo instruments, it ought to be regarded as something of a pioneering work. The central (quieter) section, is hauntingly beautiful, but with the 8 harps providing a steady, somehow distant and mystical rhythm, there is something almost primeval about it.
I have the Rozhdestvensky recording (the first one I heard also), which is now augmented by the Nikolayev (Consonance) and Titov (Beaux) both of which are fine interpretations but with doubly fast final bars than Rozhdestvensky. I cannot get on with the recent Jurowski recording (Pentatone), though it has some very good reviews and, to be fair, I only heard it once.
Similarly I have never been able to enjoy the Mark Elder recording of the 20th Anniversary cantata (BBC) - it gives the impression that the everyone's bored with it, don't quite get it and just go through the motions until the end.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 17, 2009, 11:08:16 PM
I agree with what you say. Trouble is, what else are you going to call second-tier Prokofiev? There's really not a whole lot.

If pushed, out of 135 opus numbers, I'd put these down as the least successful: Seven Songs, Op.89; Seven Songs, Op.79; Tales of the Old Grandmother, Op.31; Songs of Our Days, Op.76; Hail to Stalin, Op.85; Piano Sonata No.5, Op.38; Meeting of the Volga and the Don, Op.130.

Nick
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Bu on April 24, 2009, 07:23:04 PM
Shhhh! The October Cantata is one of Prokofiev's best-kept secrets, and a real gem of a work with some of his most beautiful music. For your listening please, here is the VII Movement - Victory.

Click to download (http://www.fileden.com/getfile.php?file_path=http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/2/5/2307936/07.%20October%20Cantata%2C%20Op.74%20-%20VII%20-%20Victory.mp3)

Or you can just listen to this clip with one of my all-time favourite Prokofiev themes:

[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/2/5/2307936/Sample.mp3[/mp3]

I'm positive that if this theme was in one of his symphonies, it would have as many recordings as the 1st or 5th. But being part of a little-known (well, by your average Joe Classical) choral work with communist connetations (however satirical) it has suffered from very unfortunate neglect. So, yes, find a recording and enjoy!  :)

Thank you, Benji, for that gem!  Will try and look for a recording of the whole work.

Good to see the Paddy Wagon rollin' along again............
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Daverz on April 24, 2009, 07:56:02 PM
Thank you, Benji, for that gem!  Will try and look for a recording of the whole [October Cantata].

I would recommend Kondrashin on Melodiya.  Järvi uses a revised edition of the score, but seems to miss the mark musically.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NF1RKPNFL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 26, 2009, 07:39:40 PM
As regards the Kondrashin on Melodiya, does it include the entire Cantata? It was my impression that the Jarvi was (1) the first recording and (2) the only recording that contained the entire score. I thought that in the other previous performances and recordings, a repeat of the philosophers movement replaced any movements that contained texts with Lenin and Stalin quotes.

I can't compare the Jarvi recording with others because the Jarvi is the only one I know. All the same, compared to two different performances I've seen of the work, I think it comes up well. In particular, he gives a little more clash and umph to the opening movement.

Did any of you see the performance of this work at the Bard Summerscape Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY? The performance was serviceable, but it seemed as though they cut a lot of text to make the work more palatable for PCers. Tellingly, Professor Gibbs, who gave the preconcert lecture, told me before the performance, "I really hate this piece."

Unfortunately, I think PC considerations will keep this work from getting heard for a very long time. It's too bad, and I wonder if that's what keeps the magnificent Stravinsky Cantata from getting more play. From what I recall, it uses an anti semitic text.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2009, 03:31:42 AM
Did any of you see the performance of this work at the Bard Summerscape Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY? The performance was serviceable, but it seemed as though they cut a lot of text to make the work more palatable for PCers. Tellingly, Professor Gibbs, who gave the preconcert lecture, told me before the performance, "I really hate this piece."

Then he shouldn't have agreed to give the lecture. Let someone who likes the piece better talk about it.

Also, I should have thought that performance of the piece was obviously an appreciation of Prokofiev, and not any emulation of Lenin or Stalin, and that the piece could have been performed in toto without a dull audience taking offense at supposed Communist indoctrination.

No doubt these people want the library's copy of A Communist Manifesto burnt. Early and often.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on April 27, 2009, 06:11:34 AM
I think Leon Botstein is concerned about PC considerations. At the opening night of the festival last summer, he announced that the next season would be on Wagner and His World, and there was a gasp. But he immediately clarified that there would be concurrent performances of works by Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer, and then spoke about anti semitism for a minute or two.

Prof. Gibbs actually gave a decent pre-concert lecture, and considering his comment, he was a model in professionalism. To me, the scandal came when Prof. Richard Wilson, a composer from Vassar, took the stage before one of the last programs. He started innocently enough with a gaffe about formalism meaning "diatonic," where modern music is "chromatic," and he demonstrated that the Piano Sonata No. 9, Op.103 was diatonic. He started comparing passages in the sonata to Beethoven pieces in a totally text-based, New Criticism sort of way, and then showed us what he thought were "banal" and "cheesy" passages in the Ninth and Seventh sonatas. Then he compared the slow movement of the Seventh Sonata to Jack Benny, a vaudeville comedian, and he played a portion of Jack Benny.

Since I know Prof. Wilson, I came up to him afterwards and told him that I thought the lecture was inappropriate. I said that if Prokofiev biographer Simon Morrison had given a lecture on Stravinsky at a Stravinsky festival, he would have been more respectful. "But Stravinsky doesn't have that banal quality," said Prof. Wilson. "Well, we wouldn't make fun of him for taking other people's music and passing it off as his own, or flirting with serial music," I responded. And he walked off.

Before the performance of the October Cantata, Op.74, his wife came up to me and told me that I shouldn't have said those things to Prof. Wilson on account of his age. She told me that he had prepared very hard for that lecture and that it wasn't right to criticize him right afterwards. Pre-concert lectures are like performances, she told me, and it would be like telling him right afterwards that I didn't like his performance. It was amusing to me that she had understood that her husband was saying merely that Prokofiev started out with material that was banal but that he managed to make it more interesting.

For the record, I don't think in a pejorative manner about serial music, but I wanted to attack Wilson and thought I would do best by insinuating that Stravinsky was a critics-lackey. At intermission, I had asked Wilson if he liked Prokofiev, and without looking at me, he said, "Only some of the pieces." "You're a Stravinskyite." "I'm a Stravinskyite."
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2009, 06:54:26 AM
I think Leon Botstein is concerned about PC considerations. At the opening night of the festival last summer, he announced that the next season would be on Wagner and His World, and there was a gasp.

He didn't say, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" . . . ?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: techniquest on April 27, 2009, 12:28:35 PM
Today I received the Beaux recording of the 20th anniversary cantata with the New Philharmonia Orchestra & St Petersberg Philharmonic Choir under Alexander Titov. It's definitely one to listen to, and is a recording of the full original score, not the revised version recorded by Kondrashin in 1965. Some of the instrumentation is altered from both Jarvi's recording - e.g gone are the big tam-tam crashes on the big chords at the opening, and Kondrashin's e.g the snappy rifle sounds during the 'Revolution' are achieved by a well recorded snare drum, and the manic clanging bell which heralds an even faster tempo for Kondrashin is a rather feeble affair (not sure what it is - not a tubular bell, nor a cow-bell...possibly an anvil). The narrator sounds as though he is being over-run, which is probably how it should be - Kondrashin's is clear and confident, Jarvi's (Rozhdestvensky) sounds too self-conscious.
The 'Philosophy' opening song is still best with Kondrashin, the 'Symphony' here under Titov is satisfying.
This recording is coupled with the 30th Anniversary cantata 'Praise our Mighty Country' (a much reduced and sterilised work) and 'Zdravitsa', here called 'The Toast', often called 'The Salute' which is actually pretty good. The Beaux people have made an error here however, as their track listing has the 30th Anniversary cantata and 'The Toast' interchanged from how it appears on the CD.
The recording throughout is clear, up-front (loud) and well balanced; the piano part in 'The Toast' is something I hadn't really noticed up to now, under Titov it sounds wonderful, a true member of the orchestra.
So that's 5 versions of op.74 I've heard now (Kondrashin, Jarvi, Elder, Gergiev (live) and Titov). All are very different and demonstrate that this work is (a) a real masterpiece (b) very hard indeed to get right.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 20, 2009, 06:15:39 AM
I must ask, is there no one in the least bit excited about the new production of Prokofiev's On the Dnieper at American Ballet Theatre, to premiered on June 1st, 2009? The production is being choreographed by the hottest choreographer of the present day, Alexei Ratmansky. Some of the biggest stars in ballet will be performing, including Diana Vishneva.

This work has everything going for it: melody, orchestral ambience, and a lot of rhythmic interest and vitality. There's off-beat accents and pungent dramatic characterization. I certainly urge you all to look into it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 20, 2009, 06:21:41 AM
Well, as you asked, no, not much excited about it.  It isn't among the works of Prokofiev which most fire my imagination.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 20, 2009, 07:02:13 AM
I find that puzzling. I would have expected that fans of Stravinsky would admire the work as much as he did.

To me, I'm really attracted to just about every minute of this score, from the austere ambience of the Introduction, the graceful melodies of the Mime Scenes that seem distant and magical. There's the rhythmic drive in Fight, and bleak tragedy of the Betrothal with surging themes. In some ways, the work sounds closer than the other ballets to the folk-based atmosphere of Stone Flower. It's a rural score. I feel like I'm in the mountains when I listen to it. In a parable.

This is likely Prokofiev's least well-regarded music for the ballet, but it's extraordinary music and more appealing to me in many respects than Stone Flower. I know Prokofiev biographer Harlow Robinson, who much admires the piece, would agree with me on that.


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 20, 2009, 07:06:01 AM
I find that puzzling. I would have expected that fans of Stravinsky would admire the work as much as Stravinsky did.

Doesn't necessarily work that way. Consider what a great fan Shostakovich was of Mahler. I love a great deal of Shostakovich's oeuvre, but as a rule, am relatively lukewarm to Mahler.

Quote
I know Prokofiev biographer Harlow Robinson, who much admires the piece, would agree with me on that.

Oh, that's all right.  I have disagreed with Professor Robinson ere now  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 20, 2009, 07:41:43 AM
It's a real pity to me that Balanchine and Prokofiev didn't hit it off a bit better. Baryshnikov quoted Balanchine (about Prokofiev), "he was a bastard." Prokofiev wasn't willing to cooperate on Prodigal Son to the extent that Balanchine desired.

Still, it's hard to imagine Balanchine choreography to Chout, Le Pas d'Acier, On the Dnieper, or the story ballets. There's a bit too much of a plot associated with all of them, or, at least, some of them seem to have their own agenda. I think Balanchine would have resisted that.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 20, 2009, 08:13:13 AM
It's a real pity to me that Balanchine and Prokofiev didn't hit it off a bit better. Baryshnikov quoted Balanchine (about Prokofiev), "he was a bastard."

Prokofiev was without question a prickly character.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 20, 2009, 08:17:29 AM
Karl, I'd noticed that you had asked this board about their opinions on Winter Bonfire, Op.122. What did you think about this work?

I'm curious if you have the same reaction to Prokofiev's more folk-laden work that I do. (This does not describe the Op. 122.)

Sometimes, in On the Dnieper, Op.51; String Quartet No.2, Op.92; parts of Stone Flower, Op.188, he manages to exude an atmosphere of folk-music without spinning out a lot of ditties.

But overall, it seemed to me that Prokofiev was at his worst (i.e. Opp. 89, 106, 121, parts of 79, etc.) when he spun short, simple, folk stuffs into his music that attracts the criticism of "banal." I feel exactly the same way about the Bartok For Children, First Term at the Piano, Two Romanian Folk Dances, much of the Mikrokosmos and Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs etc. although some of the others like Four Piano Pieces, Rhapsody don't appeal to me for other reasons.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 20, 2009, 08:22:09 AM
Karl, I'd noticed that you had asked this board about their opinions on Winter Bonfire, Op.122. What did you think about this work?

I need to revisit it . . . I think I've only listened to it once, and none too recently.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 20, 2009, 09:31:29 PM
Karl, I wouldn't spend too much time looking into the Winter Bonfire, Op.122. It's a charming piece, light as a feather, but there're bigger fish to fry in Prokofiev's ocean. In the past, you'd expressed admiration for the Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova, Op.27. I'd really recommend the Five Poems, Op.23. To me, and discounting the Five Songs Without Words, Op.35, they're his best pieces for voice and piano.

They come right after the Visions Fugitives, Op.22, and they certainly sound of that style. There's all sorts of invention and exploration with the piano parts. Still, it's rather difficult and expensive to come across these pieces, and the lieder set as a whole contains more shlock than in the other genres of which Prokofiev was a master. But I'd do a lot of other pieces before I got to Winter Bonfire, Op.122.

Perhaps you can direct me to some of the Shostakovich you admire. He is no big fav here per se, but I am only very familiar with the complete string quartets, symphonies, and piano music.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 21, 2009, 04:16:27 AM
Karl, I wouldn't spend too much time looking into the Winter Bonfire, Op.122. It's a charming piece, light as a feather, but there're bigger fish to fry in Prokofiev's ocean. In the past, you'd expressed admiration for the Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova, Op.27. I'd really recommend the Five Poems, Op.23. To me, and discounting the Five Songs Without Words, Op.35, they're his best pieces for voice and piano.

Well, I should really turn up this disc (the one with the Opus 122 on it), because it also has a fine recording of Seven, They Are Seven . . . and I have been mildly annoyed for about a year over failure to turn the disc up somewhere.  (I may possibly misremember the presence of the Opus 122 on this disc, anyway.)

I've got the 3-disc (Delos?) box of the complete voice-&-piano works . . . I haven't quite listened to it all, yet, but I've greatly enjoyed everything I have heard.  Especially The Ugly Duckling, wonderful!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 21, 2009, 04:27:15 AM
Ugly Ducking, Op.18 is a good one. So, for that matter, are the Five Poems by Konstantin Balmont, Op.36, Two Poems, Op.9, Pushkin Songs, Op.73, or even the Six Mass Songs, Op.66. Still, to me, his lieder output contains his worst work. I find it difficult to take the Op.68, 89, 106, 121, and a lot of 79 too.

But the Five Poems, Op.23 is a real keeper! And the Delos set does it marvelously. They spread them out among three or four different singers from the set, and the pianist gets great results! The recording engineers seem to do a really good job on the piano as well.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 21, 2009, 01:50:15 PM
The only songs I've heard were from this disc, which I've listened to a few times:

(http://www.theclassicalshop.net/HiResArt/chan%208509.jpg)
If I had to choose a favorite, it'd be op.9, but overall, none of the songs are really interesting.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 21, 2009, 04:46:54 PM
If I had to choose a favorite, it'd be op.9, but overall, none of the songs are really interesting.

What are you saying, Greg!  The Opus 73 Pushkin Romances are exquisite!

Come back to them in 20 years . . . .

 8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 21, 2009, 05:00:06 PM
Well I happen to think the world of the Five Songs Without Words, Op.35, which exist better in the version for violin and piano. There's a sort of impressionistic quality about those pieces. The same might be said for the Two Poems, Op.9, but I don't think they're at that quality.

Karl's advocated for the Anna Akhmatova, Op.27 works before, so I need not even though I'm a fan. And the Op.36 really have a lot going for them. They were performed recently for the first time in my memory at the new Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, and the review from Steve Smith is below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/arts/music/10arou.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Prokofiev%20and%20Quintet&st=cse

Smith, a real douchebag in my opinion, expends a lot of energy talking about Prokofiev's "indebtedness" to Stravinsky, and there are only a few details in the Quintet, Op.36 that show that "Prokofiev was not entirely beholden to Stravinsky's influence."

Still, the Five Poems, Op.23 are really something special and not just for pushing the boundaries of voice and piano in a new direction, which is something I could care less about. It could have to do with the recording. I've got the other Carole Farley disc of Prokofiev, and she's serviceable, but her singing is not too distinguished. It's also that these works are very difficult to sing and execute. I imagine the reason the Five Poems, Op.23 were spread onto 3-4 singers is that it's very hard for a singer to capture everything that's going on in those works. But again, I wouldn't pick up that Delos set until I'd listened to a lot of other Prokofiev works.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 21, 2009, 05:43:37 PM
The Opus 23 poems are beautiful; I don't believe I had listened to this disc in the box yet.

The Opus 35 I may possibly prefer sung;  or it could just be a strong favorable impression from listening to this recording.  I've heard them many times on violin (Opus 35a), like them all right in that guise . . . and I certainly recognized everything, it just sounded quite fresh as a vocalise.

Thanks for putting these on my radar; delighted that they cut ahead in the queue.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 21, 2009, 05:49:45 PM
What are you saying, Greg!  The Opus 73 Pushkin Romances are exquisite!

Come back to them in 20 years . . . .

 8)
Well, at least in comparison to much of his other stuff... but overall, as music, I do like all the stuff on that CD.

 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 21, 2009, 06:05:21 PM
Very glad you liked them, Karl. That Op.23 is very difficult to characterize. There's a bit of the narrative form from the Ugly Duckling, Op.18, the invention of the Visions Fugitives, Op.22, impressionism of Op.35, and a sort of Schubertian quality in some respects. But then Prokofiev was maddeningly difficult to characterize himself.

Greg, what do you think of some of the harder kernals to crack in the Prokofiev piano repertoire, like the Sarcasms, Op.17, Things in Themselves, Op.45, Thoughts, Op.62, or Sonatinas, Op.54?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 21, 2009, 06:12:38 PM
Very glad you liked them, Karl. That Op.23 is very difficult to characterize. There's a bit of the narrative form from the Ugly Duckling, Op.18, the invention of the Visions Fugitives, Op.22, impressionism of Op.35, and a sort of Schubertian quality in some respects. But then Prokofiev was maddeningly difficult to characterize himself.

He amalgamated a great variety of musical influences.  Which is one reason I don't much get out of joint over boneheaded 'dismissals' of ProkofievStravinsky was more a model, than (for the most part) any specific musical influence upon his younger compatriot.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 21, 2009, 06:32:38 PM
I've actually wondered if the Symphony No.1, "Classical," Op.25 was a model for Stravinsky's first forays into neoclassicism. I wonder if Stravinsky had heard it before Pulcinella or at one point he heard it.

Influence arguments tend to escape me, especially when used to talk about quality. It means that Bach's music was not too good in the 18th or 19th centuries, but those same works went up significantly in quality when they started to have an influence on a younger generation of composers. It implies that Gesualdo is "better" than Stravinsky because he brushed off on him and not vice versa. But, of course, I'm taking the arguments to their extremes.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 22, 2009, 02:52:41 AM
I've actually wondered if the Symphony No.1, "Classical," Op.25 was a model for Stravinsky's first forays into neoclassicism. I wonder if Stravinsky had heard it before Pulcinella or at one point he heard it.

Doubtful . . . I should go back to the respective biographies to confirm that impression.  Prokofiev composed it during the war, whose events cut Stravinsky off from his home while he was busy at work in Paris.  THe distance and the circumstances . . . there's no particular reason the piece should have been on Stravinsky's radar. Dyagilev and his troupe were forced by circumstances to turn their backs to Petersburg and Russia.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 22, 2009, 08:07:44 AM
It'd likely be difficult to find out. One music historian told me that, yes, it did provide a model during his neoclassical period. Whether Stravinsky heard it (and he would have had 4-5 years between 1916-7 of the Symphony No.1 "Classical" and 1920-1 for Pulcinella and a couple postwar years) is difficult to say. Certainly he heard it at some point during 1916-1955, but I imagine it'd be difficult to figure this out in any Stravinsky biography since it's not the type of thing he'd want recorded, anymore than the use of folk music in Rite, Firebird, and Petrushka.

I should make it clear that I couldn't give a hoot about any who-influenced-who-more arguments.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 22, 2009, 08:30:07 AM
I should make it clear that I couldn't give a hoot about any who-influenced-who-more arguments.

No, I take it simply as a question of historical interest.

Quote from: Prokofiev1891
It'd likely be difficult to find out. One music historian told me that, yes, it did provide a model during his neoclassical period. Whether Stravinsky heard it (and he would have had 4-5 years between 1916-7 of the Symphony No.1 "Classical" and 1920-1 for Pulcinella and a couple postwar years) is difficult to say. Certainly he heard it at some point during 1916-1955, but I imagine it'd be difficult to figure this out in any Stravinsky biography since it's not the type of thing he'd want recorded, anymore than the use of folk music in Rite, Firebird, and Petrushka.

Well, the "couple of post-war years" doesn't necessarily signify, because there was civil war in Russia during all that time.  It was not really a time when music composed within Russia was being readily distributed to the West.  The one who would most likely have brought the symphony west, was Prokofiev himself . . . and a cursory glance at the bio shows him going to visit Dyagilev in 1920, when Pulcinella was already in production.

A couple of other points which make the symphony an unlikely candidate for impact on Stravinsky:  It's a symphony, a traditional genre in which Stravinsky had no interest (it was not until the '40s that he wrote the Symphonies in C and in Three Movements, neither of which bear any particular imprint from the Prokofiev Opus 25);  and its historical inspiration is Haydn, a composer in whom Stravinsky took no particular interest.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 22, 2009, 12:25:42 PM
A couple of other points which make the symphony an unlikely candidate for impact on Stravinsky:  It's a symphony, a traditional genre in which Stravinsky had no interest (it was not until the '40s that he wrote the Symphonies in C and in Three Movements, neither of which bear any particular imprint from the Prokofiev Opus 25);  and its historical inspiration is Haydn, a composer in whom Stravinsky took no particular interest.

This doesn't seem to me like such a strong argument. Still, we're speculating here.

Actually, I really don't think Stravinsky or Prokofiev had much influence on each other. The two most frequently mentioned examples of Stravinsky's influence on Prokofiev are the Scythian Suite, Op.20 and Chout, Op.21. The Scythian Suite, Op.20 is mostly similar to Rite of Spring in its subject matter and "primitive" orchestral colorings. Chout, Op.21 is kind of akin to Petrushka in that there's a playful nature in the way its put together. Some of the orchestration is similar.

Likely, the Symphony No.1, Op.25, "Classical" didn't have much of an influence on pieces like Dumbarton Oaks or Danses Concertantes, either. A biographer at Bard cited the influence of the early Prokofiev piano works on Three Movements from Petrushka, but I don't buy it.

However, I definitely think that Prokofiev's time in Paris pushed him to compete for the modernist crown, but he had a totally different take on modernism than Stravinsky. They were both influenced by Les Six, and I think that contributes to a certain similarity in the way they sound in a few pieces.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 22, 2009, 03:05:18 PM
Greg, what do you think of some of the harder kernals to crack in the Prokofiev piano repertoire, like the Sarcasms, Op.17, Things in Themselves, Op.45, Thoughts, Op.62, or Sonatinas, Op.54?
I don't have any of them, and have only heard some of them once or twice. I do remember like Sarcasms, though.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 23, 2009, 07:46:32 AM
Needless to say, I like all of these a great deal.

Sarcasms, Op.17 explores the percussive potential of the piano in a way Prokofiev never really did after. They'll a little like some of the very best Bartok solo piano music, but they've got a little more wit and motoric drive in spots. I'd be interested to hear a Bartok enthusiast compare and contrast these pieces to some of his solo piano music.

Things in Themselves, Op.45 is very introverted. It's unpopular, and I've never heard of a concert pianist wandering into this repertoire. I love it! Good chromatic themes. Sounds very French as well as Russian. Unfortunately, it's one of the only pieces that Boris Berman doesn't seem to get quite right in his first-ever recording of the complete solo piano music. Chiu gets it, though.

Thoughts, Op.62 is, again, very introverted. The first two of the set have angular themes like the opening of the First Violin Sonata that may not be to the taste of some who expect something different from Prokofiev. Everyone's going to like the third and last of the set. Richter used to play this third a lot, and it's on a great recital disc that he came out with on a live in japan set.

Sonatinas, Op.54 took me a very long time to get into. I didn't think he put things together very well, and it seemed whimsical without being substantive. But I can really see the structure in it now. It's highly inaccessible stuff, and yet it's still tonal, doesn't have an unusual time signature, and doesn't resort to a nontraditional vocabulary for its own sake. Boris Berman, who was one of the co-founders of the Prokofiev Society of America at Yale, actually seems to play these pieces quite a bit when he's on the concertizing trail, if that's any indication of their worth.

Anyone else have an opinion about some of these pieces?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 24, 2009, 11:59:13 AM
American Ballet Theatre has just created a website for Prokofiev's On the Dnieper, Op.51. It contains a video where you can hear choreographer Alexei Ratmansky talk about the score, and see some of the choreography with Diana Vishneva, Paloma Herrera, and Marcelo Gomes. The link is below.

http://www.abt.org/dnieper/
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 24, 2009, 06:13:26 PM
Sarcasms, Op.17 explores the percussive potential of the piano in a way Prokofiev never really did after. They'll a little like some of the very best Bartok solo piano music, but they've got a little more wit and motoric drive in spots. I'd be interested to hear a Bartok enthusiast compare and contrast these pieces to some of his solo piano music.
Barbara Nissman wrote a book on Bartok from the pianist's perspective, and was working on one on Prokofiev, though I don't know if that's been published. She is apparently a specialist in these two, so you might find some answers there.
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on May 24, 2009, 11:28:10 PM
It'd likely be difficult to find out. One music historian told me that, yes, it did provide a model during his neoclassical period. Whether Stravinsky heard it (and he would have had 4-5 years between 1916-7 of the Symphony No.1 "Classical" and 1920-1 for Pulcinella and a couple postwar years) is difficult to say. Certainly he heard it at some point during 1916-1955, but I imagine it'd be difficult to figure this out in any Stravinsky biography since it's not the type of thing he'd want recorded, anymore than the use of folk music in Rite, Firebird, and Petrushka.

I should make it clear that I couldn't give a hoot about any who-influenced-who-more arguments.

I don't think there's much evidence for Prokofiev steering Stravinsky towards neo-classicism with his first symphony. It's more likely Stravinsky was encouraged on going this direction by Diaghilev. By the time Ballet Russe exoticism's heyday was over Diaghilev started getting more and more interested in pre-romantic forms. This was around the same time he realized it was getting harder and harder to picture a return to Russia, after the revolution. Stravinsky was facing the same predicament.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 25, 2009, 12:33:09 PM
Barbara Nissman wrote a book on Bartok from the pianist's perspective, and was working on one on Prokofiev, though I don't know if that's been published. She is apparently a specialist in these two, so you might find some answers there.

Yes, I looked into this. Nissman is unaware of any encounters between Bartok and Prokofiev.

I don't think there's much evidence for Prokofiev steering Stravinsky towards neo-classicism with his first symphony. It's more likely Stravinsky was encouraged on going this direction by Diaghilev. By the time Ballet Russe exoticism's heyday was over Diaghilev started getting more and more interested in pre-romantic forms. This was around the same time he realized it was getting harder and harder to picture a return to Russia, after the revolution. Stravinsky was facing the same predicament.

Who knows.

I wasn't asking whether Prokofiev steered Stravinsky toward neo-classicism but rather whether Prokofiev's neo-classicism had an influence on Stravinsky's.

If not, and I suspect not, it's another example of how unrelated the idea of "influence" is to invention. More times than not, influence has more to do with luck and circumstance than invention and quality. To me, it seems like one of the most trivial and meaningless ways to think about music.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on May 25, 2009, 11:44:39 PM
Admiitedly "influence" is a very dodgy concept, and plain marketforces may have had much more impact on both composers.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 03:39:23 AM
I think it simply 'meant' different things entirely to the two composers, and it happened quite independently. For Prokofiev, his first symphony was a "what if?", and it was a spin-off of the work he had done in his conducting class (where they worked with Haydn scores), and it was something of a novelty in process, as he deliberately set to composing away from the piano.

I don't think the idea of tinkering with a pile of source-material from a historical composer would have occurred to Stravinsky, if his cousin Dyagilev hadn't proposed it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 04:18:00 AM
. . . Prof. Gibbs actually gave a decent pre-concert lecture, and considering his comment, he was a model in professionalism. To me, the scandal came when Prof. Richard Wilson, a composer from Vassar, took the stage before one of the last programs. He started innocently enough with a gaffe about formalism meaning "diatonic" . . . .

His gaffe (and serious enough) was in giving the Moscow lackeys of the day a "benefit of the doubt" in supposing that there is actually some musical 'definition' of formalism.  It was just a buzzword for "we've got you by the short hairs."
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 30, 2009, 12:47:33 PM
One of the more amusing interchanges between Stravinsky and Prokofiev (and one that actually resulted in a composition) came when Stravinsky urged Prokofiev to take up some Schubert waltzes and work some magic on it. What results is a total, note-by-note transcription of some Schubert waltzes for two hands. Total.

Prokofiev says in his autobiography, "For my part, I did not approve of Stravinsky's predilection for Bachian techniques--his 'pseudo-Bachism'--or rather I did not approve of adopting some else's idiom and calling it one's own. True I had written a 'Classical' Symphony myself, but that was only a passing phase. With Stravinsky this 'Bachism' was becoming the basic line of his music."

Stravinsky and Prokofiev were both pretty nasty to each other most of the time.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 02:28:45 PM
Prokofiev says in his autobiography, "For my part, I did not approve of Stravinsky's predilection for Bachian techniques--his 'pseudo-Bachism'--or rather I did not approve of adopting some else's idiom and calling it one's own. True I had written a 'Classical' Symphony myself, but that was only a passing phase. With Stravinsky this 'Bachism' was becoming the basic line of his music."

Stravinsky and Prokofiev were both pretty nasty to each other most of the time.

Well . . . and where does Sergei Sergeyevich get the idea that his approval is needed there?  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 30, 2009, 03:06:14 PM
Yes, well, few people have cared for Prokofiev's opinions. But the music world may turn over a new leaf. Prokofiev was actually a very acerbic and delightful writer. His diaries have gotten a certain amount of press lately. In particular, Alex Ross absolutely loved them, it seems, but he's more partial to Prokofiev than most. Certainly, of course, liking his diaries doesn't have to do with liking his opinions, but it makes it more likely, perhaps.

But basta, what about Sarcasms, Op.17; Things in Themselves, Op.45; Sonatinas, Op.54; Thoughts, Op.62? How did we have those absurd discussions on Stravinsky's and Prokofiev's relative merits with so much output unheard?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 30, 2009, 06:31:38 PM
He also hated church music. I'd love to videotape him in a Pentecostal church.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: vandermolen on May 31, 2009, 01:06:05 AM
Brilliant have issued Walter Weller's old Decca set with the LPO/LSO. Some regard this as the best set of the Prokofiev symphonies.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on May 31, 2009, 03:59:18 AM
IMO there is just no best complete set. All these 1 - 7 sets have severe weak spots.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 31, 2009, 01:43:42 PM
IMO there is just no best complete set. All these 1 - 7 sets have severe weak spots.

As well as I like the Ozawa set, it does have its weak bits.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on June 01, 2009, 02:20:17 AM
I bought the 6 & 7 cd out of Gergiev's cycle, touted as its best single cd, and it was disappointing.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 02:50:00 AM
I'd readily go hear him live, but I scarcely ever feel the impulse to buy a Gergiev recording, FWIW.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 08:09:47 AM
Anyone know anything of when a vol. II may be forthcoming from David Nice?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 01, 2009, 12:45:05 PM
I spoke to David Nice online a few days ago but not in regards to his publication. He has his own online blog which I haven't looked into. Perhaps there may be information there in regards to his publications.

I think he's pretty much a freelance writer and not associated with an academic entity, no? He views Britten, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Shostakovich with equal admiration and does not appear to go far out of his way to champion particular composers, though apparently he's gotten involved in defending Prokofiev when, for example, Ashkenazy put together this totally lop-sided "Prokofiev and Shostakovich under the Stalin" series several years ago.

Still, he's an interesting man, and pleasant to talk to. He gave good lectures. I last saw him at the Bard Summerscape Festival. Well, now I'm off the "All-Prokofiev Celebration" at ABT with "On the Dnieper." It starts in two hours.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 01, 2009, 04:26:16 PM
I'd readily go hear him live, but I scarcely ever feel the impulse to buy a Gergiev recording, FWIW.

One area where Gergiev seems to have consistently done well on disc is his Russian opera series on Philips - but that's generally early-ish Gergiev, before his jet-set days (there are a few exceptions). Not sure if such a distinction (early/late Gergiev) really holds water but FWIW.

I mention this only to bring attention to his successes in Prokofiev's operas as part of that series. The competition in this repertoire is slim anyway so it's almost a default choice in Gergiev but to me he really makes exceptional work of these operas (or the three I have anyway). Truly wonderful listening experiences (Love For Three Oranges is my favorite - mainly for the piece itself [pre-Soviet Prokofiev]).   
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 01, 2009, 07:41:34 PM
I have all the recordings that Gergiev made of Prokofiev operas, and I'm quite pleased with all of them, though I don't have any other versions.

Often, it's hard for me to appreciate an interpretation of a piece that's different from the one I grew up on. I had other recordings of Chout, Le Pas d'Acier, Scythian Suite, the Second Piano Concerto, Fourth Piano Concerto, First Violin Concerto, and the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Symphonies, but I was very happy with every performance I heard from Gergiev live with these works. The only exception was with the First Symphony, but it was in the spirit of adventure.

I think Gergiev did the most important thing a conductor can do: introduce important works to the broader public. Nobody would have heard a lot of these works without him, though there's too few of us who know Fiery Angel, The Gambler, etc. I also really admire the Gergiev recoding of Ivan the Terrible, which is great music!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 01, 2009, 08:59:05 PM
I have all the recordings that Gergiev made of Prokofiev operas, and I'm quite pleased with all of them, though I don't have any other versions.

I think Gergiev did the most important thing a conductor can do: introduce important works to the broader public.

Yes, good point.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on June 01, 2009, 09:44:34 PM
It seems Prokofiev has to be "introduced" to the public every few years. Very depressing. Anyone remember when Jarvi's recordings were the big thing that would bring Prokofiev into the mainstream?


He also hated church music. I'd love to videotape him in a Pentecostal church.
You won't have the opportunity, I'm afraid.
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 02, 2009, 11:46:37 AM
I think part of the problem is that he was too prolific. I find it much easier to talk about a composer when I know his whole output. It also costs $600-1000 dollars to buy Prokofiev's Opp.1-135, while you can pick up Webern and Stravinsky together for much less than a hundred bucks total. The complete Prokofiev solo piano music alone will cost you $200-250.

It's also difficult to talk in a seemingly intellectual manner with Prokofiev vis a vis a lot of other composers. There aren't as many sexy terms or words from music theory that are applicable, here.

But he wasn't an "American" composer like Stravinsky or Schoenberg; a quasi-American like Rachmaninoff, Hindemith or Bartok; or, as some might say, an honorary one for the sake of dissidence like Shostakovich. My impression is that out of all the major 20th century composers, the one who was least enamored with America was Prokofiev. But I could be wrong about that.

In sum: he was prolific, anti-American, unlucky, impersonal, unintellectual, and without the right connections. His music is unPC, propagandistic, banal low art, and the only reason we listen to him is because we're too stupid to appreciate Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Stravinsky, Bartok, and Messiaen. Actually, the only thing you should listen to of his is Peter and the Wolf.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 02, 2009, 01:41:33 PM
He isn't anti-American at all.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on June 02, 2009, 06:06:33 PM
Well, I assume that last paragraph was sarcastic.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidRoss on June 03, 2009, 03:32:20 AM
Strange.  It seems to me that Prokofiev's music has as firm a hold on the basic repertoire as that of any primarily 20th Century composer.  I hear one or two of his pieces performed virtually every year in ordinary subscription series--PCs #2 & 3 this past season, for instance, and in recent years Five Melodies, Cinderella, some piano sonatas, the 2nd Symphony, to name just those that come readily to mind.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 03, 2009, 03:37:17 AM
Aye; to cast Prokofiev as an outsider, it were necessary to confine the field to a subset of academia. Happily, the world of living music is much broader.  Why, there are performers and music directors, and not academics only!  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on June 03, 2009, 03:38:20 AM
I think part of the problem is that he was too prolific. I find it much easier to talk about a composer when I know his whole output. It also costs $600-1000 dollars to buy Prokofiev's Opp.1-135, while you can pick up Webern and Stravinsky together for much less than a hundred bucks total. The complete Prokofiev solo piano music alone will cost you $200-250.

I haven't tried this, but I'm pretty sure you're wrong here. Stravinsky was just as prolific.

It's also difficult to talk in a seemingly intellectual manner with Prokofiev vis a vis a lot of other composers. There aren't as many sexy terms or words from music theory that are applicable, here.

I don't think there'd be any problem talking about Prokofiev in intellectual termns. Speaking of which: "vis à vis" means "in relation to" rather than "compared to"  -  if that's what you meant ???

But he wasn't an "American" composer like Stravinsky or Schoenberg; a quasi-American like Rachmaninoff, Hindemith or Bartok; or, as some might say, an honorary one for the sake of dissidence like Shostakovich. My impression is that out of all the major 20th century composers, the one who was least enamored with America was Prokofiev. But I could be wrong about that.

Yes, I think you're wrong. Not so much about these composers "Americaness" but rather in that this is a very strange, completely unfruitful way of looking at these composers. Prokofiev wrote a fair number of compositions that sound completely cosmopolitan, and some of his musicc sounds very "Russian". There's also a fair amount of Schumann in his music. So go figure.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on June 03, 2009, 04:27:45 AM
I haven't tried this, but I'm pretty sure you're wrong here. Stravinsky was just as prolific.

In no of works or playing time? The complete Stravinsky is on 22 CDs (granted you would need a couple more for odds and ends), which seems about what is needed for a complete Prokofiev Opera Collection. Which leaves the rest of his works by the wayside, so certainly not equal in terms of playing time at least.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 03, 2009, 09:00:52 AM
But that's not all!

He was a neoromantic with light fluffy melodies, while Shostakovich was an avant-garde modernist who wrote deeply personal music suffused with the soul. He went back to Russia because he knew he'd never be as good as Stravinsky, where he actually gave Stalin a blow job. Shostakovich, on the other hand, actually killed Stalin.

Now his keyboard music is empty virtuosity, while Bartok's (especially his piano concertos) has no virtuosity. He was a terrible orchestrator, a red, a commie, and he asked that his first wife be sent to the gulag. Generally, his music is a failed imitation of Stravinsky. But we should assess his music based on the extent to which he influenced other composers.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 03, 2009, 10:47:33 AM
I wish I liked the Third and Fourth symphonies better. Maybe it's Ozawa's fault.  But fact is, even Abbado's account of the Third (excellent though it is rightly accounted) doesn't leave me enthralled with the piece.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 03, 2009, 02:58:33 PM
Symphony No.3, Op.44 is a wonderful piece. Perfectly constructed, with no notes in excess. It's likely my favorite Prokofiev symphony, but of course, I love Fiery Angel, Op.37. Koussevitzky called it "the greatest symphony since Tchaikovsky's Sixth."

What do you think about Fiery Angel, Op.37, Karl?

The reviews for On the Dnieper have just come in.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/arts/dance/03abt.html?ref=dance

Ratmansky's response to this score is so inside the understated rhythms, the folk-tinged ambience, and piquant harmonies, that it took my breath away on both nights. But this score, just like the choreography that's inevitably associated with it, is almost inaccessible in creating an introverted landscape. It never reaches out for you, but you also don't disturb it and float seamlessly back out of that world when it's over. Therefore, the choreography seemed purposefully understated, using a more traditional dance vocabulary, and to some extent, underdeveloping parts of the tale.

But then much of the time, the story can still come through in emotional terms. In Ratmansky's opening choreography, Sergei's restlessness, the fact that he's alone, helps explain why he, all of a sudden, gives up on his fiancee for this new woman, Olga: she has two legs. She's probably the first woman he's seen in five years of fighting. Simply, he sees her before he sees his fiancee, and Ratmansky's opening characterization of this restlessness helps to explain things without a lot of pretext.

As regards stage images, I particularly enjoyed the quarter-turn pivots with one arm raised that open and close the ballet; the "confetti" image with Olga and the fiancee; Natalia resting her head in a kind of prayer, and many others.

Oh boy, could I not agree less with Apollinaire Scherr (a reviewer for the Wall Street Journal) in that this score is match. As I've listened to this piece, I've always wondered what so many of the numbers might look like on stage, and some of them just scream for choreography. It's the story that's thorny; the music would light up like kindling.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on June 03, 2009, 05:54:32 PM
I wish I liked the Third and Fourth symphonies better. Maybe it's Ozawa's fault.  But fact is, even Abbado's account of the Third (excellent though it is rightly accounted) doesn't leave me enthralled with the piece.
I don't know these performances, but of Jarvi, Gergiev, Rozhdy and Kuchar, I actually favour Kuchar in these two works. Jarvi seems superficial to me, Gergiev is structurally unclear (but has the best sound), Rozhdy (apart from the Soviet sound) is rather overbearing and gets a rough performance. In the 4th, only Kuchar understands the importance of the woodblock towards the end of the first movement.
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 03, 2009, 07:48:52 PM
I wish I liked the Third and Fourth symphonies better. Maybe it's Ozawa's fault.

Just a thought, but as far as the fourth - as you state - I wonder if perhaps the blame couldn't be laid in the hands of Ozawa. Not that I wish to browbeat Ozawa, but seems to me Jurowski's performance (on CPO) of the source material for the fourth - the ballet The Prodigal Son - is mighty impressive. Which leads me to believe there's more to the work than Ozawa perhaps is revealing (though I haven't heard Ozawa).

Although option 2: it might simply be the work doesn't sit well in your palate. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 03, 2009, 09:07:18 PM
I haven't tried this, but I'm pretty sure you're wrong here. Stravinsky was just as prolific.
It's about 1:3 in playing time.

I don't think there'd be any problem talking about Prokofiev in intellectual termns. Speaking of which: "vis à vis" means "in relation to" rather than "compared to"  -  if that's what you meant ???
Yes, you're right about that. Sometimes, I just get so caught up in things (and in the rhythm of language) that I forget certain words!

Yes, I think you're wrong. Not so much about these composers "Americaness" but rather in that this is a very strange, completely unfruitful way of looking at these composers. Prokofiev wrote a fair number of compositions that sound completely cosmopolitan, and some of his musicc sounds very "Russian". There's also a fair amount of Schumann in his music. So go figure.
(Most of what I said before was a joke.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 03, 2009, 09:45:14 PM
Aye; to cast Prokofiev as an outsider, it were necessary to confine the field to a subset of academia. Happily, the world of living music is much broader.  Why, there are performers and music directors, and not academics only!  ;)

I'm curious about one particular issue. I was reading an article in the New Republic in which a musicologist viciously attacked a Professor of History because he authored a book on music history and supposedly did not have the musicological expertise this musicologist believed was sufficient. Music criticism has always seemed to be rather interdisciplinary, often incorporating film, history, culture studies, performers, dramatists, etc., but it does seem to me that many academic musicologists can often be protective and defensive of their field. Which leads me to a bigger question.

Do you, Karl, feel that the academic study of music that you've been through, that the doctoral level training in theory that you've experienced has "improved" your taste in music, if such a thing can exist? That is, do you feel that it's enabled you discern the "good" from the "bad"? Or, at the very least, did it deepen your appreciation of music?

Analogously, my degree is in theatre, and I find it very, very difficult to say. I remember, though, that there were a number of students from my undergraduate years that put on shows unaffiliated with any academic department and thought all of us who majored in theatre were snobs. And then I also see articles that make me wonder questions like, "who would be better prepared to write a book on [composer]?" Someone with a background in music theory, history, a performer, a die-hard fan?

I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts, Karl.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 04, 2009, 02:53:44 AM
Just a thought, but as far as the fourth - as you state - I wonder if perhaps the blame couldn't be laid in the hands of Ozawa. Not that I wish to browbeat Ozawa, but seems to me Jurowski's performance (on CPO) of the source material for the fourth - the ballet The Prodigal Son - is mighty impressive.

I am with you viz. that last point: I am completely convinced by (and enamored of) the source ballet.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 04, 2009, 02:56:29 AM
What do you think about Fiery Angel, Op.37, Karl?

I need to revisit it, or better put, to visit it properly.  Once on a time (back in Buffalo) I did own a recording of the complete opera.  The recording passed out of my possession before I could get to know it properly.  (Not before I did listen to it, but there are many instance in my experience where initial exposure to a recording is unreliable as any guide.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 04, 2009, 03:01:44 AM
Do you, Karl, feel that the academic study of music that you've been through, that the doctoral level training in theory that you've experienced has "improved" your taste in music, if such a thing can exist? That is, do you feel that it's enabled you discern the "good" from the "bad"? Or, at the very least, did it deepen your appreciation of music?

Well, I learnt a great deal that has been worthwhile, which I think more or less orthogonal to the progression of my taste.  A lot of music which I first heard during my schooling, I liked immediately.  OTOH, there were times during my schooling when my ears were "pointed" in fairly specific directions (I mean, by my own inclination at the time), and when I listened to some music which just "did other things," it left me cold — but in many cases when I have revisited this music decades after, I took to it heartily.

Some of what I learnt in those days (by subtle absorption) I after needed to "un-learn";  but overall, I found the experience richly positive.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on June 04, 2009, 04:13:21 AM
Every time I see your new avatar I think "Whatever you do, don't mention the war". Hope you'll change it soon.....
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 04, 2009, 04:45:44 AM
I am alive to your concern . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dr. Dread on June 04, 2009, 04:47:26 AM
I am alive to your concern . . . .

Heh.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on June 04, 2009, 04:22:34 PM
Some of what I learnt in those days (by subtle absorption) I after needed to "un-learn";
That was my experience of university too - the universal verities which eventually turn out to be mere trendy consensus.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jowcol on June 08, 2009, 07:30:22 AM
Symphony No.3, Op.44 is a wonderful piece. Perfectly constructed, with no notes in excess.


I'd have to agree with this.  It's my favorite of his bar none, and the only one (other than the first ) which holds up evenly throughout it's length.  I love the first movements of the 2nd and 6th, but I don't find the rest of those as engaging throughout.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 08, 2009, 06:02:46 PM
I think the 1st and 3rd movements don't have any notes in excess.

I think the rest of the symphonies have some imperfections.

2nd: There's some repetitiousness in the 1st movement, about 5 minutes into the piece.
4th: The 4th movement is a bit uneven.
5th: The 1st movement is shody and repetitious; the rest is flawless.
6th: The 3rd movement isn't put together too well; the rest is flawless.
7th: Lovely piece, but the main theme of the 4th movement isn't particularly inspired.

Then again, perfections and imperfections may not be such a great way to evaluate music. There's a lot out there that's perfectly serviceable, but not that imaginative.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 09, 2009, 02:20:29 AM
I think the rest of the symphonies have some imperfections.

2nd: There's some repetitiousness in the 1st movement, about 5 minutes into the piece.
...
5th: The 1st movement is shody and repetitious; the rest is flawless.
6th: The 3rd movement isn't put together too well; the rest is flawless.
7th: Lovely piece, but the main theme of the 4th movement isn't particularly inspired.

Then again, perfections and imperfections may not be such a great way to evaluate music.

The trouble is, that not all of us will agree that these bits with which you are somehow dissatisfied, are "imperfections."  As a composer, I have no quarrel in the least with how the final movemet of the Sixth is put together, for only one instance.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jowcol on June 09, 2009, 06:53:24 AM
I don't believe (and I strong hope against) the possibility of there being an objective standard to  measure what makes a symphony "flawless" and one flawed. At what point can all unanimously agree that there are (in the words from the play Amadeus) "too many notes!".

For me, I love every bar of the first movement of the second symphony, and although I really like the theme that starts the second movement, I think after a while it collapses under its own weight.

For the 1st movement of the 5th-- I'd agree that I also perceive it as not holding together as well as it could, but there are is one passage there I really love-- one of his most profound moments-- in my admittedly subjective opinion. 

<snip>
Then again, perfections and imperfections may not be such a great way to evaluate music. There's a lot out there that's perfectly serviceable, but not that imaginative.
<snip>

Agreed.  Some composers (and works) I'll wade through waiting for the two minutes that makes it all worthwhile.  Others pull me in from the start.   

Also, the notion of what an "imperfection" is often subjective.  Mussorgsky's works were considered highly flawed in his generation, until his discovery in the next.   Read contemporary reviews for the symphonies of Beethoven, the premiere for Rite of Spring, and the scathing reviews the John Coltrane Quartet got in 1961, these were all deemed to be highly flawed creations.   

If there was ever a universally shared , consistent formula for what defined good music-- I'd take up a new obsession.  Music would have nothing left to offer.



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 09, 2009, 06:55:10 AM
The trouble is, that not all of us will agree that these bits with which you are somehow dissatisfied, are "imperfections."  As a composer, I have no quarrel in the least with how the final movemet of the Sixth is put together, for only one instance.

Glad to hear it. I may have been unduly critical here, but sometimes I try to give Prokofiev detractors the benefit of the doubt.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 09, 2009, 07:28:38 AM
What are some thoughts on The Gambler, Op.24? I don't think we've discussed this work.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2009, 04:52:05 AM
What are some thoughts on The Gambler, Op.24? I don't think we've discussed this work.

No, I don't think we have; I need to get to know it better.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 12, 2009, 05:56:12 AM
It's the most difficult piece of tonal music I've ever heard. It makes a lot of demands on the listener. I really couldn't understand it for the first 8 or so listens.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2009, 06:05:49 AM
I remember kind-of-liking the "four portraits from" on one or other of the Järvi discs;  and I gave a slight listen to the opera (probably not the whole thing, either . . . it was at about the time I was preparing my June recital) sometime last year.  But I shall happily give it another lash.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 12, 2009, 07:59:35 AM
I have the same recording you have from Jarvi. Oh, boy, I just love those Four Portraits from The Gambler, Op.49! That stuff is fantastic, and it's as good as music gets.

I found that I had to approach The Gambler, Op.24 the way I approach serial music. It's the least "accessible" piece of music from Prokofiev; it's really thorny. I'd given it to a Professor at Vassar who tried it out and said, "That doesn't need to be an opera!" But it was just one listen.

They really seemed to like it when it went up about a year ago last April at the Met. It's wild, sarcastic, dry, and as modern as anything.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/arts/music/29gamb.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=The%20Gambler&st=cse
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2009, 08:30:19 AM
They really seemed to like it when it went up about a year ago last April at the Met. It's wild, sarcastic, dry, and as modern as anything.

Hm. Comparisons are odorous, of course . . . but it sounds like a cousin to Shostakovich's The Nose.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brewski on June 12, 2009, 08:39:41 AM
They really seemed to like it when it went up about a year ago last April at the Met. It's wild, sarcastic, dry, and as modern as anything.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/arts/music/29gamb.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=The%20Gambler&st=cse

I saw The Gambler both last year, and in its premiere (twice) a few years before that, and yes, "wild, sarcastic, dry and modern" would all apply.  (Haven't yet purchased a recording yet to listen to it extensively, although I'd like to.)  My impression is that those looking for the "Prokofiev long line" (e.g., the opening movement of the Fifth Symphony or portions of Romeo and Juliet) will be a little startled.  Here he uses smaller cells--gestures that appear and vanish just as quickly--which gives the the score a nervous, slightly comical quality.  The music definitely grew on me with each additional hearing.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 12, 2009, 04:22:48 PM
Hm. Comparisons are odorous, of course . . . but it sounds like a cousin to Shostakovich's The Nose.

I went to a pre-concert lecture before a Prokofiev performance when Harlow Robinson (your fav) was talking about Prokofiev's influence (my fav topic) on other composers. He said that he thought Love for Three Oranges had an influence on The Nose, but I'd be the first to say that this doesn't mean anything about originality, quality, or invention.

Taruskin (my real fav) loves this piece, but even he can't stop me from liking it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/18/arts/music-prokofiev-and-the-might-have-beens.html
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 12, 2009, 04:25:11 PM
The music definitely grew on me with each additional hearing.


I thought it was really hard, though I'd been listening to it without a libretto as I do with a lot of operas.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on June 12, 2009, 11:08:29 PM
I think the 1st and 3rd movements don't have any notes in excess.

I think the rest of the symphonies have some imperfections.

2nd: There's some repetitiousness in the 1st movement, about 5 minutes into the piece.
4th: The 4th movement is a bit uneven.
5th: The 1st movement is shody and repetitious; the rest is flawless.
6th: The 3rd movement isn't put together too well; the rest is flawless.
7th: Lovely piece, but the main theme of the 4th movement isn't particularly inspired.

Then again, perfections and imperfections may not be such a great way to evaluate music. There's a lot out there that's perfectly serviceable, but not that imaginative.

I am not sure Prokofiev was in the business of composing "flawless" works at all cost. He was quite productive, as you may have noted yourself, and that means completing one work and moving on to the next even if someone else with a lot of time on his or her hands may spot a "flaw" some place.

Anyways in my view the Sixth symphony is one of the great symphonies from the WWII and after era, on a par with the greatest DSCH works that get many more performances (and recordings).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 13, 2009, 12:21:23 PM
I am not sure Prokofiev was in the business of composing "flawless" works at all cost. . . . Anyways in my view the Sixth symphony is one of the great symphonies from the WWII and after era, on a par with the greatest DSCH works that get many more performances (and recordings).

Yes, I definitely agree with you there.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 14, 2009, 06:18:57 AM
That's one reason (of more than one) why I misdoubt 'the composer's own' later desire to revise the Second Symphony.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 14, 2009, 08:43:07 PM
Does anyone think Ivan the Terrible, Op.116 has more good music than Alexander Nevsky, Op.78? Much of the time, I tend to think so, or at least in the Gergiev recording I have and admire.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 16, 2009, 05:51:09 AM
FWIW, I've never yet really warmed to the Ivan the Terrible music.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jowcol on June 16, 2009, 12:07:15 PM
FWIW, I've never yet really warmed to the Ivan the Terrible music.
I must that I have never enjoyed it outside of the movie, but it worked well with the film.   (Nevsky, or course, is incredible both with the film (despite the rather poor performance/recording of the original soundtrack) and on it's own.  I've not heard the Gergiev recording-- which, if nothing else, is bound to be interesting!  ;D

I forget which version I have at home-- but it's on vinyl, and it's part of that huge collection of albums that I don't play, but am very unwilling to part with.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 17, 2009, 05:41:44 AM
I must that I have never enjoyed it outside of the movie, but it worked well with the film.   (Nevsky, or course, is incredible both with the film (despite the rather poor performance/recording of the original soundtrack) and on it's own.  I've not heard the Gergiev recording-- which, if nothing else, is bound to be interesting!  ;D

I forget which version I have at home-- but it's on vinyl, and it's part of that huge collection of albums that I don't play, but am very unwilling to part with.

On the Gergiev, it sounds fantastic. He gets all the rhythms right, gives it a lot of energy. There's a lot of energy and invention in this piece. Maybe it has something to do with the version he's using.

I watched a part of it on DVD, and it didn't really do it for me there.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Drasko on June 17, 2009, 09:23:04 AM
If anyone is interested:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,13084.msg321581.html#msg321581 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,13084.msg321581.html#msg321581)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 17, 2009, 06:57:27 PM
Just took delivery of this a couple days ago:


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GRF36YM9L.jpg)


Haven't heard it in its entirety yet but am anxious to do so. Notable so far is the amount of subtlety Prokofiev employs, with plenty of soft passages which caress and coddle the ear - rather in opposition to another opera of his, Love For Three Oranges, which relishes in its jutting attacks. Not that Fiery Angel is watered-down Prokofiev - on the contrary - it's just that when Prokofiev is in 'poetic' mode he can just about 'out-poet' anybody from the 20th century (or any century). The man clearly had it all.

One other standout feature is the high quality of the orchestration: the richness and complexity are phenomenal, almost as if he had swiped a page right from Ravel's playbook. But it's 100% pure Prokofiev and it's easy to see why he extracted a good chunk of this music to form his third symphony. However, I will say, listening to what I have so far leads me to think the music is best served with the vocal element left intact, such is the deep integration of the vocal lines. Much more of a piece that way - to these ears.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 17, 2009, 07:00:34 PM
Wow are you in for a treat! My favorite Prokofiev opera.

That's it, that's the recording. It's something else. I wrote a paper on it at my undergraduate institution.

How much did you pay for it, I wonder? It's been out of print for a while.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 17, 2009, 07:08:24 PM
How much did you pay for it, I wonder? It's been out of print for a while.

I found it - of all places - on Amazon Canada!

And not too shabby of a price: for a new copy, something like $40.00 with price adjustments. Far less than many of the used copies floating around Amazon.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jowcol on June 19, 2009, 06:42:09 AM

it's just that when Prokofiev is in 'poetic' mode he can just about 'out-poet' anybody from the 20th century (or any century).

A couple of the slow passages in Chout I think are among his best of this sort.  Introspective, moody, and down right bluesy in spots, yet with this pervasive sense of mystery.  I keep coming back to Chout since it seems to have some many different sides of Prokofiev's personality in the same score. 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 19, 2009, 06:44:13 AM
And L'enfant prodigue!  That one melts me every time.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 19, 2009, 08:22:56 AM
A couple of the slow passages in Chout I think are among his best of this sort.  Introspective, moody, and down right bluesy in spots, yet with this pervasive sense of mystery.  I keep coming back to Chout since it seems to have some many different sides of Prokofiev's personality in the same score. 

Yes, good point. Chout is a glowing score.

To me Prokofiev is too often pigeonholed as L'enfant terrible. I guess this sort of thing is good for ad copy but isn't really representative of Prokofiev's talents.

Yes, certainly the innovation just flew from his pen but I prefer to think of him as simply a great artist. It's the depth and skill of his writing that's most amazing to me, not necessarily the "novelty".
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 19, 2009, 08:23:38 AM
And L'enfant prodigue!  That one melts me every time.

Need to revisit that one soon...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 19, 2009, 08:36:45 AM
Incidentally. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg322671.html#msg322671)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 19, 2009, 12:40:46 PM
To me Prokofiev is too often pigeonholed as L'enfant terrible. I guess this sort of thing is good for ad copy but isn't really representative of Prokofiev's talents.

Too often pigeonholed as L'enfant terrible? I wish he were characterized as that more often. Seems to me as though he's thought of more as "not modern enough."

A lot of times when I go to a Prokofiev concert, people next to me say that they thought he was more melodic than that (that what they just heard).

I really wish they'd revive Fiery Angel for production in the states. I was too young to ever hear it when it came to America. Fortunately, a friend was able to get me a copy (also now out of print) of the Gergiev production DVD. Very well done, indeed.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 19, 2009, 08:38:27 PM
Too often pigeonholed as L'enfant terrible? I wish he were characterized as that more often.

I don't feel he fits the stereotype. There are a great many of his works which to varying degrees have a lyricism at their center: Betrothel and Semyon Kotko (two operas which are mainstream to the core); Cinderella; his ninth piano sonata; his violin concertos.....

Quote
Seems to me as though he's thought of more as "not modern enough."

Give him credit for being "well rounded", then. 8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 20, 2009, 08:23:19 AM
Dear Dancing Divertimentian:

If you enjoy the more lyrical side of Prokofiev, I'd really recommend On the Dnieper, Op.51; Sinfonietta, Op.5/48; Divertissement, Op.43; Five Songs Without Words, Op.35bis; String Quartet No.2, Op.92; March, Op.99; Three Pieces, Op.59, but I imagine that you're likely already familiar with almost all of these.

The only problem in collecting On the Dnieper, Op.51 is that its most recent recording (Polyansky) comes with with a filler that, to me, is one of the top ten least successful Prokofiev pieces, Songs of Our Days, Op.76. Instead, there's one that's supposed to be pretty good (Rozhdestvensky) that contains another top-drawer Prokofiev piece, Le Pas d'Acier, Op.41. Course, lyrical isn't the first word that comes to mind with Pas d'Acier, though a lot of people cite it as the beginning of his commitment to a "new simplicity" since it's diatonic.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 20, 2009, 07:48:24 PM
Dear Dancing Divertimentian:

If you enjoy the more lyrical side of Prokofiev, I'd really recommend On the Dnieper, Op.51; Sinfonietta, Op.5/48; Divertissement, Op.43; Five Songs Without Words, Op.35bis; String Quartet No.2, Op.92; March, Op.99; Three Pieces, Op.59, but I imagine that you're likely already familiar with almost all of these.

Truth be told, I probably lean more towards Prokofiev's more teeth-rattling side. But I certainly enjoy the lyricism when it pops up.

I just think it great that Prokofiev can do both so well.

Quote
The only problem in collecting On the Dnieper, Op.51 is that its most recent recording (Polyansky) comes with with a filler that, to me, is one of the top ten least successful Prokofiev pieces, Songs of Our Days, Op.76.

Talk about coincidence. I just wrote a mini-review of Polyansky's Op.76  on the opera board. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,10121.msg316701.html#msg316701) I seemed to have an easier time with the work than you did and was absolutely bowled over by the high lyricism of the Lullaby movement. Gorgeous.

Now, I will agree the text is tough to swallow but the music kept me entertained till the end.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on June 21, 2009, 11:24:14 PM
Truth be told, I probably lean more towards Prokofiev's more teeth-rattling side. But I certainly enjoy the lyricism when it pops up.

I just think it great that Prokofiev can do both so well.

Talk about coincidence. I just wrote a mini-review of Polyansky's Op.76  on the opera board. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,10121.msg316701.html#msg316701) I seemed to have an easier time with the work than you did and was absolutely bowled over by the high lyricism of the Lullaby movement. Gorgeous.

Now, I will agree the text is tough to swallow but the music kept me entertained till the end.
Thanks. I'm expecting this disc in my mailbox any day now, then I'll see.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 23, 2009, 07:22:34 PM
Thanks. I'm expecting this disc in my mailbox any day now, then I'll see.

Be curious to hear your impressions, erato.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 24, 2009, 02:29:21 AM
Talk about coincidence. I just wrote a mini-review of Polyansky's Op.76  on the opera board. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,10121.msg316701.html#msg316701) I seemed to have an easier time with the work than you did and was absolutely bowled over by the high lyricism of the Lullaby movement. Gorgeous.

Now, I will agree the text is tough to swallow but the music kept me entertained till the end.

Similarly, I find it fairly easy to let the text pass by with minimal annoyance, and to concentrate on the quality of Sergei Sergeyevich's music.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon: Chout and Ala et Lolly
Post by: Cato on June 24, 2009, 05:25:25 AM
For lyricism and sabre-rattling, don't forget Chout and Ala et Lolly aka The Scythian Suite!

The latter, although a little derivative from Le Sacre, has its great moments with both qualities: I recall especially the old RCA recording with Erich Leinsdorf (and the Boston Symphony ?) from the middle 60's of The Scythian Suite which was really remarkable. 

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brewski on June 24, 2009, 06:26:33 AM
I love the Scythian Suite, which was among the first classical pieces I ever heard (the old Hermann Scherchen/VSO recording on Westminster), and played it to death.  Among modern versions, I have Gergiev's and like it just fine.  Got to hear it live in 2006, when Kurt Masur returned to conduct it with the New York Philharmonic.  A fantastic thing to hear in the concert hall!

--Bruce
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jowcol on June 24, 2009, 02:51:28 PM
I agree-- both on the Scythian Suite, and also having fun with the Gergiev version.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 24, 2009, 07:16:39 PM
Often the odd man out here, the Scythian Suite, Op.20 doesn't particularly impress me relative to a lot of other P works.

But I do prefer the teeth-rattling Prokofiev. Among those more rarely mentioned that I particularly enjoy are The Gambler, Op.24; Sarcasms, Op.17; Symphonic Song, Op.57; Five Poems, Op.23; Sonatinas, Op.54; Piano Concerto No.5, Op.55; Thoughts, Op.62; Four Etudes, Op.2, and even Four Pieces, Op.4 and Things in Themselves, Op.45. I've talked about most of these before.

I feel as though the Piano Concerto No.5, Op.55 sometimes gets overlooked. Very complex albeit tonal material.

The Four Pieces, Op.4 have a lot going for them; more angular themes, chromatic.

The Sonatinas, Op.54 are very difficult for the listener.

Five Poems, Op.23 is a terrific set!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon: Chout and Ala et Lolly
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 24, 2009, 08:46:56 PM
...I recall especially the old RCA recording with Erich Leinsdorf (and the Boston Symphony ?) from the middle 60's of The Scythian Suite which was really remarkable.

A surprising source of Prokofiev goodness appears all the world to come from Leinsdorf and the BSO. I say surprising because up until a couple years ago I pretty much had misgivings about everything Leinsdorf touched. But Prokofiev seems to have been close to his heart and Testament's reissues of this part of Leinsdorf's discography have so far (what I've heard) been smashing successes. Though I don't believe the Scythian Suite is included in that series.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on June 26, 2009, 01:29:42 PM
But I do prefer the teeth-rattling Prokofiev. Among those more rarely mentioned that I particularly enjoy are The Gambler, Op.24; Sarcasms, Op.17; Symphonic Song, Op.57; Five Poems, Op.23; Sonatinas, Op.54; Piano Concerto No.5, Op.55; Thoughts, Op.62; Four Etudes, Op.2, and even Four Pieces, Op.4 and Things in Themselves, Op.45. I've talked about most of these before.

I spent roughly a year of my life listening to everything Prokofiev has ever written, and I can proudly say there are few pieces I haven't heard.  I've also read the Jaffe and Robinson biographies.  I'm a Prokofiev nut, but I have yet to hear anyone who actually likes the Symphonic Song or the Sonatinas.  You are certainly the odd man out.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 26, 2009, 05:43:53 PM
I spent roughly a year of my life listening to everything Prokofiev has ever written, and I can proudly say there are few pieces I haven't heard.  I've also read the Jaffe and Robinson biographies.  I'm a Prokofiev nut, but I have yet to hear anyone who actually likes the Symphonic Song or the Sonatinas.  You are certainly the odd man out.

There's no question that the Sonatinas, Op.54 are very demanding on the listener. I used to dislike them. They're chromatic and very atypical for Prokofiev. But unlike, for example, the Piano Sonata No.5, Op.38/135, where I have trouble seeing how some elements of the chromaticism really suit the demands of the piece, here I can see and understand why he's doing what he's doing. It's thorny stuff, as thorny as it gets, and it can seem whimsical at times, like the Piano Concerto No.5, Op.55, but there's a method to the madness. It just takes listens and more listens. One man who particularly enjoys the Sonatinas, Op.54 is the co-founder of the Prokofiev Society of America at Yale, Boris Berman. He plays the sonatinas pretty regularly, most recently at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, NY last year.

For the Symphonic Song, Op.57, I have more trouble understanding why it wouldn't appeal. It's a gorgeous piece. It's difficult too. The people I know who have listened to it are few, but only one of them didn't find that it appealed to him. (See a post several pages back on this site.) I certainly don't think I'm the odd man out on this one. To me, this is one of his best pieces, and I'm hardly alone. It's not easy, and very difficult listening. There's almost a bit of Berg in it, or a bit of Symphonic Song, Op.57 in Berg. And what a gorgeous melody at the end climax!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 26, 2009, 06:48:36 PM
There's no question that the Sonatinas, Op.54 are very demanding on the listener.

I question that.  "Demanding" is not at all the way I should describe them.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 26, 2009, 06:53:02 PM
I question that.  "Demanding" is not at all the way I should describe them.

We disagree then.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 27, 2009, 05:38:14 PM
There's some real rareties we still haven't talked about at all that I also really like a lot . . .

Dumka, for piano solo [no opus number]
Green Jar, for bass and piano [no opus number]

Some stuff that's only been played once or twice in the US that I enjoy very much. . .

Boris Godunov, Op.70bis
Two Poems for Women's Voice and Orchestra, Op.7
National Anthem of the Soviet Union, Op.98
Gymnastic Exercises [unpublished]

Then there are other parts of the oeuvre, where I love parts, but not others.

--In the Four Pieces, Op.32, Nos. 1, and 4 seem as good as Prokofiev and music gets.
--In Maddalena, Op.13, I love the first few scenes. It's a masterpiece in those early scenes, but then Prokofiev didn't get around to totally finishing it, and it doesn't have the same appeal to me.
--The last two of the Three Pieces, Op.59 are lyrical, rather French in some ways, beautiful, but the opening Promenade doesn't quite do it for me in the same way.

As a side note, I was looking through my Berman set of the solo piano music the other day, and it looks like David Fanning, a man I don't like, actually did have the same reaction to some of the early Prokofiev solo piano music as well; that is, he compares it with Bartok's solo piano music.

"The 'Suggestion diabolique' (as it was christened by his friend Walter Nouvel) was found to be especially striking and later became one of Prokofiev's favourite recital pieces. It shows him working on similar lines to Bartok (compare the latter's Allegro barbaro of 1911) through from an independent direction related to the turn-of-the-century 'Decadent' movement in the Russian arts."

Interesting, no?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 28, 2009, 01:52:36 PM
Had anyone realized the extent to which Honneger idolized Prokofiev?

It turns out that he'd said that Prokofiev "would remain for us the greatest figure of contemporary music."
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidRoss on June 28, 2009, 02:39:56 PM
Had anyone realized the extent to which Honneger idolized Prokofiev?

It turns out that he'd said that Prokofiev "would remain for us the greatest figure of contemporary music."
Who was the "us" whom Honegger had in mind?  And when did he say this?  (I presume no later than the early '50s.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 28, 2009, 04:03:48 PM
Who was the "us" whom Honegger had in mind?  And when did he say this?  (I presume no later than the early '50s.)

Obviously, "us" means everybody. Of course, whenever anyone makes statements like this, they're a bit silly. Apparently, he wrote it sometime after Prokofiev died in the early fifties since Honneger died in 1955. Comes from Nestyev's biography of Prokofiev. Full quote,

"All of his works give evidence of a tremendous musical temperament which refused to be bound by any theoretical dogmas. He will remain for us the greatest figure of contemporary music."

It had always been my impression that many members of Les Six very greatly admired SSP, but I'd never seen a quote from one of them to this effect.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on June 28, 2009, 06:24:48 PM
Had anyone realized the extent to which Honneger idolized Prokofiev?

It turns out that he'd said that Prokofiev "would remain for us the greatest figure of contemporary music."

Funny, given that his second symphony and Le Pas d'Acer were heavily influenced by Pacific 231.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on June 28, 2009, 07:58:30 PM
Why would that be funny? It's said that Copland was influenced by Stravinsky, and look at all the nice things he said about him. Same with Walton and Shostakovich.

It's said that Shostakovich was heavily influenced by Prokofiev in a number of pieces, but there are many people out there who think that Shostakovich is "better" than Prokofiev. Poulenc likely influenced both Stravinsky and Prokofiev.

In the case of Le Pas d'Acier, Op.41 and the Symphony No.2, Op.40, I would definitely say that Prokofiev was trying to capitalize on what were relatively high stock values for machine-based music, so this is certainly influence in a way. I don't have enough expertise in music theory to figure out the extent to which he replicated certain harmonic techniques and patterns in orchestration in Pacific 231.

It's funny that I'd never even heard about that quote until I came across a particular page by someone named Bruce Turlish.

http://www.kith.org/jimmosk/turlish.html

He hadn't put in a citation on the Honneger quote, so I looked into the biographies, and there it was.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on July 06, 2009, 04:46:53 AM
It's the CPO one, isn't it? I'm adding it to my wishlist then! ;D

Status update, Maciek?  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on July 09, 2009, 02:34:47 AM
Just discovered Profokiev, and his "Classical" symphony, last night. What a fantastic discovery!

And then Andy turned to Wagner . . . .

 ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 09, 2009, 06:43:43 PM
And then Andy turned to Wagner . . . .

 ;)

I guess I know which composer not to play at your funeral, Karl... :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on July 13, 2009, 06:33:54 AM
Let them sing only my own music at my funeral, please!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Haffner on July 19, 2009, 05:27:14 AM
And then Andy turned to Wagner . . . .

 ;)


Oh yeah, since then it's been almost all Wagner, Beethoven, Bruckner, Richard Strauss...a little Mahler, Copland, and Henning here and there.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: tjguitar on July 26, 2009, 11:49:55 AM
Chandos is reissuing a whole bunch of Jarvi Prokofiev next month:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61lQbqqidBL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Xy-FQzHWL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61mSctaYN%2BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61P%2BLl-KMSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61gUcMCi9lL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Snww5m%2BFL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on September 28, 2009, 09:32:09 PM
Does anybody know the version of the piano concertoes on Hyperion? Both discs are  currently on Hyperions half price sale (please, somebody buy me?), but probably only for a couple of days more.

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571168586.png)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Air on September 29, 2009, 04:23:58 PM
Chandos is reissuing a whole bunch of Jarvi Prokofiev next month:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61lQbqqidBL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Xy-FQzHWL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61mSctaYN%2BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61P%2BLl-KMSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61gUcMCi9lL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Snww5m%2BFL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Looks great.  Is it possible to get this hunk in one set?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on September 30, 2009, 08:55:40 PM
Does anybody know the version of the piano concertoes on Hyperion? Both discs are  currently on Hyperions half price sale (please, somebody buy me?), but probably only for a couple of days more.

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571168586.png)

Only know them by reputation. Supposed to be quite extraordinary. I wouldn't hesitate.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on September 30, 2009, 11:54:27 PM
Pity the offer did expire two days ago..... :'(
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Drasko on October 01, 2009, 04:51:58 AM
Pity the offer did expire two days ago..... :'(

If it'll make you feel better, sidoze had them and thinks that while the 2nd is very good the rest is forgettable.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on October 29, 2009, 04:29:38 PM
A couple of interesting finds on youtube.
First, Prokofiev playing Rachmaninoff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjutQ97DRhw

And, a recording of Chout that I haven't heard!  :o
(Rozhdestvensky, Moscow Radio Symphony)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSj7muyPkJY&feature=PlayList&p=C7FAC7087A1ABECD&index=0&playnext=1


Seriously, for any Prokofiev fan who hasn't heard Chout yet, you have to watch it now. It's one of his best works.
The sound in this recording isn't that great, but the performance isn't bad, either. It almost sounds the same as Jurowski, though maybe slightly less polished (a recording with excellent sound).

I also have to say, Chout is one of the very, very few (maybe out of only a couple of) works that sounds good from beginning to end, without any moment of boredom. It's also one of the best examples of melodic writing and orchestration I can think of. The only thing that prevents it from being one of my all-time favorite works might be the fact that it makes me feel absolutely nothing  ;D (besides maybe parts like the wild, exciting ending). But, of course, that's not a bad thing. It just sounds incredible throughout, that's all I can say.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 30, 2009, 10:23:53 AM
I also have to say, Chout is one of the very, very few (maybe out of only a couple of) works that sounds good from beginning to end, without any moment of boredom. It's also one of the best examples of melodic writing and orchestration I can think of.

Well well well...this thread just inspired me to visit my local music store, and lo and behold, there was Rozhdestvensky's recording of Chout, a work unfamiliar to me. For 190 rubles (less than $6) I wasn't gonna pass it up.  :D

So now I've got some listening to look forward to this weekend....and I'm tempted to go back and get Rozh's Le Pas d'Acier too
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on October 30, 2009, 11:44:57 AM
Well well well...this thread just inspired me to visit my local music store, and lo and behold, there was Rozhdestvensky's recording of Chout, a work unfamiliar to me. For 190 rubles (less than $6) I wasn't gonna pass it up.  :D

So now I've got some listening to look forward to this weekend....and I'm tempted to go back and get Rozh's Le Pas d'Acier too
Awesome!  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jowcol on November 03, 2009, 07:05:14 AM
Agreed about Chout.  One of his very best.  Some of the more introverted passages are unforgettable.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Benji on November 04, 2009, 08:39:57 AM
Does anybody know the version of the piano concertoes on Hyperion? Both discs are  currently on Hyperions half price sale (please, somebody buy me?), but probably only for a couple of days more.

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571168586.png)

IIRC, at the time of listening (over 3 years ago now) I thought the 2nd was far, far too heavy. I want to say plodding, but i'm having a 'is that an even a real word?' moment. If it is, then that's what it I think, if it isn't you'll have to imagine what I mean by it.  ;)

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on November 18, 2009, 11:51:41 PM
What's really too bad is that Chout isn't going to be staged by New York City Ballet this season or the next for that matter. There was a back and forth between the Prokofiev estate as to whether to use the suite version or the entire score. They say it's been postponed, but the choreographer has instead chosen to do another full-length ballet.

I do fear that the momentum has been lost, especially since we're at the end of the centenary of the ballet russe. Nevertheless, I did get to see not only some of the designs for Chout at the Diaghilev exhibition in New York City over the summer, but they'd also reconstructed a costume piece from Chout based on designs for an abandoned reconstruction project by the Joffrey Ballet.

In other news, it seems that Princeton University with Simon Morrison mounted a production of the Gymnastic Exercises over the summer. Great music and totally unavailable of course, but I didn't get the see the production.

The neglect of Chout, it goes without saying, is absurd.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on November 19, 2009, 02:19:17 AM


The neglect of Chout, it goes without saying, is absurd.
I have on several occasions and threads on this forum advocated Chout as one og Prokofievs best and most essential works, and indeed, it's neglect both within Prokofiev's oueuvre as well as in 20th century music in general, is astounding.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on November 19, 2009, 01:31:03 PM
Does anybody know the version of the piano concertoes on Hyperion? Both discs are  currently on Hyperions half price sale (please, somebody buy me?), but probably only for a couple of days more.

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/034571168586.png)

Not that you care anymore, but I have this one and it put me off buying the other disc. So I agree with the naysayers on this one (to me, the playing felt/sounded extremely mechanical, almost pianola-like, in a rather unpleasant way).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on November 19, 2009, 07:20:41 PM
I have on several occasions and threads on this forum advocated Chout as one og Prokofievs best and most essential works, and indeed, it's neglect both within Prokofiev's oueuvre as well as in 20th century music in general, is astounding.
Good to hear people agreeing with me on this. It's always nice to search beyond the most popular stuff and find gems like this one.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 20, 2009, 06:07:39 AM
I have on several occasions and threads on this forum advocated Chout as one og Prokofievs best and most essential works, and indeed, it's neglect both within Prokofiev's oueuvre as well as in 20th century music in general, is astounding.

I consider it undeserved but hardly astoundingProkofiev in general trended to under-the-radar upon his repatriation in the 30s;  and most of his work with Dyagilev was thrown under the bus by the Soviet authorities once the composer was in their bailiwick.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on November 20, 2009, 09:30:47 AM
It's hardly been neglected on this thread! :D (In fact, it's been present from page one.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 20, 2009, 09:41:35 AM
Gosh, have we really spent almost the entire thread moaning about how neglected Chout is? () : |>-
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on November 20, 2009, 10:01:27 AM
Gosh, have we really spent almost the entire thread moaning about how neglected Chout is? () : |>-
Don't chout me, I'm only the piano player!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Drasko on November 20, 2009, 10:14:51 AM
Don't chout me, I'm only the piano player!

You wish.

(http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/4695/choutthepianoplayer.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: goboenomo on November 20, 2009, 10:51:22 AM
Prokofiev's Toccata has to be one of my favourite piano pieces. Big fan of Martha Argerich's playing of this piece. I have been fiddling around with it myself.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Maciek on November 20, 2009, 11:00:21 AM
Gosh, have we really spent almost the entire thread moaning about how neglected Chout is? () : |>-

Should be renamed The Chout Thread.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Benji on November 22, 2009, 06:33:04 PM
I love Prokofiev.

I was just entirely bowled over by Ashkenazy's recording of Romeo & Juliet with the Royal Philharmonic. There's really not much in music that is more soul-wrenching than the Epilogue to R&J - the last few minutes or so, after the raw, unconsolable emotion of the funeral, is just so perfectly, gently melancholic.  Glooming peace indeed.

And then, as if only to convince myself that he really is a master story teller, I listened to the last scene of Cinderella and I melted just a little bit more. It's simply joyous, fairy tale music, full of high romance and infused with magic.

So, yeah, I love Prokofiev.

Just putting it out there.  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Air on November 22, 2009, 06:50:39 PM
I love Prokofiev.

 ;D

Who doesn't?

(...mischievously increasing my post count)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Benji on November 22, 2009, 07:01:41 PM
;D

Who doesn't?

(...mischievously increasing my post count)

Zhdanovists  >:D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 23, 2009, 04:40:04 AM
Zhdanovists  >:D

Speaking of which . . .

Quote from: Prokofiev
In my view, the composer, just as the poet, the sculptor or the painter, is in duty bound to serve Man, the people. He must beautify human life and defend it. He must be a citizen first and foremost, so that his art might consciously extol human life and lead man to a radiant future.

That has a look of duteous word-spinning from his Soviet era.  Of itself, no particularly objectionable sentiment;  but invidious implications . . . that other music, you know, doesn't "beautify life" . . . .
 
Before his popa got whupped, Prokofiev exulted in some atonal honking, too, y'know.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on November 23, 2009, 05:24:47 AM
That has a look of duteous word-spinning from his Soviet era.  Of itself, no particularly objectionable sentiment;  but invidious implications . . . that other music, you know, doesn't "beautify life" . . . .

In fact, the phrase "radiant future" (сияющее будущее) is a dead giveaway, pure Stalinist rhetoric. Hard to believe he said such a thing unpressured.

In your view, Sergei?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 23, 2009, 05:40:24 AM
We'll push their music towards a radiant future with an iron fist ; )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on November 23, 2009, 06:02:26 AM
We'll push their music towards a radiant future with an iron fist ; )

To quote a dubious source, "Your business is rejoicing."

BTW, does anyone know if Rozhdestvensky recorded all the Prokofiev symphonies and if such a cycle is available?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Air on November 23, 2009, 11:32:29 AM
Peer pressure makes me want to change my signature now.  :o
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on November 23, 2009, 12:06:09 PM
Listening to lots of Prokofiev opera lately.  I have a question about Love for Three Oranges that has bugged me since I first heard it.  Anyone know what the theme is that the trumpets play after the Prince starts laughing?

Here is an mp3.  The trumpet fanfare comes in around 1:20.

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/btstewart/1-10%20Prokofiev_%20Love%20For%203%20Oranges%20-%20Act%202_%20Kha-Kha...%20Kha-Kha-Kha....mp3

I think he is referencing the March, but I just can't connect the dots.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Benji on November 23, 2009, 12:19:15 PM
Listening to lots of Prokofiev opera lately.  I have a question about Love for Three Oranges that has bugged me since I first heard it.  Anyone know what the theme is that the trumpets play after the Prince starts laughing?

Here is an mp3.  The trumpet fanfare comes in around 1:20.

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/btstewart/1-10%20Prokofiev_%20Love%20For%203%20Oranges%20-%20Act%202_%20Kha-Kha...%20Kha-Kha-Kha....mp3

I think he is referencing the March, but I just can't connect the dots.

Can't help you there, but it occurs to me that the first minute of your clip played in isolation sounds very contemporary in a minimalistic way.  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 23, 2009, 03:48:52 PM
Listening to lots of Prokofiev opera lately.  I have a question about Love for Three Oranges that has bugged me since I first heard it.  Anyone know what the theme is that the trumpets play after the Prince starts laughing?

Here is an mp3.  The trumpet fanfare comes in around 1:20.

https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/btstewart/1-10%20Prokofiev_%20Love%20For%203%20Oranges%20-%20Act%202_%20Kha-Kha...%20Kha-Kha-Kha....mp3

I think he is referencing the March, but I just can't connect the dots.

Sounds a little Star Wars-ish to me, perhaps sprinkled with pieces of a game show fanfare.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on November 23, 2009, 07:26:43 PM
Sounds a little Star Wars-ish to me, perhaps sprinkled with pieces of a game show fanfare.

This must be the first time you've heard Love for Three Oranges.  First of all the thing is one huge comedy sketch.  And, John Williams ranks Prokofiev as his most favorite composer, sometimes coming so close to Prokofiev himself that it is uncanny.  Listen to the first Harry Potter score for some examples.  So a Star Wars and Prokofiev comparison is very apt.

Anywho, I still can't figure out where this trumpet thing comes from.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on November 24, 2009, 01:00:09 AM
I had not noticed that tune before, but is it not from Sibelius' Karelia Suite? Sibelius  being a composer of little value according to Prokofiev (not me).
Composers are often bitchy about each other :o
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Benji on November 24, 2009, 08:49:07 AM
I had not noticed that tune before, but is it not from Sibelius' Karelia Suite? Sibelius  being a composer of little value according to Prokofiev (not me).
Composers are often bitchy about each other :o

Interesting comment... I can hear what you mean, but i'm not convinced.

That last few 40 seconds remind me very much of the British composer Arthur Bliss (the ballet Adam Zero, if you're interested). I didn't realise quite how much the young Prokofiev had influenced him until now.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 24, 2009, 10:29:58 AM
This must be the first time you've heard Love for Three Oranges.  First of all the thing is one huge comedy sketch.  And, John Williams ranks Prokofiev as his most favorite composer, sometimes coming so close to Prokofiev himself that it is uncanny.  Listen to the first Harry Potter score for some examples.  So a Star Wars and Prokofiev comparison is very apt.

How interesting! Hadn't known that about John Williams.

I haven't heard any of the Harry Potter scores (haven't seen the films) so I'm unable to make comparisons but as I listen further to any John Williams scores I'll definitely keep an ear out for the Prokofiev link.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on November 24, 2009, 10:47:36 AM
I love Prokofiev too.  But can we rename it Prokofiev's Perogy Palace?  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Air on November 24, 2009, 10:54:17 AM
I love Prokofiev too.  But can we rename it Prokofiev's Perogy Palace?  ;D

Yummmmmmmm.....
(http://alloveralbany.com/images/muza_pierogies.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: MN Dave on November 24, 2009, 10:57:08 AM
Prokofiev's Princess Palace?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on November 24, 2009, 04:03:21 PM
If it were April Fools Day, it would be fun if someone made an account saying they were John Williams and started posting on this thread.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Benji on November 24, 2009, 04:42:06 PM
Listening to the final movement of The Scythian Suite. It sounds quite Ravellian in places I think, reminscent of Ma Mère l'Oye and i'm sure I hear the influence of Strauss, specifically Salome. Anyone else hear it? 

It's the Gergiev performance with the Kirov i'm listening to. Gergev brings the same magic as he did with L'Oiseau de feu; making the music actually very beautiful, not at all just Prokofiev does Le Sacre.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Catison on November 25, 2009, 11:10:35 AM
Listening to the final movement of The Scythian Suite. It sounds quite Ravellian in places I think, reminscent of Ma Mère l'Oye and i'm sure I hear the influence of Strauss, specifically Salome. Anyone else hear it? 

It's the Gergiev performance with the Kirov i'm listening to. Gergev brings the same magic as he did with L'Oiseau de feu; making the music actually very beautiful, not at all just Prokofiev does Le Sacre.

I'll add this recording to my list.  I was a little bit hesitant to get Gergev in Scythain Suite because I found his Rite to be raw.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Benji on November 26, 2009, 12:31:21 PM
I'll add this recording to my list.  I was a little bit hesitant to get Gergev in Scythain Suite because I found his Rite to be raw.

Brett, if you're talking about rawness of execution you might want to sample the Gergiev's Scythian Suite first. It has many of those same rough-around-the-edges, edge-of-your-seat qualities that characterise Gergiev's Rite with the Kirov. I find it exhilarating, but I can appreciate some might prefer the clarity of a more polished orchestra.

...and I should mention that i've not listened to his Nevsky on the same disc, just because i'm out of favour with that work at the moment.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Franco on December 01, 2009, 04:21:10 PM
Prokofiev has always been a composer I wanted to enjoy, but it seemed that he never really hit me like Shostokovich or Stravinsky, Bartok or other 20th century composers in generally the same genre.  Today I tried again by checking out of the library this disc:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51mVQ0WeaWL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I think the solo piano music will appeal to me more immediately than the orchestral works. 

How does Bronfman stack up against other interpreters?  Who are the ones I should look to as the "best" with Prokofiev?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on December 01, 2009, 06:17:15 PM
Who are the ones I should look to as the "best" with Prokofiev?

What Prokofiev really needs is a performer who can bubble to the surface all the myriad layers and colors infused in the music, all the while keeping the music rolling steadily along. Easier said than done in such complex music.

In my experience no one is better at this than Richter. It helps that Richter was a close associate of Prokofiev's (practically friends) but it goes deeper than that. There's an intangible: a sort of 'mirrored sensibilities' between composer and performer that brought out the best in both of them.

Unfortunately finding Richter's best Prokofiev isn't easy and often editions are OOP and expensive. If you're up to it here's a quick thumbnail:

2nd sonata: Praga (alt: Ankh or BBC Legends)
4th sonata: BBC Legends
6th sonata: RCA (alt: Decca or Praga)
7th sonata: Melodiya (alt: Ankh or BBC Legends)
8th sonata: Russian Revelation is scorching and should be sought out no
                   matter what but is expensive (alt: DG, Pyramid, or Doremi)
9th sonata: Memoria (alt: Praga)

Finally there's the Visions Fugitives, which is a collection of virtuoso/poetic miniatures fully the equal of the sonatas. Richter's recording on RCA is blazing (alt: Decca, though not as fiery).

However...for the perfect one-stop with some of the finest Prokofiev playing this side of Richter - and is easily obtainable - seek out Raekallio's beautifully recorded set on Ondine. It'll have you clinging to your seat.


(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/92/02/e17ae03ae7a0a9ebd2d0c110.L.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51nYkaaJ8iL._SS400_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51bnaiISenL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on December 01, 2009, 06:26:12 PM
Crikey, Don, my wallet seriously does not thank you.  Or maybe that Ondine title will come out via Naxos? . . .
 
:^)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on December 01, 2009, 07:07:52 PM
Crikey, Don, my wallet seriously does not thank you.  Or maybe that Ondine title will come out via Naxos? . . .
 
:^)

 ;D

All in the interest of quality Prokofiev, of course...

A budget reissue of the Ondine is always a possibility. Interesting things do turn up on Brilliant (not sure about Naxos in this case). Worth keeping the fingers crossed as this set is amazing...

What would be just as nice is if all those Richter recordings could be gathered together under one roof - say a nice box or some such. Naxos indeed would be a fine choice for issuer (or Brilliant again).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on December 01, 2009, 11:34:56 PM
Crikey, Don, my wallet seriously does not thank you.  Or maybe that Ondine title will come out via Naxos? . . .
 
:^)
It's on sale at prestoclassical at about 18 (?)  £, but with an extended delivery time.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Franco on December 02, 2009, 06:41:30 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, your response was exactly what I was hoping for - I will look for those recordings.

:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 02, 2009, 11:54:01 PM
What about Prokofiev's string quartets? How good are they? Any recommendations?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on December 03, 2009, 12:13:47 AM
What about Prokofiev's string quartets? How good are they? Any recommendations?
The Emerson have a good disc if it's still available. I don't think his quartets are essential Prokofiev (in the way that most of his piano music, ballets and some of the operas are), but they certainly are enjoyable listening.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on December 03, 2009, 04:45:39 AM
What about Prokofiev's string quartets? How good are they? Any recommendations?

Of course, I love them!!  :)  Try the Aurora SQ on Naxos.  Comes also with the sonata for cello and piano, also fantastic!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on December 04, 2009, 07:05:44 AM
I enjoy the quartets very much, too;  I've got both the Emersons, and the Arte Nova budget disc (forget the name of the group).  Preference goes to the Emersons, natch.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on December 04, 2009, 07:08:13 AM
The other day, I lamented afresh at the long wait for vol. II of the David Nice bio . . . and chanced on a title the OUP released in November of 2008: Simon Morrison's The People's Artist: Prokofiev's Soviet Years.  Has anyone read it?  In all events, I went ahead and pulled the trigger.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Benji on December 04, 2009, 11:10:46 AM
The other day, I lamented afresh at the long wait for vol. II of the David Nice bio . . .

Yeah, I wondered about that recently, too. It's been.... 6 years since I read the first volume.  :o
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on December 05, 2009, 07:21:37 AM
. . . a title the OUP released in November of 2008: Simon Morrison's The People's Artist: Prokofiev's Soviet Years.

Well, this one is now in transit;  looking forward to it.  I went back to amazon and read the first four-ish pages, and then mashed the Surprise Me link and read three pages about the origin of the Eugene Onegin project.  I expect this book to consume me for four days immediately upon its arrival.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on December 05, 2009, 10:39:14 AM
Well, this one is now in transit;  looking forward to it.  I went back to amazon and read the first four-ish pages, and then mashed the Surprise Me link and read three pages about the origin of the Eugene Onegin project.  I expect this book to consume me for four days immediately upon its arrival.
4 days where we can play on the forum all alone? Yippieeayey!  :P
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on December 20, 2009, 07:20:12 AM
Giving rein to trivial curiosity, of course. (http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/2009/12/timing-issues.html)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Air on December 20, 2009, 02:07:47 PM
http://www.prokofiev.org/ (http://www.prokofiev.org/)

Pretty good reference and there is a nice little forum.  ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on December 20, 2009, 06:24:49 PM
http://www.prokofiev.org/ (http://www.prokofiev.org/)

Pretty good reference and there is a nice little forum.  ;)
I used to go there a lot, and then they just stopped updating it. It looks like the last update was 4 1/2 years ago.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 21, 2009, 05:18:10 AM
I see the Walter Weller complete symphony cycle is available on Brilliant. I am completely unfamiliar with this one. Any opinions?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: vandermolen on December 21, 2009, 05:32:51 AM
I see the Walter Weller complete symphony cycle is available on Brilliant. I am completely unfamiliar with this one. Any opinions?

I have the original Decca release. I am now of the opinion that this is the best set currently available. It had mixed reviews, but I played Symphony No 3 the other day, which is one of my favourites (with No 6). I fould that Weller's performance gripped me more than any other (I have complete sets by Martinon, Ozawa, Jarvi and Rostropovich). It may not be as superficially exciting as Jarvi's, for example, but it has greater depth I think. I would not hesitate to get this set on Brilliant.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 21, 2009, 05:55:46 AM
It may not be as superficially exciting as Jarvi's, for example, but it has greater depth I think. I would not hesitate to get this set on Brilliant.

I've done a bit of research, and it appears he takes a somewhat relaxed approach - not necessarily a bad thing in music that has a lot of built-in excitement.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on December 21, 2009, 06:12:13 AM
I have the original Decca release. I am now of the opinion that this is the best set currently available. It had mixed reviews, but I played Symphony No 3 the other day, which is one of my favourites (with No 6). I fould that Weller's performance gripped me more than any other (I have complete sets by Martinon, Ozawa, Jarvi and Rostropovich). It may not be as superficially exciting as Jarvi's, for example, but it has greater depth I think. I would not hesitate to get this set on Brilliant.
I've listened a lot to the Weller set since 15 years and never was discontent with it. But I feel Kitaenko superseeds it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on December 21, 2009, 06:18:23 AM
As a rule, I tend not to like the 'circus bee' overdrive approach to the Classical Symphony, and I took immediately to the unforced elegance in the Ozawa reading.

That said, Ančerl makes the Ferrari ethic work with the Opus 25.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Air on December 21, 2009, 10:40:47 AM
I see the Walter Weller complete symphony cycle is available on Brilliant. I am completely unfamiliar with this one. Any opinions?

Get it without hesitation.    ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: knight66 on January 20, 2010, 01:25:49 AM
I have got hold of the new full version of the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet under Gergiev with the LSO. I won't be letting go of it any time soon.

My first encounter with the piece was a spur of the moment purchase when I was about 14 of an LP containing merely 10 numbers extracted from the two suites. It was on a bargain label. It thrilled me and I fell for the music hook, line etc. Little did I know I was listening to possibly the best version available at that time, and possible still considered so by many. Karel Ancerl and the Czech Philharmonic.

That disc opens with the brutal clashing sounds representing the two families in conflict with one another and when I did eventually hear the whole ballet, it was a shock to me that this shocking movement was not the opening to the whole ballet.

Since then I have had the Previn and Mazzel full versions pass through my hands, Sallonen in the suites, but nothing thrilled me like the Ancerl. When I got rid of my LPs, it was a sore miss for many years and it was not until about two years ago it was restored to me on CD. It was as fiery and passionate and committed as I had recalled. Other versions disappoint up against it. But now we have this second Gergiev version with the LSO, recorded live and complete with a couple of very short excisions restored.

Gergiev is a bit of a hit or miss merchant for me. He is undoubtedly exciting, but can overheat some pieces and if the Romeo and Juliet is not allowed its tenderness, yearning, its repose and gentle interludes, then a lot is missing.

But here the contrasting number are given their differing atmospheres. The orchestra is superb, strong brass, sweet strings, piquant woodwind. Not the old Russian sound, but not a homogenised 'European all comers' sound either. There is lots of irresistible rhythmic pointing, long arching of phrases too. Add playful into the mix. Then there is the dramatic aspect. We assume Gergiev will excel here and he does, the death of Tybalt a case in point, slow relentless and shattering. The equal of Ancerl, but different.

A vast amount of pleasure for not very much money.

Mike
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on January 20, 2010, 07:07:24 PM
I see the Walter Weller complete symphony cycle is available on Brilliant. I am completely unfamiliar with this one. Any opinions?

I picked this set up recently. The sound is nice, but it's generally been superceded. Weller is recommendable in 1, 6 and 7. In the rest, he lacks fierceness and the last ounce of conviction.
 
Edit: I recommend Kuchar.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on January 20, 2010, 08:40:57 PM
I've been re-acquainting myself with the Järvi/RSNO set of the symphonies.  Better than I remember it.  I suspect I still prefer the Ozawa/Berliner Phil set . . . but now I can do a "bake-off" . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Air on January 31, 2010, 07:24:20 PM
Here's an honest man's review of the Weller cycle (not mine):

http://www.prokofiev.org/recordings/album2.cfm?aid=000823 (http://www.prokofiev.org/recordings/album2.cfm?aid=000823)

It's interesting because like the reviewer, I also find that Weller conducts Prokofiev's more "obscure" symphonies best (2,3,4,6).  I rarely listen to the 1st, 5th, or 7th symphonies on this set, as there are many better recordings of these.  That said, the 1st and 7th are my least favorite symphonies as well.  Maybe that's one reason I like Weller's set so much.

If would be interesting to know what prokofiev.org thinks of Kitajenko's cycle, which came out after the site apparently shut down? closed?  I don't know.  But this is the set I've been eyeing for awhile now because apparently it is the set.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on February 01, 2010, 07:17:12 PM
I always wonder what happened to that site. Maybe the guy running it died?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on February 03, 2010, 11:47:20 PM
It's still going, it's just slow. The chap who ran it, Sugi, became a father and lost interest in it.
Anything posted there with information that that may be relative to infringement of copyright is mysteriously and immediately acted upon, which makes posting about new finds and rarities difficult.  :'(
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on February 04, 2010, 03:10:54 PM
It's still going, it's just slow. The chap who ran it, Sugi, became a father and lost interest in it.
Ah, good to hear.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Bogey on February 09, 2010, 06:41:27 PM

Unearthing Prokofiev: Rare Works Get NYC Debut

Thought this may interest some of you here (wait for 10 second commercial):

http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=123493505&m=123519045
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on February 09, 2010, 07:19:32 PM
Unearthing Prokofiev: Rare Works Get NYC Debut

Thought this may interest some of you here (wait for 10 second commercial):

http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=123493505&m=123519045
I hope they eventually come out with a recording of some of them, at the very least the original version of Trapeze. (also interested when that was actually discovered...)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on February 09, 2010, 08:38:13 PM
Trapeze was the "proto-Opus 39," yes?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on February 23, 2010, 04:48:48 AM
SO what about that book you acquired last December, Karl? Any good?

I have been listening a lot to the Cinderella music, and watching bits of the Ashton choreography.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=echtb6K4qk0

I know it's standard opinion to rate Cinderella much lower than R&J, and yet I have found myself consistently listening more to the later score, for years. Somehow it's eerie melos (it is after all a ballet about a fantasy becoming real) appeals a lot to me.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on February 23, 2010, 05:19:13 AM
SO what about that book you acquired last December, Karl? Any good?

Very good, and rich . . . so I should soon re-read it.

Quote from: Herman
I have been listening a lot to the Cinderella music, and watching bits of the Ashton choreography.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=echtb6K4qk0 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=echtb6K4qk0)

I know it's standard opinion to rate Cinderella much lower than R&J, and yet I have found myself consistently listening more to the later score, for years. Somehow it's eerie melos (it is after all a ballet about a fantasy becoming real) appeals a lot to me.

I don't think that 'standard opinion' is at all fair to Cinderella, either.  The book you ask about is something of a mine of info on that ballet's genesis, too.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on March 08, 2010, 04:41:11 PM
Anyone into collecting rare Prokofiev CDs?

This is at the top of my list:
http://prokofiev.org/recordings/album.cfm?aid=000931

4 works I've never even heard on one CD, one that I have (i think another recording of), and one that I have heard and liked from another recording, but don't have.

Others I'd like:
http://prokofiev.org/recordings/album.cfm?aid=000495
http://prokofiev.org/recordings/album.cfm?aid=000557
http://prokofiev.org/catalog/workall.cfm?WorkID=17
http://prokofiev.org/recordings/album.cfm?aid=000596

which would be most of his works that I don't have already.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on March 08, 2010, 07:52:22 PM
Anyone into collecting rare Prokofiev CDs?

Thanks for listing those, Greg. Definitely worth considering.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on March 09, 2010, 05:07:17 AM
Oh, and I also found a few links to youtube videos while going through my big list of opus numbers I have never listened to.

op.8 Autumnal Sketch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM4fTUpjh_w

op.18 The Ugly Duckling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMPZ5tS7Fbg

op.56 Sonata for 2 Violins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svaOJs3faDY

op.58 Cello Concerto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNreRjGN3i0

op.69 "Athletic Festival March" from "Four Marches"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2piNUr-x9pk

op.74 October Cantata
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0veYI4SKGw

Some of these are pretty rare, so I'm sure most people will find something new out of these.
All I did was a search by opus number- for example, "prokofiev op.18," etc. It's possible there may be a few more rare ones out there that I haven't found.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Cato on March 09, 2010, 01:51:34 PM
Anyone into collecting rare Prokofiev CDs?

This is at the top of my list:
http://prokofiev.org/recordings/album.cfm?aid=000931


Thanks to the world-wide connections of my brother, I have this CD.

It contains They Are Seven the Chaldean exorcism   >:D   music (!  :o   !) composed as something of a response to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

That work just RAWKS!   8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on March 09, 2010, 05:41:33 PM
Lucky!  ???

I just spent the last 20 minutes trying to find where you can even buy it... my only discovery was here:
http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00008DMEW/?tag=sacdinfocom-22

and of course, there aren't any in stock (not even sure how ordering from Japanese Amazon would work lol). 

It looks like it's technically possible to get recordings of all these works, though...
if I want the American Overture: http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Symphonies-Classical-Suite-Oranges/dp/B0000029YZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268184670&sr=8-1

the Festive Poem:
http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Pollack-Pianist-Legendary-Recordings/dp/B0000793VX/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268184795&sr=8-2

the Meeting of the Volga and the Don:
http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Symphony-Meeting-Volga-Don/dp/B00000E4SM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268185059&sr=8-1

(almost hilariously obscure CDs)  :D

There really, really needs to be a complete set of his music. I bet it will happen, but it'll be 10-20 years from now. I guess he just wrote too much for any one man to conduct (although a few conductors have done very well at getting his works recorded).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Air on March 09, 2010, 10:30:45 PM
I have a copy of Rozhdestvensky's Seven, They are Seven.  The work itself is pretty terrifying - kind of like what today's screamo artists are trying to achieve.  Oh well.  I don't find the work anything more than interesting - but if y'all are too curious, just ask...  8)

Of the small-scale orchestral works, I like the Sinfonietta best, followed by the Symphonic Song.  Autumnal is a decent work, very interesting for Prokofiev.  I like the Overture on Hebrew Themes much better as a chamber work - indeed it sounds more distinctively cultural.  I've also heard the Russian Overture - as to be expected from SSP it is filled with great ideas, but it is quite a mess - I wonder if the American Overtures are similar?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dax on March 10, 2010, 02:41:33 AM
Rozhdestvensky's recording of Seven they are seven is disappointing (the one coupled with The love of 3 oranges and Portaits from the Gambler), at least in comparison with the only other version I'd heard (until a couple of years back) which was an impressive live BBC version broadcast c1965. I can't remember who conducted, but Ronald Dowd was the tenor: unfortunately my copy of the recording is virtually unlistenable to. I note that when one clicks on the "Seven they are seven" link that a recording by Karel Ancerl comes up. Now that I would like to hear! I do have a copy of the score - quite a sight that is too.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on March 10, 2010, 05:15:12 AM
I have a copy of Rozhdestvensky's Seven, They are Seven.  The work itself is pretty terrifying - kind of like what today's screamo artists are trying to achieve.  Oh well.  I don't find the work anything more than interesting - but if y'all are too curious, just ask...  8)
Yeah, the piece gives me that impression, too.  :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on March 10, 2010, 06:31:50 AM
Семеро их is primo Prokofiev, no doubt!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dax on March 10, 2010, 07:15:08 AM
?????? ?? is primo Prokofiev, no doubt!

I agree. It's considerably more than just "interesting". Unfortunately it's scale v. duration is such that only hastily prepared performances/recordings are likely - certainly this the impression given by the Rozhdestvensky account. I'd be interested to know how the recordings by Ashkenazy and Ancerl compare, if anybody can supply the information.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on March 13, 2010, 08:28:57 PM
Anyone have these?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31RTB18FTEL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FE4MC8XKL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Both have different covers, I guess (re-issues? who knows).

I've been listening to a little of both (2 discs of the first and several waltzes of the second) today.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on March 18, 2010, 01:56:40 AM
My Lucky Post #777!

I went ahead and ordered the Weller cycle, which I will pick up when I'm back in the US of A next month.

I thought about getting the Kitajenko. What swayed me toward Weller: 1. it's so cheap; 2. with a couple of exceptions, I don't think Prok's symphonies are really among his best work, so I didn't feel compelled to pay more for them.

Looking forward to it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on March 23, 2010, 02:50:49 PM
I'm really considering buying this one, maybe in the upcoming months:

(http://www.prokofiev.org/images/covers/rmabry012393.jpg)

http://www.chandos.net/CD_Notes.asp?CNumber=CHAN%2010166

Not only do you get the only recording of the op.98 National Anthem for the Soviet Union, but also the only complete recording of the op.69 Four Marches. That'd be awesome if they had chose his work as the official Anthem... oh, wait, maybe not...  ::)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on March 28, 2010, 02:11:42 PM
I'm still missing more or less 30 opuses.... and to get the "rest" (whatever that means with Prokofiev- this isn't even including suites of some of the ballets or other arrangements, for example) I need ~17 more CDs.  ??? (though 10 of them are on that "Songs and Romances" disk set)

Anyways, I've gotten a 2-minute clip from his op.122 Winter Bonfire, called "The Departure." Anyone who hasn't heard it really has to hear it. Let's just say Prokofiev was one of the greatest composers of melody (if not the best), and this definitely showcases it.

I'll have to upload it to youtube since mediafire isn't working right now.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on March 28, 2010, 03:24:18 PM
Yes, the Opus 122 I remember being lovely!  (Now, where did I leave that disc? . . .)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on March 28, 2010, 03:25:02 PM
BTW, I am delighted at your mission to Collect It All! : )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on March 28, 2010, 04:00:23 PM
BTW, I am delighted at your mission to Collect It Catch Them All! : )
op.35, I choose you!

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jowcol on March 29, 2010, 03:02:35 AM
Some of my favorites which (perhaps) have not yet been mentioned:


Two pieces which Maciek mentioned, which deserve a repeat mention:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Opus 16
Symphony No. 2, Opus 40

These are both so good they deserve a repeat, repeat mention.

Concerto 2 has to be my fave of his piano concerti-- a bit darker than 1 and 3 (which seem to show up the most) but very compelling.   I haven't really warmed up to 4 and 5 yet.

The first movement of Symphony 2 really rocks out.  The second is dizzying...

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 28, 2010, 04:13:34 AM
clarification wanted

I got my Weller set of the symphonies and have been enjoying it.

However, one thing is unclear. The Brilliant box lists the 4th Symphony as being Op. 47 (the first version). However, the liner notes (and other reviews I've read) claim that this recording is of Op. 112 (the second version). Does anyone know which version is actually played?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 28, 2010, 04:19:49 AM
clarification wanted

I got my Weller set of the symphonies and have been enjoying it.

However, one thing is unclear. The Brilliant box lists the 4th Symphony as being Op. 47 (the first version). However, the liner notes (and other reviews I've read) claim that this recording is of Op. 112 (the second version). Does anyone know which version is actually played?

How long does the piece run? The Opus 112 revision is substantially longer (35-38 minutes) than the Opus 47 original (23-ish minutes).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 28, 2010, 04:28:09 AM
It's definitely the longer version. I guess that answers my question (Brilliant really oughta fix this).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 28, 2010, 04:51:17 AM
It's definitely the longer version.

Just out of curiosity: what are the running times of the four movements? (No hurry.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 28, 2010, 05:07:05 AM
Just out of curiosity: what are the running times of the four movements? (No hurry.)

1: 14.05
2: 11.19
3: 4.50
4: 9.08
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 04, 2010, 02:14:15 PM
Prokofiev's Piano sonatas seem like a gaping hole in my collection, is there an obvious choice for (complete) recordings of these works?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: kishnevi on May 04, 2010, 05:57:23 PM
Hmmm not really imo.

6-8 "war sonatas" being the best of the lot. If you want great performances ...

Sviatoslav Richter is amazing >> Piano Sonatas 2, 6, 9 (http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Piano-Sonatas-Op-14-103/dp/B000027HW0/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1273016068&sr=1-9) & #8 (http://www.amazon.com/Richter-plays-Prokofiev-Concerto-Sonata/dp/B000001GXD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1273016068&sr=1-1)

Gould's recording of the Sonata No. 7 (http://www.amazon.com/Scriabin-Sonata-No-Prokofiev/dp/B000VFGSH8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1273016191&sr=1-3) is wonderful.

Pogorelich, fab  Sonata No. 6 (http://www.amazon.com/Chopin-Sonata-Gaspard-Prokoviev-Germany/dp/B00006L76R/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1273016412&sr=1-2)

Pollini, stellar #7 (http://www.amazon.com/Stravinsky-Prokofiev-Webern-Maurizio-Pollini/dp/B000001GQK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1273016574&sr=1-1).

Not the Bronfman (which is apparently available as three individual CDs)?

There is this grab bag compilation from EMI, but it misses out on Sonatas 4, 5, and 9
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517OrTZUH3L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

The first disc is Michel Beroff playing Sonatas 1-3, 6, and 7; 8 is played by Boris Giltburg.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 04, 2010, 06:15:07 PM
I'll admit I was looking at Brofman.  Disappointing to realize there is apparently no decent set of sonatas, and I must set off on a wild goose chase to accumulate a collection of them all. 

Note added, I confused Brofman with Berman.   ???
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 04, 2010, 06:17:17 PM
I wish Richter had recorded all of them- that way, you could probably say, "just get the Richter complete set."
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 04, 2010, 06:30:49 PM
I wish Richter had recorded all of them- that way, you could probably say, "just get the Richter complete set."

You may find this hard to believe, but I don't like Richter.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 04, 2010, 06:35:08 PM
You may find this hard to believe, but I don't like Richter.
...



(violently throws up all over the place and dies)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 04, 2010, 06:54:26 PM
But you should still give him a go on Prokofiev's Sonatas tho .. you won't be disappointed.

I have his recording of the Prokofiev Sonata on DG, I don't know how long it has been since I have listened to it, don't have any memory of it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 04, 2010, 06:58:17 PM
Disappointing to realize there is apparently no decent set of sonatas, and I must set off on a wild goose chase to accumulate a collection of them all.

Oh, there's definitely a set worth considering. It's a set I've been writing about for years on this board: Raekallio on Ondine. It's the best Prokofiev playing from anyone this side of Richter (but he's no clone of Richter) and the sound is stunning.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51bnaiISenL._SS400_.jpg)


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 04, 2010, 07:02:09 PM
Oh, there's definitely a set worth considering. It's a set I've been writing about for years on this board: Raekallio on Ondine. It's the best Prokofiev playing from anyone this side of Richter (but he's no clone of Richter) and the sound is stunning.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51bnaiISenL._SS400_.jpg)

Discontinued, and not even a single used copy on amazon.  Oh well...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 04, 2010, 07:15:04 PM
Discontinued, and not even a single used copy on amazon.  Oh well...

Try ArkivMusic's MP3 service, not the real deal but better than nothing for something of this quality (they provide samples too - scroll down).

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=15853
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 04, 2010, 08:46:38 PM
Try ArkivMusic's MP3 service, not the real deal but better than nothing for something of this quality (they provide samples too - scroll down).

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=15853

Amazon also has an mp3 download.  But I am not willing to do compressed audio or DRM.  I guess I will be passing on this release, and on Prokofiev piano sonatas in general for the time being.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lethevich on May 04, 2010, 09:53:45 PM
Why is the first symphony so popular? It's cool, but has the substance of a suite. The amount of discs with 1 and 5 coupled is just inane.

Anyways, where (orchestrally) should I go next after having heard the symphonies and major concertos (VCs, PCs)?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jowcol on May 05, 2010, 03:31:54 AM
Why is the first symphony so popular? It's cool, but has the substance of a suite. The amount of discs with 1 and 5 coupled is just inane.

Anyways, where (orchestrally) should I go next after having heard the symphonies and major concertos (VCs, PCs)?

The Ballet Chout is a fave of mine-- a great mixture of moods, and very clever throughout.  The Suite from Three Oranges is also worth checking out, but for me it's not as rich as Chout.  YMMV.

Also I'm a big fan of the Alexander Nevsky Cantata.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 05, 2010, 03:41:49 AM
I agree with the Chout recommendation.
The best things to explore after that would be his ballets- besides Chout, I'd recommend Romeo and Juliet and The Steel Step (Chout and the Steel Step have a similar style, btw) the most.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2010, 03:47:26 AM
Why is the first symphony so popular? It's cool, but has the substance of a suite.

I think you've answered your own question, Sara:  its an easy sell to the audience, and the effort/reward coefficient is attractive to orchestras.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2010, 03:48:55 AM
Disappointing to realize there is apparently no decent set of sonatas, and I must set off on a wild goose chase to accumulate a collection of them all. 

Ann-Marie McDermott.  I've heard one of her discs of the Prokofiev sonatas (including the Sixth), and I shall make a point to listen to her entire set.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 05, 2010, 04:44:43 AM
I'll admit I was looking at Brofman.  Disappointing to realize there is apparently no decent set of sonatas, and I must set off on a wild goose chase to accumulate a collection of them all.

This is a great set

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/ngmg/ProkPet.jpg)

and comes with a Sidoze seal of approval. The problem is locating a copy. I can't remember where I found it, sorry. But keep it in mind.  Petrov plays the sonatas (recorded in the early 70s). Prokofiev plays the works (including Visions Fugitives) on the first disc.

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 05, 2010, 05:13:17 AM
Ann-Marie McDermott.  I've heard one of her discs of the Prokofiev sonatas (including the Sixth), and I shall make a point to listen to her entire set.

I did notice that set, and the fact that it was a recommended issue on Arkiv, but obscure pianist on obscure label led to some skepticism, which perhaps should be overcome.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 05, 2010, 05:16:26 AM
Oh I wouldn't say that.  I have 4 sets: Bronfman, Petrov, Raekallio and Sandor, and all seem more than decent, certainly as an introduction to the repertoire.  Between Bronfman and Raekallio there are differences of phrasing and expression, but not a million miles.  In some I might prefer one, in others another.  Sandor would be generally my least favourite, seeming at times a bit soft-focus, but not much actually wrong with it either.

The only set of which I heard significantly negative comment was McLachlan, though I don't recall the details and haven't heard the recordings.

In addition there are, as mentioned, some fine individual performances.  E.g. the war sonatas in Richter's Vol.I in the Philips Great Pianists collection (and elsewhere no doubt.)  Pollini in 7.  Sokolov in 8.   Quite an interesting 6 from Van Cliburn.  Also interesting 4 and 6 from Lugansky.  And so on.

But if you want a set, and can get Bronfman, that's not at all a bad option.  The issue, as you have found, is how long these things stay in print.

I do have a few individual recordings, the Pollini, Pogorelich, one by Richter, but I enjoy having good integral cycle of important repertoire, which helps me to focus on the music rather than the performance, and gives me the freedom to focus on the sonata I am interested in, rather than the ones that have been deemed the "good ones" by convention.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jhar26 on May 05, 2010, 07:42:16 AM
I'm considering buying the Kyung Wha Chung/André Previn recordings of the violin concertos? Does anyone here have them?

Also, what's the best recording of the violin sonatas?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 05, 2010, 07:44:04 AM
I'm considering buying the Kyung Wha Chung/André Previn recordings of the violin concertos? Does anyone here have them?

Also, what's the best recording of the violin sonatas?

I like Mullova, but don't have much basis for comparison.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 05, 2010, 07:45:29 AM
I just realized that when people mentioned Bronfman I was thinking Berman.  Anyone have a comment about the Berman set on Chandos?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jhar26 on May 05, 2010, 08:34:38 AM
Thanks Scarpia & James.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 05, 2010, 10:06:31 AM
Yo Scrapia ... I did some diggin' around for you and there is this set (http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Nissman-Sergey/dp/B000060ONX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1273085322&sr=1-1) which seems to have rave accolades & worth investigating.

Ok, I will look into it.  It seems there are a few viable alternatives.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lethevich on May 05, 2010, 05:45:48 PM
I am kind of scared of ballet music in general, but I've heard a lot of good things about Chout, and the suite is nice. That and R&J will be the first that I check, thanks. What are peoples opinions on the following:

Symphony-Concerto
Two cello concertos (kind of related to the first) premiered the Chandos CD
Sinfonietta
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on May 05, 2010, 07:23:56 PM
I am kind of scared of ballet music in general, but I've heard a lot of good things about Chout, and the suite is nice. That and R&J will be the first that I check, thanks. What are peoples opinions on the following:

Symphony-Concerto
Two cello concertos (kind of related to the first) premiered the Chandos CD
Sinfonietta

When you hear ballet you may think "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  Don't.  Prokofiev ballets can be like symphonic poems.  For Romeo and Juliet, I recommend the Suite or the complete ballet (not excerpts).  For the suite, Ansermet is wonderful, for the complete ballet Maazel/Cleveland.  There's also the Scynthian Suite (sort of Rite-of-Spring-ish).

And, Piano concerti are prime Prokofiev.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 05, 2010, 07:39:15 PM
I'm considering buying the Kyung Wha Chung/André Previn recordings of the violin concertos? Does anyone here have them?

Also, what's the best recording of the violin sonatas?

I have Chung in the VCs and there's nothing I can think of to criticize in her performances. Her approach is warm and lyrical and juiced up with plenty of vitality. She's 100% committed and obviously knows her way around the score.

But it's the "lyrical" thing that can sometimes rub Prokofiev fans the wrong way. Some, like me, prefer a bit more bite and angularity from a Prokofiev interpretation, sort of a sense of a performer getting their hands dirty with the score, or something like that. Which might sound like a negative connotation but in reality really makes Prokofiev's music sparkle. The angularity is the 'special ingredient' so to speak that brings the music to life. And it's quite something to experience when everything is done to perfection.

That's why, for all of Chung's goodness, I prefer Mullova for the second VC. Mullova really dives in and kicks up the dirt and revels in Prokofiev's masterly - though obviously quirky - sound world. Pity she didn't record the first VC. But Chung in her rendition of the first VC doesn't disappoint.   

For the violin sonatas Oistrakh/Richter are good though Mullova again w/Anderszewski is certainly just as good.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lethevich on May 05, 2010, 07:41:21 PM
For Romeo and Juliet, I recommend the Suite or the complete ballet (not excerpts).
I agree with your suites principle - I'd much rather go with the composer's choices than an individual conductor, especially when suites tend to pack more of a punch, "highlight" performances generally go on for long enough for you to may as well just hear the whole thing. Handel's Messiah is particularly notorious for this pointlessness IMO, and all to fit it onto one 80 min CD.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jhar26 on May 06, 2010, 07:13:57 AM
I have Chung in the VCs and there's nothing I can think of to criticize in her performances. Her approach is warm and lyrical and juiced up with plenty of vitality. She's 100% committed and obviously knows her way around the score.

But it's the "lyrical" thing that can sometimes rub Prokofiev fans the wrong way. Some, like me, prefer a bit more bite and angularity from a Prokofiev interpretation, sort of a sense of a performer getting their hands dirty with the score, or something like that. Which might sound like a negative connotation but in reality really makes Prokofiev's music sparkle. The angularity is the 'special ingredient' so to speak that brings the music to life. And it's quite something to experience when everything is done to perfection.

That's why, for all of Chung's goodness, I prefer Mullova for the second VC. Mullova really dives in and kicks up the dirt and revels in Prokofiev's masterly - though obviously quirky - sound world. Pity she didn't record the first VC. But Chung in her rendition of the first VC doesn't disappoint.   

For the violin sonatas Oistrakh/Richter are good though Mullova again w/Anderszewski is certainly just as good.
Thanks. I'll go with Chung for the concertos and Mullova for the sonatas.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jhar26 on May 06, 2010, 11:36:42 AM
I'm tellin' ya .. go for (or incl.) the Perlman/Rozhdestvensky (http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Violin-Concertos-Sonata-Violins/dp/B0000AF1KW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1273169354&sr=1-3) for the VCs, it's really good...
Allright James. I've just ordered both the Chung and Perlman recordings of the concertos. Mullova's sonatas will be part of my next order.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 12, 2010, 07:52:21 PM
I'm really considering buying this one, maybe in the upcoming months:

(http://www.prokofiev.org/images/covers/rmabry012393.jpg)

http://www.chandos.net/CD_Notes.asp?CNumber=CHAN%2010166

Not only do you get the only recording of the op.98 National Anthem for the Soviet Union, but also the only complete recording of the op.69 Four Marches. That'd be awesome if they had chose his work as the official Anthem... oh, wait, maybe not...  ::)

Hi, Greg,

In the middle of medical school work at the moment, but I rather like that Op. 69 stuff, even though it isn't top-drawer Prokofiev. I'm particularly fond of the Op. 98.

There's a couple of things that you're going to have an extremely hard time finding in order to get to 135, chief among them being the Op.7 songs for women's choir and orchestra (lovely stuff, part. Op.7, No.2). In a couple of weeks, I'll be more able to help you out, perhaps.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Nick on May 12, 2010, 08:03:36 PM
Anyone into collecting rare Prokofiev CDs?

This is at the top of my list:
http://prokofiev.org/recordings/album.cfm?aid=000931

4 works I've never even heard on one CD, one that I have (i think another recording of), and one that I have heard and liked from another recording, but don't have.

Others I'd like:
http://prokofiev.org/recordings/album.cfm?aid=000495
http://prokofiev.org/recordings/album.cfm?aid=000557
http://prokofiev.org/catalog/workall.cfm?WorkID=17
http://prokofiev.org/recordings/album.cfm?aid=000596

which would be most of his works that I don't have already.

That Ashkenazy disc is extremely expensive, but it's likely to fill up a lot of holes in things that you don't have. The Year 1941, Op.90 is the best among them, but I like Thirty Years, too. Never been a fan of Seven, They are Seven. More atmospheric than substantive, and I'd levy the same criticism at the Scythian Suite.

The Ballade for a Boy Who Remained Unknown is keeper.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 13, 2010, 05:43:17 AM
There's a couple of things that you're going to have an extremely hard time finding in order to get to 135, chief among them being the Op.7 songs for women's choir and orchestra (lovely stuff, part. Op.7, No.2).
Oh yeah, it is a real rarity... now that I do have a recording of op.7 no.2, that's probably the hardest to find down- now just easier stuff to go.  ;D


Quote
That Ashkenazy disc is extremely expensive, but it's likely to fill up a lot of holes in things that you don't have.
Yes, this disc helped.  8)
My favorite might still be the Summer Night Suite on here, but I've only listened to it once so far...


It is one heck of a task collecting all this guy's music...  :P
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: matti on May 13, 2010, 11:28:07 AM
This clip with Prokofiev playing the piano and talking about his musical activities (in the late 40's?) has probably been sent here before. But just in case:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVgwaFUfBu8
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 19, 2010, 01:27:20 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VCYZSWS1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00006JN9N/lyrkid-20

Just listened to this one again today...

Most underrated opera I know of, not to mention one of the best I've heard. Hopefully, the whole thing will actually be recorded one day.

Some of the themes in this opera are completely delicious, and it even uses the theme of the op.99 March in Bb around the end.

Too bad it's virtually unknown.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 20, 2010, 03:03:20 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VCYZSWS1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00006JN9N/lyrkid-20

Most underrated opera I know of, not to mention one of the best I've heard.

This is one Prokofiev opera I haven't heard. But I can definitely believe your description of it as high quality stuff - that's my experience with the other Prokofiev operas I have (five of them).

Quote
Too bad it's virtually unknown.

I wish it weren't true but that's pretty much the fate of all of Prokofiev's operas. :(


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on May 20, 2010, 05:58:38 PM
I wish it weren't true but that's pretty much the fate of all of Prokofiev's operas. :(
This one has it the worst, too... not only was it written to please the Communist party only to get rejected, but after all of that is over, it can easily be dismissed as a suck-up hackjob that only got one incomplete recording, despite the quality.


Crazy!  :o ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 20, 2010, 07:10:07 PM
This one has it the worst, too... not only was it written to please the Communist party only to get rejected, but after all of that is over, it can easily be dismissed as a suck-up hackjob that only got one incomplete recording, despite the quality.


Crazy!  :o ;D

Wouldn't you just know it...a quality composer writing a quality piece yet no one within earshot will acknowledge its goodness - all because of one bias or another. Sheesh!! $:) ;D



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on July 06, 2010, 10:18:25 PM
I wish Richter had recorded all of them- that way, you could probably say, "just get the Richter complete set."

That would be an oxymoron. Richter virtually never recorded a complete set of anything by anyone.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on July 06, 2010, 10:20:16 PM
I have been listening to Prokofiev's Fifth Piano Concerto, a veritable glissando circus, very Parisian. It's rather strange to think this almost cubust kind of work was premiered with Furtwangler, whom we now more associate with Bruckner than madcapering Prokofiev.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on July 07, 2010, 12:16:16 AM
Oh, that is a most curious thought!
 
I've been listening more to the Quintet Opus 39.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on July 28, 2010, 10:25:13 AM
Whew! I've found my Nice book.

Are we just giving up any hope for Volume II?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 05, 2010, 05:45:53 AM
Whew! I've found my Nice book.

Are we just giving up any hope for Volume II?


I think I may have figured out why we should give up hope. A pity, for this book is largely a success, IMO.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 05, 2010, 05:58:12 AM

Another revisitation!

Сергей Сергеевич [Sergei Sergeyevich]
Symphony № 2 in d minor, Opus 40 (1924-25)
SNO
Järvi
(recorded at SNO Centre, Glasgow City, Dec 1984)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61TPrljumAL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Prokofiev – The Complete Symphonies (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001HY4TLE?ie=UTF8&tag=goodmusicguide-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001HY4TLE)

The Second is my favorite of the Prokofiev symphonies roughly half the time. Oh, I think I oughtn't to have used that adverb . . . for we start out with some roughness, which just a little rehearsal would have addressed.  This symphony is one of those in this set which suffer from the conductor's jet-setting, and the press among Chandos to provide Product for the Prokofiev Centenary season. It's not a disaster — an orchestra this good, and a conductor this (normally) competent will never sink to disaster — but between knowing that this team should be capable of better, and the superior versions of the Opus 40 which Ozawa and Polyansky have given us, this account of the Second is a disappointment as embassage for a piece which has too few friends even among musicians.

I'm a bit disappointed with this set. It got some nice reviews - better than the Ozawa set actually, which is what motivated me to buy it. Maybe it depends a bit on what you're looking for but I find most interpretations rather brutal, short on lyricism and not witty enough. I nevertheless enjoy listening to it, but it could have been better.

I can echo you . . . it gets many nice reviews, but I was aware mostly of disappointments in it back when I first owned it.  I've since re-purchased it, because I wanted to revisit it. I still have many cavils with it, but since I have other recordings which do Prokofiev's symphonies better justice, I can live with some of the Järvi disappointments here.  The Ozawa set I find much stronger.  I find it funny that in some of the review-o-sphere, opinion is so partisna between these two.  Järvi has a lot of emotional support out there!

The Second is actually the last nail (as it were) in my disappointment with the Järvi set.  I had already registered dissatisfaction with the Seventh (for but two things: one place where the band is just not together; and the trivializing 'up-beat' ending, though of course one can make the case that this alternate ending should be documented).  Now, at the time when I first owned the Järvi box (and it was that bulky jewel case back in the day, with dreadful cover art . . . the reissue package design is derived from the same style, but tones it down) I didn't know the Second well (who did? we may ask).  And all I knew of the piece before hearing Järvi's recording, was what I had read in Harlow Robinson's biography of the composer . . . in which Robinson had little good to say of the piece.  So, we might say, all that Järvi did, was reinforce a negative impression of the symphony which I had absorbed from Robinson.
 
Enter the Ozawa set on DG.  I found the Second Symphony immediately electrifying.  There is exactly nothing wrong with this piece! was my direct thought.  Where did I get the idea that this piece was a turkey? Well, from Robinson and "confirmed" by Järvi.
 
So, that experience retroactively affirmed disappointment in the Järvi set on Chandos, because his recording in particular, in its timing as part of the flood of Prokofiev recordings (and the volume of that flood was no doubt to blame for the relaxed QC of Järvi, who is not at all a bad conductor, really) . . . his was a recording which ought to have made a case for the piece, instead of phoning it in.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on August 05, 2010, 06:26:26 AM
I would totally agree with your comment on the merits of Jarvi's 2nd. The performances of the 2nd and 3rd are amongst the worst things in the set; grinding and one-dimensional. (I was also very disappointed in the two versions of the 4th, as Karl says, the RSNO and Jarvi were clearly phoning it in, and a very unsatisfactory comparison to his fine account of the Prodigal Son.)

I think of all the symphonies, the 6th comes off best in Jarvi's set, but it's no competition for the legendary Mravinsky recording (not that I've heard any recording that is).

To give Jarvi credit, I think these two discs are very valuable additions to the Prokofiev catalogue, and he deserves a lot of credit for reviving the outrageous October Cantata in the West:

(http://img.amazon.ca/images/I/51KE7NFFC2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://img.amazon.ca/images/I/51W8X9VTTPL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 05, 2010, 06:51:49 AM
Thanks for that suggestion, Edward!  Agreed in spades on the Cantata . . . and without any disloyalty to Jurowski, another fine account of the Opus 46 can only be a good thing.  (I don't think I know the Divertissement at all, so there's a bonus.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on August 05, 2010, 10:26:16 AM
Thanks for that suggestion, Edward!  Agreed in spades on the Cantata . . . and without any disloyalty to Jurowski, another fine account of the Opus 46 can only be a good thing.  (I don't think I know the Divertissement at all, so there's a bonus.)
I think the Divertissement is criminally neglected, to be honest. It's easily my favourite from amongst the "lighter" orchestral Prokofiev (and, strangely enough, much of it comes from the movements of the ballet Trapeze that weren't used in the Wind Quintet). The two works are very different in tone, though--almost mirror images.

I wasn't so taken with the Symphonic Song, or the performance of said work, but I think of it more as a bonus given the rest of what's on the disc.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on August 05, 2010, 01:33:42 PM
I wasn't so taken with the Symphonic Song, or the performance of said work, but I think of it more as a bonus given the rest of what's on the disc.
I think the best thing about it is that it's actually on record, and not just on a rare LP.  :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 07, 2010, 10:57:53 AM
I think the Divertissement is criminally neglected, to be honest. It's easily my favourite from amongst the "lighter" orchestral Prokofiev (and, strangely enough, much of it comes from the movements of the ballet Trapeze that weren't used in the Wind Quintet). The two works are very different in tone, though--almost mirror images.

I wasn't so taken with the Symphonic Song, or the performance of said work, but I think of it more as a bonus given the rest of what's on the disc.

This experience underscores the dangers to me of Arkivmusic having a sale (as they do currently on Chandos).  They deliver to me with breathtaking rapidity.  It was Thursday when I pulled the trigger on this, and here it's come in today.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 07, 2010, 02:17:31 PM
First Listen!

Сергей Сергеевич [Sergei Sergeyevich]
Symphonic Song, Opus 57 (1933)
SNO
Järvi


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51W8X9VTTPL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Prokofiev – The Prodigal Son, Op. 46, Ballet in Three Scenes by Boris Kochno / Divertimento, Op. 43 / Andante, from Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 29 bis (Transcription by the Composer for Orchestra) / Symphonic Song, Op. 57 - Neeme Järvi (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000000AIO?ie=UTF8&tag=goodmusicguide-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000000AIO)

Do you know, I just listened to this three times, which may seem like an odd way to pass half an hour. I like it (not that I should try to make any case that it is a 'major' work, of course).  The piece was a lot better than I had been led to expect . . . and the second and third hearings were to see if my favorable impression was juts a matter of having expectations of a dud overthrown.

I could see the piece suffering by comparison in the programming of the disc . . . it is not the masterwork which is L'enfant prodigue, and its manner is entirely different.  But I think it benefited in my ears today from my having listened to Fiery Angel.  Not that it's better than Fiery Angel, I don't mean that . . . but there are resonances in manner between the two works.

I was a little surprised (intellectually) to learn that he had written this while yet in France;  I had formed an idea that it was the sort of half-hearted piece he might have turned out after re-patriation to the Soviet Union.

Interesting little bit about the Opus 57 in the David Nice book:


Quote from: David Nice | p.310
Just as Prokofiev had by no means committed himself to the Soviet cause in 1933, so his more complex experimentation of recent years had not quite disappeared. 'You must bring a large-scale piece written specifically for us,' Myaskovsky commanded in June, as he looked forward to his friend's autumn visit, adding that the piece in question should be 'symphonic, monumental, clear and — don't be angry, o horror! — cheerful!  "Chanson symphonique" isn't quite for us . . . it lacks that which we mean by monumentalism — a familiar simplicity and broad contours, of which you are extremely capable, but temporarily are carefully avoiding.'  From this we learn that Myaskovsky had already seen Prokofiev's latest major orchestral work, the Symphonic Song (op.57); and he later qualified his opinion by adding that although this could hardly be received as a major statement, Prokofiev should still bring it as he persoinally longed to hear it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on August 07, 2010, 06:20:49 PM
Glad you like it, Karl. I'm not sure I can understand the flow of it, even though the CD booklet gives a short explanation.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 08, 2010, 03:56:23 AM
You know, that's one aspect I like about it.  It has, on the one hand, the feel of a kind of pastoral tone-poem;  on the other, formally it's a tight knot that doesn't unravel easily.  It's something of a gentle (and smaller-scale) cousin to the Second Symphony, might almost say.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 16, 2010, 03:52:07 AM
Has anyone heard Olli Mustonen in the Visions fugitives?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: vandermolen on August 16, 2010, 12:20:22 PM
Attended great concert last night - Prokofiev Symphony No 3 with Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 1, Scriabin's Reverie and Mussorgsky Night on Bare Mountain. LPO Jurowski, London Proms concert - great to hear Prokofiev's Symphony No 3 live it is one of my favourites.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 16, 2010, 12:26:12 PM
Who was the soloist, Jeffrey?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 16, 2010, 05:45:01 PM
Has anyone heard Olli Mustonen in the Visions fugitives?

Karl, I don't know Mustonen's Prokofiev but I have a disc of him playing Stravinsky works for piano and orchestra (w/ Ashkenazy conducting) and enjoy it immensely (plenty of spunk). Hazarding a guess I'd say his Prokofiev is likely cut from the same mold and would be worth checking out...

I also have another disc of Mustonen in Russian repertoire, although this time in more standard fare: Pictures at an Exhibition, Tchaikovsky, and Balakirev's Islamey. Another winner I'd say though admittedly a far cry from Prokofiev. But still, the Russians seem to spark good things in him...

BTW, Mustonen has also recorded some Hindemith. Both solo (haven't heard) and accompanied w/ orchestra (marvelous).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 17, 2010, 08:36:16 AM
. . . BTW, Mustonen has also recorded some Hindemith. Both solo (haven't heard) and accompanied w/ orchestra (marvelous).

That's how I came to learn of his recording of the Visions figitives, which I see on the same disc as Ludus tonalis.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: vandermolen on August 17, 2010, 09:01:52 AM
Who was the soloist, Jeffrey?

Julia Fischer Karl - she got such an ovation that she had to play an encore.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 17, 2010, 09:02:51 AM
Julia Fischer Karl - she got such an ovation that she had to play an encore.

Very nice!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on August 17, 2010, 12:36:35 PM
Has anyone heard Olli Mustonen in the Visions fugitives?

I have that cd. It's good, though I may like the Demidenko better (coupled with Scriabin).

These things may change over time, of course (which makes these discussions so comical), but I think Mustonen is more grotesque and staccato, whereas Demidenko is more Schumannesque.

I also have a recording with an string-orchestral version which never fails to give me the creepz.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on August 17, 2010, 12:38:56 PM
Thanks, Herman! I remember you mentioning that string orchestra version earlier . . . is that version at large?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on August 17, 2010, 12:53:32 PM
Thanks, Herman! I remember you mentioning that string orchestra version earlier . . . is that version at large?

There's a recording of the string orchestra version (arr Barshai) coupled with Stravinsky's Appolo and Symphony in D, with the Moscow Soloists playing. But the original version for piano is much better. It's just too bad Sv Richter never palyed a full set.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on September 02, 2010, 07:14:51 PM
I haven't heard much Prokofiev but he is definitely one to explore. He has a bit Elgarian qualities in his music. I guess his symphonies are good.

Prokofiev shares no affinity with Elgar whatsoever. You said it right when you said you haven't heard much Prokofiev, because you certainly haven't to have made such an insane assertion as Prokofiev shares qualites with Elgar. I don't think so.

Elgar's music sounds like old lady's music compared to Prokofiev's. Does this mean that I don't like Elgar? Absolutely not, but you simply can't compare apples and oranges.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on September 02, 2010, 09:30:51 PM
To be fair, they are two of the best melodists of the 20th century.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on September 02, 2010, 11:16:49 PM
I'd say Prok and Elgar have some similarities in their slow mournful melodies, and their predilection for the brass.

I'm back after a break, and have a lot more Prokofiev in my collection. Real breakthroughs include the October Cantata (cond. Titov), and Ivan the Terrible (Gergiev). Amazing recordings of amazing pieces, still unknown to most classical fans. The Titov CD also includes Hail to Stalin and Flourish Mighty Homeland (don't be confused by the eroneous order of the listing on the back of the case).

This is the kind of stuff to recommend to "metalheads" who need some culture :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on September 03, 2010, 08:34:04 AM
More headway in the Prokofiev symphony cycle from Jarvi.  Listening in chronological order,  to the 6th, then the revised version of the 4th.

The 6th was generally a rewarding experience.  Unlike the 3rd and 4th, the 6th was conceived as a symphony from the beginning and although it is not in strict classical form, I can sense the "symphonic logic" of its construction.  Perhaps not as immediately appealing as the 5th, which had amazingly beautiful themes, but satisfying music.

The revised 4th was more positive for me than the shorter original version.  Maybe the fact that I am more familiar with the music has something to do with it, but the revised version made a much bigger impression on me.  The original version gave the impression of a suite from a Ballet (basically what it is) but the revised version seems more thoroughly worked out.  The orchestration also seems to have been made a bit more rich.   The first two movements gave the most pleasure, particularly the big climax based on the "redemption" theme that occurs towards the end of the second movement.  The third and forth movements sound a lot like Mahler to me, with all of the faux-rustic country dance themes, and so forth. 

The recording and performance still strike me as less than ideal.  The recorded sound, which is very generous with reverberation and reflected sound, blooms nicely during the grand tutti passages, but sounds too distant for my taste during the lighter orchestral textures.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 03, 2010, 08:36:36 AM
Interesting, Scarps. Carry on.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on September 03, 2010, 09:50:48 AM
Whew! I've found my Nice book.

Are we just giving up any hope for Volume II?


I think you'd better. I recently talked to someone in the business and he said
1) Nice wishes to pronounced as Niece (stop snickering!) and
2) there will be no vol 2

However the index shows that most important music is pretty much dealt with in vol 1
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 03, 2010, 10:41:19 AM
Thanks, Herman!

1) Nice wishes to pronounced as Niece

What, has he moved to France? ; )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on September 06, 2010, 05:45:11 AM
Recently finished my journey through Jarvi's recordings of the Prokofiev symphonies with No. 7.  Like a long, exhausting vacation, it was it was interesting but perhaps a relief that it is over.  The 7th symphony was not a high point for me.  After the proper symphonic construction of the 5th and 6th, the 7th sounds more like a "divertimento" to me.  The first movement, for some reason, made me feel that I was listening to the musical score of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (the original).  The concluding movements did not make much of an impression after a few listenings.  But perhaps Jarvi and his orchestra are part of the problem for me, since they tend to impress me a lot more in the grand tutti's than in the delicate chamber-music textures.

In any case, next time through I will listen to a different cycles (Ozawa, Kitajenko and Gergiev are on the shelf, as well as some interesting individual recordings by Karajan, Chailly, Martinon, and others).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 06, 2010, 07:44:24 AM
But perhaps Jarvi and his orchestra are part of the problem for me, since they tend to impress me a lot more in the grand tutti's than in the delicate chamber-music textures.

Chamber-like textures is EXACTLY what's needed in the seventh and if Jarvi slights this it's no wonder that the work didn't impress you (haven't heard Jarvi's seventh myself but I wasn't impressed with his sixth). But make no mistake: tension is paramount in this work to keep everything afloat. For intimacy, color, and electricity two recordings stand out to me: Smetacek and Malko - both, incidentally, recorded with great transparency to let all those felicities shine.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61C9hg%2Bh5VL._SS400_.jpg)

(http://www.chaumiereonline.com/Image.axd?d=436799&w=500)

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on September 06, 2010, 02:36:14 PM
Erm, why does that kid have a beard?

I haven't heard the Smetacek, but can definitely recommend the Malko disc. He has a nice Classical take on the 7th, and the sound is generally admired - it's much better than its age would lead you to expect. He has the "happy" ending, unfortunately, but that's pretty hard to avoid, even nowadays.

As far as complete sets go, you should try to get hold of the Rozhdestvensky cycle. You can get the Venezia reissue fairly cheaply from HMV (http://www.hmv.co.jp/en/product/detail/1270738) (note 'English' button on top right). It includes the piano concertos and some historic Russian recordings. Sound isn't great, but it does the job.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 06, 2010, 06:16:57 PM
Erm, why does that kid have a beard?

Not really sure but it could be a prank as the original painting didn't have the beard. I'm guessing it's some sort of tie-in relating to the accompanying work on the disc, Chout, which means buffoon. The beard does give the kid a sort of clown-ish look.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: snyprrr on September 17, 2010, 08:29:20 PM
Listening to Pogo's Sonata 6. Boy, this guy makes the piano sound like different things! So tickling, so impish!

I have this and Pollini Sonata 7. Are the two Sonatas that different, or are the playing styles that different? Pollini is definitely more vicious than Pogo.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 18, 2010, 04:48:07 PM
Listening to Pogo's Sonata 6. Boy, this guy makes the piano sound like different things! So tickling, so impish!

I have this and Pollini Sonata 7. Are the two Sonatas that different, or are the playing styles that different? Pollini is definitely more vicious than Pogo.

The sonatas definitely have their own characteristics but, yes, Pollini and Pogorelich couldn't be more different in playing styles.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 06, 2010, 07:29:12 AM
BRO has the Orchestre National de France/Rostropovich symphonies set for $19.96, if anyone is interested.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on October 06, 2010, 08:40:08 AM
First Listen:

Prokofiev's 'Summer Night Suite', Op.123, w/Russian National Orchestra and Pletnev conducting.  Loving this piece!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on October 06, 2010, 10:16:06 AM
BRO has the Orchestre National de France/Rostropovich symphonies set for $19.96, if anyone is interested.

It's actually cheaper on Amazon, if you are getting the one item (it's been languishing in my cart on and off for a while).  Amazon has it for $26, with free shipping.  Berkshire, $19.96, plus $7 and change shipping.  Of course, the advantage goes to Berkshire if it is part of a big haul.

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 06, 2010, 10:21:52 AM
Well scoped, Scarps!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jurajjak on October 07, 2010, 11:15:52 AM
First Listen:

Prokofiev's 'Summer Night Suite', Op.123, w/Russian National Orchestra and Pletnev conducting.  Loving this piece!

The Summer Night Suite is taken from the opera Betrothal in a Monastery--it's one of Prokofiev's most sparkling works, if you're not familiar with it. Of the four complete recordings I know--Gergiev, Jurowski, a Melodiya set, and an old Chant du Monde set--the Gergiev is the best, but is stretched over 3 CDs and is therefore overpriced. The Melodiya is a studio recording, generally solid but less lively than the Gergiev.  The Jurowski is, I think, too quickly paced, and the melodies get lost. The old Chant du Monde has wonderful, highly characterful singing but a terrible orchestra.

Or, best of all, get the DVD of the Gergiev performance.

andrew
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 07, 2010, 11:20:51 AM
The Summer Night Suite is taken from the opera Betrothal in a Monastery--it's one of Prokofiev's most sparkling works, if you're not familiar with it. Of the four complete recordings I know--Gergiev, Jurowski, a Melodiya set, and an old Chant du Monde set--the Gergiev is the best, but is stretched over 3 CDs and is therefore overpriced.

Not necessarily overpriced anymore, as it is now part of this Decca box (http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Six-Operas-Sergei-Sergeyevich/dp/B0033KR5YS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1286479194&sr=8-1-catcorr), 6 operas, 14 discs.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on October 07, 2010, 10:06:26 PM
BRO has the Orchestre National de France/Rostropovich symphonies set for $19.96, if anyone is interested.
And the Ozawa set is currently £12.50 on mdt.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on October 07, 2010, 10:17:17 PM
Looks like it's time to short sell Prokofiev symphonies.

I just received this set:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61zBGTEJsKL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 17, 2010, 08:53:44 AM
Looks like it's time to short sell Prokofiev symphonies.

Did you listen to the Ozawa set?

Quote from: Scarpia
I just received this set:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61zBGTEJsKL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)



Have you had a chance to listen yet?
 
Thoughts on either Ozawa or Berman?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on November 17, 2010, 09:00:51 AM
Did you listen to the Ozawa set?

Have you had a chance to listen yet?
 
Thoughts on either Ozawa or Berman?

No Prokofiev since listening to the Jarvi cycle.   :(
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 17, 2010, 10:12:34 AM
No Prokofiev since listening to the Jarvi cycle.   :(

Dude, are you letting Järvi destroy Prokofiev!? ; )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on November 18, 2010, 08:00:02 AM
Dude, are you letting Järvi destroy Prokofiev!? ; )

Well, destroy is a bit of an exaggeration.  Some of the symphonies were thoroughly enjoyed, others not as much.  I think another cycle will result in some reassessment, but not a revolution.  Those symphonies extracted from opera or other program music will continue to be less appealing.  I think the second symphony is one that has a chance of improving in my assessment.   

But I realized, it is not really true that there has been no Prokofiev.  Over the last three month I've managed to get through two acts of Romeo and Juliet.  All the men jumping around in tights makes the music more difficult to take, although it is nice to know what the action is during all of the most impressive bits of music.



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 18, 2010, 08:01:46 AM
Well, destroy is a bit of an exaggeration.  Some of the symphonies were thoroughly enjoyed, others not as much.  I think another cycle will result in some reassessment, but not a revolution.  Those symphonies extracted from opera or other program music will continue to be less appealing.  I think the second symphony is one that has a chance of improving in my assessment.

Ebbene.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on November 18, 2010, 08:13:09 AM
I think that Jarvi is overhyped on this forum, I find his cycle hit and miss.  Even Kuchar brings more fire to Prokofiev.  There is also a heavier cycle done by Gergiev, and man is it stirring!  Well unless you're wanting a lighter take on the symphonies.

Stick with R&J, just go with the suite instead.  It has some of Prokofiev's most inspired writing, very intense.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on November 18, 2010, 08:18:42 AM

Stick with R&J, just go with the suite instead.  It has some of Prokofiev's most inspired writing, very intense.

I love my set of R&J Suites, with Jarvi Jr. and Cincinnati SO.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 18, 2010, 08:20:34 AM
The best entire Romeo & Juliet I've heard to date is the Ozawa/BSO.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on November 18, 2010, 08:22:40 AM
The best entire Romeo & Juliet I've heard to date is the Ozawa/BSO.

It seems that Ozawa (belittled in many respects), holds high praise in his works of Russian Ballet.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on November 18, 2010, 08:25:14 AM
I think that Jarvi is overhyped on this forum, I find his cycle hit and miss.  Even Kuchar brings more fire to Prokofiev.  There is also a heavier cycle done by Gergiev, and man is it stirring!  Well unless you're wanting a lighter take on the symphonies.

Stick with R&J, just go with the suite instead.  It has some of Prokofiev's most inspired writing, very intense.

I got to know it through the suite, but after listening to Maazel/Cleveland recording of the complete ballet I don't find the suite as satisfying.  A good alternate the the Maazel is the Ansermet/OSR, which gives it a "French" lightness and sparkle, compared to the heft of the Cleveland sound. 

I've got alternate symphony cycles lined up, Gergiev, Kitajenko and Ozawa on the shelf.  I don't know which will take it's turn next.  Another issue, I've never listened to any of the Prokofiev piano concerti, and I have those recordings waiting for me as well.  But I don't have as much free time for listening as some, so it will take some time before I bet back into a Prokofiev mood.  Currently interested in Weinberg, Ravel and some other stuff.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 18, 2010, 08:26:09 AM
I got to know it through the suite, but after listening to Maazel/Cleveland recording of the complete ballet I don't find the suite as satisfying.  A good alternate the the Maazel is the Ansermet/OSR, which gives it a "French" lightness and sparkle, compared to the heft of the Cleveland sound. 

I've got alternate cycles lined up, Gergiev, Kitajenko and Ozawa on the shelf.  I don't know which will take it's turn next.  But I don't have as much free time for listening as some, so it will take some time before I bet back into a Prokofiev mood.  Currently interested in Weinberg, Ravel and some other stuff.


Quite right, I generally like to mix things up.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on November 18, 2010, 08:26:26 AM
I think that Ozawa gets belittled because he is guilty of the same thing that Karajan and Bernstein are: recording everything under the sun whether he has anything interesting to say or not.  Obviously sometimes he is going to hit a home run, but we're just less likely to notice since he has yards of uninspired recordings as well.

I think his Prokofiev has stood the test of time though.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on November 18, 2010, 08:27:57 AM
I think that Ozawa gets belittled because he is guilty of the same thing that Karajan and Bernstein are: recording everything under the sun whether he has anything interesting to say or not.  Obviously sometimes he is going to hit a home run, but we're just less likely to notice since he has yards of uninspired recordings as well.

I think his Prokofiev has stood the test of time though.

I also love his recording with Itzhak and BSO for the Stravinsky concerto.  Perhaps he's part Russian.  :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on November 18, 2010, 08:28:28 AM
I've got alternate symphony cycles lined up, Gergiev, Kitajenko and Ozawa on the shelf.  I don't know which will take it's turn next.  Another issue, I've never listened to any of the Prokofiev piano concerti, and I have those recordings waiting for me as well.  But I don't have as much free time for listening as some, so it will take some time before I bet back into a Prokofiev mood.  Currently interested in Weinberg, Ravel and some other stuff.

Well I like the piano concertos more than the symphonies in general, at least I would say they are on par with symphonies #1, 5, 6.  I hope that you'll like those pcs, I love 'em! :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on November 18, 2010, 08:32:25 AM
I also love his recording with Itzhak and BSO for the Stravinsky concerto.  Perhaps he's part Russian.  :D

Oh I know that recording!  Yeah that's a good un. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on November 18, 2010, 08:32:41 AM
I'm lukewarm with some of the symphonies, but REALLY love # 1 and # 4.

Haven't yet heard the PC's, and wasn't enjoying the piano sonatas.  LOVE the violin sonatas, cello sonatas and string quartets.

Favorite work though is still Romeo & Juliet, and Cinderella is exquisite also.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 18, 2010, 08:35:03 AM
Favorite work though is still Romeo & Juliet, and Cinderella is exquisite also.

Aye, got 'em both on my Sansa Fuze!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on November 18, 2010, 08:36:11 AM
Well check out those piano concertos Ray, they are great.  I put them right up there with Shostakovich and Bartok! :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on November 18, 2010, 08:40:03 AM
Ashkenazy/Previn acceptable for the PCs?  I think I've got some Richter recordings, somewhere, but I'm not a big Richter nut.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 18, 2010, 08:41:35 AM
Ashkenazy/Previn acceptable for the PCs?

Here's where Järvi done good (two different pianists in the set). I also like Béroff/Masur.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on November 18, 2010, 08:42:04 AM
Ashkenazy/Previn acceptable for the PCs?  I think I've got some Richter recordings, somewhere, but I'm not a big Richter nut.


Yup that will do.  I prefer the more dynamic playing of Paik/Wit, but Ashkenazy/Previn is fine. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on November 18, 2010, 12:56:08 PM
The Anne-Marie McDermott set of the piano sonatas is down to $38 on Amazon . . . pulled the trigger.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on November 18, 2010, 04:04:44 PM
Here's where Järvi done good (two different pianists in the set).

Agreed. For my money, absolutely no one plays the second piano concerto than Horacio Gutiérrez. Listen to the cadenza from the first movement and you'll soil yourself (in the best way possible).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: OzRadio on January 04, 2011, 04:32:22 AM
What are the thoughts on his War and Peace opera? At four discs is it worth some listens?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on January 04, 2011, 04:39:18 AM
I've got it both on DVD and the Gergiev/Mariinka recording on CD. I shan't pretend to know the piece very well as yet, though I plan to know it better.  Yes, IMO it is worth investigating.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 04, 2011, 07:25:54 PM
What are the thoughts on his War and Peace opera? At four discs is it worth some listens?

Like Karl, I also have the Gergiev set on CD. It's a huge delight. The work itself is something of a coming together of everything that makes Prokofiev great. And if you're familiar with Prokofiev's style you'll know what that means.

So...pretty much a can't-miss work in my view.

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: jurajjak on January 05, 2011, 01:52:12 AM
War and Peace grows tremendously with repeated listenings; it took me at least a couple of years to wrap my mind around it.

I am actually not a huge fan of Gergiev's live recording of the opera on Phillips; there's a good deal of stage noise, and Gergiev's more recent interpretations of the work (in 2003, for example) are much more assured. If he were to re-record it, I'm sure it would sound quite different today.

Unfortunately, there is no ideal recording of W&P; I usually listen to Hickox or Rostropovich, as they're both uncut (the Gergiev recording omits several choruses in the final scene). Hickox was recorded live but with good sound (from Chandos)--unfortunately, the voices in the chorus sound far too young (I believe it's with a youth orchestra). The Rostropovich (a studio recording) has an amazing chorus but, alas, Rostro's tempi are sluggish.   

The DVD is very worthwhile, but unfortunately it is severely cut, especially during the later battle scenes. Scene 11 and especially Scene 13 (the climax) are slashed to ribbons in this performance.

andrew
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Exorcism Cantata: "Seven, They Are Seven" (Syemero Ikh!)
Post by: Cato on January 20, 2011, 07:58:03 AM
In Latin I we are reading a story about a Chaldean astrologer's attempts to heal a wounded Roman...with a dissected mouse!    I mentioned that the Chaldeans were known for magic and in passing mentioned Prokofiev's   Seven, They Are Seven.  (The text is a Russian translation from a Chaldean original.)  I wrote it on the board, in the hope that someone might actually become interested in Prokofiev!
 
Today my best 7th Grader comes in and says: "That work is awesome!  I heard it last night!"  I was rather amazed and asked if he had found an Mp3 file or whatever they use these days.

In fact, he said he had found a Yahoo video of a concert performance!  (Videos are blocked on the computer system here at school, of course, because the faculty can obviously not be trusted!  $:)    )  So I cannot find it yet, until I go home today.

But for those reading this now, maybe you can post the link!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on January 20, 2011, 08:31:04 AM
Very nice, hope one of us can scare that video up!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on January 20, 2011, 08:32:15 AM
I found two on you tube; One of my very favourites, I only wish it was five times as long.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3imEtW-4v80
 from some Russian site, there was no info attached.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgRhVrNSdvY
Avgust Amonov tenor
London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra
Valery Gergiev
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: greg on January 20, 2011, 08:45:13 AM
Now I'm glad I visited one of those links- a recommended video was of Winter Bonfire:

http://www.youtube.com/v/ERd2yIeR4gc&feature=related

I'm not sure if the whole work has been uploaded, but it's nice to see it anyway!  :o
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on February 05, 2011, 12:29:42 PM
It appears that Rozhdestvensky's Prokofiev symphonies box is being re-issued this month:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Serge-Prokofieff-Symphonien-Nr-1-7/hnum/4963030

Any opinions on it?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on February 05, 2011, 08:34:53 PM
Just back from Symphony, where our band played a bang-up job of the Sixth!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on March 30, 2011, 05:49:27 PM
*bump*

After a long wait, I finally received my DVD of The Fiery Angel from the UK, and watched it last night.

The music I had already heard. As is generally agreed, the performance under Gergiev is of a high standard, though the sound is compromised a little by the live recording.

I found the staging very disappointing. The presence of the demons on stage is an interesting device, but overall things are much too static.

For most of the first two acts, the singers are confined to a small platform in the middle of the stage. On top of this, there is very little movement: Renata sings her long early aria entirely on her knees - that's about 8 minutes of music! The singers stand or sit in place and dramatise almost nothing in the libretto. Things only take off when Ruprecht visits Agrippa the philosopher, when the voltage suddenly shoots up. I'd say it's the most exciting scene in the production (Agrippa has a raw voice but much stage power). This is a bit of problem when Acts 3 and 5 contain the most action and the most pivotal plot events.

Act 3 shows the problem of not bringing the content of the words and the music out in the action: Ruprecht and Renata are immobile during their shared scenes, and nothing in the action really justifies Renata's flaky behaviour. When she is rejecting Ruprecht's fleshly temptations, the director really missed a trick by not having the demons around or behind Ruprecht, rather than just futzing about irrelevantly in the background. The duel scene doesn't seem to have much to do with the accompanying music, and the disconnect is highlighted when a one-line singer tells the doctor that Ruprecht is over there to the right, when in fact he is lying directly before them.

In Act 4 the action is again mostly confined to one small section of the stage, which is again an awkward and unappealing device. The singer playing Mephistopheles was very effective here, but I was again conscious that his action wasn't always connected to what he was singing. There was no attempt by the director to show how this scene might arise from Ruprecht's mind, or any hint of what Mephistopheles and Faust might want with him.

This disconnect was even more of a problem in Act 5. The nuns' hysteria was BORING! There was no dynamic levelling of the action, no explication of character motivation. It was just the characters singing, immobile, while some strippers amongst the chorus disrobed and writhed with the demons. It is this scene that makes me think the production would have been more dramatic and frightening without the literalised demons. The ending was powerful, but I think that is more Prokofiev's doing than the production's.

Anyone care to discuss?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on April 23, 2011, 07:03:42 AM
Bump for his b-day!  I was about to put in a huge Bach order, but to honor the man... thanks Karl I've only pulled the trigger on the set you rec'd so long ago:

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on April 23, 2011, 07:06:01 AM
Oh and what is everyone's favorite recording of Romeo and Juliet?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on April 23, 2011, 08:13:55 AM
Oh and what is everyone's favorite recording of Romeo and Juliet?

I don't have the complete ballet recording, only the 3 suites, with Paavo Jarvi conducting the Cincinnati Orchestra on Telarc.  It is fantastic, although I really need to get the complete ballets for both Romeo & Juliet and Cinderalla.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on April 23, 2011, 09:07:34 AM
Oh and what is everyone's favorite recording of Romeo and Juliet?

For the complete Ballet Maazel/Cleveland on Decca is superb.  For the Suite, Ansermet



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on April 23, 2011, 11:10:09 AM
I don't have the complete ballet recording, only the 3 suites, with Paavo Jarvi conducting the Cincinnati Orchestra on Telarc.  It is fantastic, although I really need to get the complete ballets for both Romeo & Juliet and Cinderalla.

Thanks I ordered that.  I think I just wanted the suites anyway.  A nice replacement to the old recording I had before.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 23, 2011, 12:55:58 PM
Maazel/Cleveland are very good in R&J, but I like Ozawa/BSO better yet.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 23, 2011, 05:07:41 PM
Maazel/Cleveland are very good in R&J, but I like Ozawa/BSO better yet.

I second the Ozawa/BSO rec. One of Ozawa's finest days recording with the BSO (who play magnificently).

Gergiev's complete R&J on Philips is another top contender.

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on April 23, 2011, 05:41:05 PM
Oh and what is everyone's favorite recording of Romeo and Juliet?

Maazel/Cleveland/Decca, Ozawa/BSO/DG, and Gergiev/LSO Live.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on April 25, 2011, 07:02:09 AM
Alright what does everyone think: is Prokofiev's b-day on the 23rd or the 27th?  Or on another day?  Inquiring minds want to know. :)

Just to have my bases covered I'll have a crack at some of his symphonies on the 27th.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 25, 2011, 07:04:51 AM
27 April New Style (15 April Old Style). We'll make it a Prokofiev-a-thon!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2011, 11:20:21 AM
27 April New Style (15 April Old Style). We'll make it a Prokofiev-a-thon!

Well pleased with the Birthday Bash!  I've cued up:

Egyptian Nights, Opus 61
Seven, They Are Seven, Opus 30
Piano Concerto № 4 in Bb, Opus 53
Symphony № 6 in eb minor, Opus 111
Zdravitsa, Opus 85
Festive Poem “The Meeting of the Volga and the Don,” Opus 130
Piano Concerto № 5 in G, Opus 55
Symphony № 2 in d minor, Opus 40
Hamlet, incidental music Opus 77
The Tale of the Stone Flower, Opus 118 (Act I)
Sonata for violoncello & piano, Opus 119
Piano Sonata № 8 in Bb, Opus 84
Piano Sonata № 9 in C, Opus 103


Wonderful variety and richness!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on April 27, 2011, 05:52:29 PM
I finally pulled the trigger on the Ozawa set. I'll see what I think when it arrives.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on April 27, 2011, 06:29:19 PM
Well pleased with the Birthday Bash!  I've cued up:

Egyptian Nights, Opus 61
Seven, They Are Seven, Opus 30
Piano Concerto № 4 in Bb, Opus 53
Symphony № 6 in eb minor, Opus 111
Zdravitsa, Opus 85
Festive Poem “The Meeting of the Volga and the Don,” Opus 130
Piano Concerto № 5 in G, Opus 55
Symphony № 2 in d minor, Opus 40
Hamlet, incidental music Opus 77
The Tale of the Stone Flower, Opus 118 (Act I)
Sonata for violoncello & piano, Opus 119
Piano Sonata № 8 in Bb, Opus 84
Piano Sonata № 9 in C, Opus 103


Wonderful variety and richness!


Karl, you need to add 'Ivan the Terrible' to the mix!  8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Scarpia on April 30, 2011, 01:39:25 PM
Having a much slower Prokofiev Marathon.  Today, Symphony No 2 and 7, Ozawa, Berlin. 

After the first performance of the second symphony, Prokofiev was reputed to have remarked "Neither I nor the audience understood any of it."  I can understand that sentiment.  The first movement is remarkable mainly for it's relentlessness, I have trouble understanding what is going in (although the booklet accompanying the recording describes it as a Sonata form movement).  There is one wonderful passage around the mid-point where the basses introduce a motif and the other string sections enter one by one, layering on top, building to a climax of sorts.   The second movement is a set of variations on a theme so nebulous it is hard to recognize what it is.

The seventh symphony was much more pleasing.  It contains more of what Prokofiev was good at, beautiful tunes.  The transformation of the opening melody at the end of the first movement is wonderful, as is the transformation of another prominent melody from the first movement at the end of the otherwise boisterous finale.  Well done.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 04, 2011, 06:54:28 PM
Received the Alto reissue of Barshai conducting symphonies 1 and 5 (or 5 and 1, as the cover has it). It's a decent issue, but not as interesting as I hoped. Barshai's approach is straight ahead, without the passionate richness at one extreme and the caustic weirdness at the other which I think are essential to P's musical character. The sound was too distant and reverberant for my taste. For this music, I want to hear the nittygritty of the instrumenal details.

BTW, listening to Rozhdy's Shost cycle this morning (1st symphony) made me wish he had done a second, later Prok cycle with the attentive shaping he gives Shost here. Or was that the fault of Prok's slapdash orchestral writing? ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 31, 2011, 03:54:14 PM
For anyone interested in Raekallio's set of the piano sonatas, Ondine have reissued it in a 4-CD set    (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prokofiev-Raekallio-Piano-Sonatas-Matti/dp/B004TWOXGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306838774&sr=1-1) that includes some extras over the previous issue:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51srzQ-w8EL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prokofiev-Raekallio-Piano-Sonatas-Matti/dp/B004TWOXGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306838774&sr=1-1)

 :)

Oh, now THAT'S the set of sets! Finally back in print.



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on May 31, 2011, 04:12:45 PM
Oh, now THAT'S the set of sets! Finally back in print.

Interesting. Fiendish, but interesting : )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 31, 2011, 04:46:51 PM
Interesting. Fiendish, but interesting : )

Sometimes you just gotta cave in! ;D


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2011, 06:30:22 AM
I'm giving the Anne-Marie McDermott set the thorough listen-through which I've long been meaning.  (And I see that Amazon has it at a markedly higher price than I fetched it in for . . . nor did I get it cheap.)  The Raekallio is at such a price-point, though, that resistance is futile : )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on June 01, 2011, 08:02:26 AM
For anyone interested in Raekallio's set of the piano sonatas, Ondine have reissued it in a 4-CD set    (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prokofiev-Raekallio-Piano-Sonatas-Matti/dp/B004TWOXGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306838774&sr=1-1) that includes some extras over the previous issue:


 :)

'Some extras' includes the complete Visons Fugitives, a great opus in my book.

It's about time I'm gettin' this set.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on June 01, 2011, 08:26:45 AM
Raekallio plays some of the fastest, most articulate Prokofiev I have ever heard. It is not for everyone, but it is really, really exciting to listen to. I wouldn't miss a neatly wrapped up set like that.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 01, 2011, 08:30:10 AM
Well pleased with the Birthday Bash!  I've cued up:

Egyptian Nights, Opus 61
Seven, They Are Seven, Opus 30
Piano Concerto № 4 in Bb, Opus 53
Symphony № 6 in eb minor, Opus 111
Zdravitsa, Opus 85
Festive Poem “The Meeting of the Volga and the Don,” Opus 130
Piano Concerto № 5 in G, Opus 55
Symphony № 2 in d minor, Opus 40
Hamlet, incidental music Opus 77
The Tale of the Stone Flower, Opus 118 (Act I)
Sonata for violoncello & piano, Opus 119
Piano Sonata № 8 in Bb, Opus 84
Piano Sonata № 9 in C, Opus 103


Wonderful variety and richness!



"The Meeting of the Volga and the Don"! What a great piece! Surprisingly one of the first pieces of music I heard of Prokofiev many years ago. The 1 1/2 minute ending is a head-banging good time.
Wonderful mention, Karl. 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2011, 08:36:05 AM
'Some extras' includes the complete Visons Fugitives, a great opus in my book.

Aye, it's a beauty . . . though, Finlandia-like, it looks like the Prokofiev opus of which I have the most recordings, as it winds up serving as "filler" (it's a better piece than "filler," we both know that . . . .)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on June 01, 2011, 06:34:14 PM
For anyone interested in Raekallio's set of the piano sonatas, Ondine have reissued it in a 4-CD set    (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prokofiev-Raekallio-Piano-Sonatas-Matti/dp/B004TWOXGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306838774&sr=1-1) that includes some extras over the previous issue:

Ooh ooh ooh! I've been interested in this set ever since I read a review that said it really brings out the counterpoint of the sonatas. (Possibly related to my suggestion they be transcribed to quartet?)
 
Added to my wishlist.
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 01, 2011, 07:47:57 PM
Ooh ooh ooh! I've been interested in this set ever since I read a review that said it really brings out the counterpoint of the sonatas.

And that's how Prokofiev's music works best for me - opened up yet kept under the pressure cooker.



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on June 01, 2011, 11:36:54 PM
For anyone interested in Raekallio's set of the piano sonatas, Ondine have reissued it in a 4-CD set    (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prokofiev-Raekallio-Piano-Sonatas-Matti/dp/B004TWOXGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306838774&sr=1-1) that includes some extras over the previous issue:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51srzQ-w8EL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prokofiev-Raekallio-Piano-Sonatas-Matti/dp/B004TWOXGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306838774&sr=1-1)

 :)
Ordered it in the previous incarnation but never received it. Ended up with McDermott instead, and as I have one of Raekallio's discs as a single, I think that this one's not for me.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on June 02, 2011, 03:39:47 AM
Interesting, erato!  Could you expand on that? I am curious.

In all events (and I am still looking forward to giving Raekallio a listen), I am pleased that you like the McDermott set, which I find very satisfying.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on June 02, 2011, 03:54:29 AM
Interesting, erato!  Could you expand on that? I am curious.

In all events (and I am still looking forward to giving Raekallio a listen), I am pleased that you like the McDermott set, which I find very satisfying.

I like the Raekallio disc I have a lot, but since I aquired the McDermott in the meantime because the unavailability of the complete set; i won't go that route. McDermott is plenty fine, and of course I've lots of other single disc options.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Amfortas on July 06, 2011, 10:47:25 AM
Excellent article on the composing of the Lieutenant Kijé Suite

http://www.sprkfv.net/journal/three13/creating.html (http://www.sprkfv.net/journal/three13/creating.html)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on July 27, 2011, 11:04:55 PM
I've been wondering about the piano sonatas, with which I'm not very familiar. I have one set by Petrov (Venezia) and it hasn't really sold me. Today I checked out a bunch of Amazon samples, focusing particularly on the Scherzo from the 2nd and the Precipitato from the 7th. Based on this, am considering the following sets (in rough order of preference):

Raekallio (super-fast in the precipitato!)
Berman
McLachlan
Chiu
Glemser

+ Pletnev's CD of 2, 7 & 8.

Sadly, unlike with the symphonies or the piano concertos, there aren't any good sets available at bargain prices. In fact, most of these are difficult to find as sets, as opposed to volumes. Even the Naxos and Arte Nova series have not been boxed.

So which will best serve as a "benchmark"? Which lucky lad (and they are all lads) should I spend my money on?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 28, 2011, 07:40:29 AM
I've been wondering about the piano sonatas, with which I'm not very familiar. I have one set by Petrov (Venezia) and it hasn't really sold me. Today I checked out a bunch of Amazon samples, focusing particularly on the Scherzo from the 2nd and the Precipitato from the 7th. Based on this, am considering the following sets (in rough order of preference):

Raekallio (super-fast in the precipitato!)
Berman
McLachlan
Chiu
Glemser

+ Pletnev's CD of 2, 7 & 8.

Sadly, unlike with the symphonies or the piano concertos, there aren't any good sets available at bargain prices. In fact, most of these are difficult to find as sets, as opposed to volumes. Even the Naxos and Arte Nova series have not been boxed.

So which will best serve as a "benchmark"? Which lucky lad (and they are all lads) should I spend my money on?

I'm pinched for time at the moment but I can offer a sort of thumbnail:

Of those on your list I own the Raekallio set, a disc from Glemser's set, and a disc from Chiu's set. They each offer their own interpretive approaches and have little in common with one other.

•Raekallio - more staccato yet never letting the lyricism in the music slide. Subtleties not heard from other pianists emerge here and work to glitter up the music. Few pianists can maximize Prokofiev's "jutting" style like Raekallio. And it works. Plenty of color, too. Fantastically recorded. 

•Glemser - interpretively he couldn't be more different than Raekallio. Glemser favors a more legato approach, with less color, playing up the lyricism in the music. Yet he makes a thrilling case for his approach! There's less tension than some yet he can never be accused of skimming the surface of the music. Well recorded.

•Chiu - inhabits an interpretive middle ground pretty much smack in-between Raekallio and Glemser. Quite unique and nicely recorded.

The Raekallio set has just been reissued so should be easily available with probably some good bargains out there.

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on July 28, 2011, 04:13:00 PM
Thanks, DD.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on September 06, 2011, 10:50:19 PM
This new release looks very interesting:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/OVCL00323.jpg)

PROKOFIEV

Summer Night Suite, Op. 123

1. I. Introduction
2. II. Serenade
3. III. Minuet
4. IV. Dreams
5. V. Dance

6. Seven, They are Seven Cantata, Op. 30

7. The Meeting Of the Volga and the Don - Festive Poem, Op. 130

8. Thirty Years - Festive Poem, Op. 113

9. American Overture, Op. 42

The Year 1941 - Symphonic Suite, Op. 90
10. I. In the Struggle
11. II. In The Night
12. III. For the Brotherhood of Man

St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Ashkenazy
Leonid Repin (tenor),
Choir of The St. Petersburg Conservatory / Valery Uspensky

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on September 06, 2011, 11:07:06 PM
Yes,
I got it from Japan about four years ago, the pieces are played well and it's got all those lovely rarities. On first hearing the festive Poem sounds dull but it contains a hidden melody that suddenly appears after several listens and it's a cracker.
Recommended.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on September 06, 2011, 11:12:09 PM
Yes,
I got it from Japan about four years ago, the pieces are played well and it's got all those lovely rarities. On first hearing the festive Poem sounds dull but it contains a hidden melody that suddenly appears after several listens and it's a cracker.
Recommended.
I wasn't aware that it was an older reciording. Thanks for the feedback; it will fill many holes in my Prokofiev collection.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on September 06, 2011, 11:36:47 PM
Erato,
It's on the Japanese label Exton which has not been available in the west until recently. It cost me £60 to import it, so it's a relative bargain :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on September 06, 2011, 11:55:26 PM
I made the mistake of listening to the Festive Poem after posting my last post and now I've got the melody stuck in my head, it'll be there all day. Good.

The whole disc is very melodic even if they're not Prokofiev's greatest compositions.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 06, 2011, 11:57:29 PM
A splendid disc! Even B-grade Prokofiev is well worth the time and attention.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on September 07, 2011, 12:07:18 AM
Amen to that.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on September 08, 2011, 06:04:16 AM
This new release looks very interesting:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/OVCL00323.jpg)
That's a good one. Especially excellent if you're into collecting all (or most) of his stuff.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: North Star on September 08, 2011, 06:12:06 AM
This seems interesting, too - Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119,  Ballade, Op. 15, Cinderella, Op. 97bis: Adagio,  Cello Concertino in G minor, Op. 132, 5 pieces from the Chout (Idiot) arranged for cello and piano (not by Sergei), Cello Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 134 (completed by V. Blok)

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 08, 2011, 06:37:44 AM
No, chout is buffoon (etymologically related to the word for joke), not idiot. (Call it a detail.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on September 08, 2011, 10:19:25 AM
This seems interesting, too - Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119,  Ballade, Op. 15, Cinderella, Op. 97bis: Adagio,  Cello Concertino in G minor, Op. 132, 5 pieces from the Chout (Idiot) arranged for cello and piano (not by Sergei), Cello Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 134 (completed by V. Blok)


I must admit I was a bit underwhelmed by this disc, even if I'm not sure why. Guess I need to revisit it, because I rather liked the other Ivashkin Prokofiev recordings, aside from the "Schnittke" cadenza to the Concertino (it isn't by Schnittke, and it's a total clusterfuck to boot).

The Ashkenazy one looks tempting; even if Seven, They Are Seven is the only top-drawer Prokofiev there, I'm sure the minor pieces I don't know are going to be plenty entertaining enough. So far I've not seen it at a good price here, though.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: North Star on September 08, 2011, 10:58:22 AM
No, chout is buffoon (etymologically related to the word for joke), not idiot. (Call it a detail.)

Indeed, I messed up because in Finnish it's translated as is idiot.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 08, 2011, 11:02:18 AM
Ah, bum translation, got it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on September 08, 2011, 04:54:38 PM
No, chout is buffoon (etymologically related to the word for joke), not idiot. (Call it a detail.)

Split the difference and call it "Fool". :)
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 09, 2011, 03:48:25 AM
Well, buffoon and fool are practically synonyms. Cant usage aside, idiocy is a pathology.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on September 09, 2011, 05:17:01 AM
Cant usage aside, idiocy is a pathology.[/font]

That's just your psychiatrist trying to be polite :)
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 09, 2011, 05:18:37 AM
Well, and since psychiatrists are necessarily a part of society, why shouldn't they be polite? . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brahmsian on September 09, 2011, 05:19:50 AM
Well, and since psychiatrists are necessarily a part of society, why shouldn't they be polite? . . .

From experience, psychiatrists are usually not polite (at least not the ones I've seen).  Very condescending.  They know everything, and you know nothing type of attitude.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on September 09, 2011, 05:36:54 AM

Thankfully, Sergei never got his head shrunk. (Being CS, he probably wasn't allowed.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 27, 2011, 07:49:16 AM
I really enjoy his refined works like the Classical Symphony, Visions Fugitifs, Violin Concertos, Romeo and Juliet, but I don't like the music that is just noise such as the Scythian Suite and some of his other symphonies, mainly the third one. Prokofiev was a fine composer when he wasn't being too loud just for the sake of it. As in the works I mentioned and some others. I have many favourite interpreters of his music, too many to mention. Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels are two who make even Prokofiev's hardest works a pleasure to listen to. He has to be played in a way to make the listener hear his music properly, not just as ugly noises.

The storyline behind his opera "The Fiery Angel", the basis for which symphony no.3 was composed, justifies the noisy passion. Get to know the opera and it's plot, and no.3 becomes a fantastic listen.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on September 27, 2011, 07:03:52 PM
I don't like the music that is just noise such as the Scythian Suite and some of his other symphonies, mainly the third one. Prokofiev was a fine composer when he wasn't being too loud just for the sake of it. [...] He has to be played in a way to make the listener hear his music properly, not just as ugly noises.

Please do not use such uncouth and uninformed statements about a composer's work. Comments like this are an attack on both the composer and on people who love these works and study them diligently. I am 100% sure that the composer's intent when writing these works was not just to write "loud noises for the sake of it". With a master like Prokofiev, every musical act has a well-justified reason, especially with a masterwork like the third symphony (my favorite of them, actually). Take away the preconceived notions about music, and you'll enjoy the third symphony, the Scythian Suite, The Fiery Angel, and other similar works. Give it a try.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 07:54:06 PM
I don't think its nice to say i'm uncouth or uninformed. You hardly know me I just joined this forum. I have no more preconception than anybody else. I just like what I like. If you like the third symphony I have no problem about that. I really like it when his mood is more fun, not dark. He was good at being jolly but could also go deep as in Romeo and Juliet.

I like all the sides of Prokofiev and I'm sure you would too if you put your pre-conceived notions away and listen to the music on it's own merits. Not all music should be joyous or uplifting. There are many more emotions to explore. Are you happy all the time? You don't ever feel depressed? You never felt betrayed? You don't ever feel like telling somebody to f*** off? Anyway, these are things that are apart of the human condition. To deny yourself of these feelings in music is to deceive yourself of your own true emotions.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 08:09:07 PM
The most I can take of his darker music is his wartime piano sonatas. Richter and Gilels were his finest interpreters and also Pollini and Argerich. There is still hope in these works and still some beauty amongst the despair. I am an optimist and I need hope.

I'm mostly into orchestral music (i. e. symphonies, ballets, concerti, symphonic poems, vocal/choral with orch.), chamber music (mostly duos, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, etc.), and some opera (Wagner, Bartok, Ravel especially). I have never cared anything about solo piano, but I do own a few recordings scattered throughout my collection.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on September 27, 2011, 08:23:10 PM
The most I can take of his darker music is his wartime piano sonatas. Richter and Gilels were his finest interpreters and also Pollini and Argerich. There is still hope in these works and still some beauty amongst the despair. I am an optimist and I need hope.

There is some optimism in his more violent works. It just takes a skilled ear to find it, and repeated listenings. Not everything in music is handed to you on a silver platter. That's the beauty of interpretation.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 08:26:41 PM
Not everything in music is handed to you on a silver platter. That's the beauty of interpretation.

This is something the new member is going to have to realize. Some works take enormous effort on the listener's part to understand whereas some other works may come a bit easier.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 08:42:13 PM
I agree with these two posts. I joined to learn more about my favorite Modern era of the classical. Today I have heard some of Ligeti's works which I had not before. I think this is progress. It is just about time and effort and sorting through their music.

Well allow me to extent an apology your way. I had you pegged, to begin with, as somebody who was narrow-minded and unwilling to try new music. This said, don't think for a second that I'm done arguing with you :D, because I still feel you've got the potential to develop as a listener.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 09:05:40 PM
I shouldnt have said ugly but just too loud. I am not good at talking about this. I am just a listener, not a good writer. I am just saying what I think I don't mean any harm.

You don't like loud music? Don't listen to Jon Leifs's music then! ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on September 27, 2011, 09:27:03 PM
I for one like blasting my ears out with Prokofiev and Leifs' music. It may be loud, but the actual notes themselves sans dynamics are quite beautiful and impressive. Prokofiev's sense of harmony (along with perhaps Shostakovich) and its often seductive and engaging sound is what makes it so great. Listen to the harmony of the middle two movements of the third symphony and you'll be converted. As a similar exercise (well, not really similar, but still good), listen to the opening of Leifs' Hekla. The extreme loudness is just another facet of enjoyment and shouldn't be any sort of detriment after all of the other good things these two composers give you.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on September 27, 2011, 10:10:15 PM
You must remember that Glazunov lived at a different time and his sensibilities and disposition toward music has little in common with even the most philistine of listeners today. The music in the Scythian Suite may be loud, but pull out a score and you'll see that it is nothing but distorted. We are not talking about Penderecki's sound mass compositions here. Everything is well organized, meticulously orchestrated, and "well crafted". I really think that you are mentally and subconsciously telling yourself not to like this music just because it makes you go out of your comfort zone and it elicits a reaction that perhaps you are not familiar with. This is not a cause for alarm, but rather something that should cause you to respect and enjoy the work on a deeper level, and no doubt this was Prokofiev's intention. You say all the time that your favorite period is "modern music", but I have news for you. Prokofiev is one of the more conservative composers of the last 100 years and if you can't handle his most daring works (or if you just hate works because they are loud and not "well crafted" [whatever that means]), and you still call yourself a modern music lover, your definition of modern music is probably wrong (I personally wouldn't even call Prokofiev modern). If you really want to expand your tastes, you might want to get past something so pedestrian as a problem with dynamics.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 28, 2011, 01:08:11 AM
I agree with these two posts. I joined to learn more about my favorite Modern era of the classical. Today I have heard some of Ligeti's works which I had not before. I think this is progress. It is just about time and effort and sorting through their music.

Good on you!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 28, 2011, 01:09:50 AM
. . . and some opera (Wagner, Bartok, Ravel especially). I have never cared anything about solo piano, but I do own a few recordings scattered throughout my collection.

Well, but not to know the piano solo music is almost not properly to know either Ravel or Prokofiev, you see.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 28, 2011, 01:52:12 AM
This is something the new member is going to have to realize. Some works take enormous effort on the listener's part to understand whereas some other works may come a bit easier.

And not just new members need to realize that. So, MI, when are you going to make the effort to understand Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Verdi, Schubert, Haydn, Mozart, Handel and Bach? When are you going to tackle the piano repertoire? ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on September 28, 2011, 02:58:31 AM
It is true but some of their piano music is orchestrated so people who like that can also listen to that. Ravel Tombeau de Couperin, Prokofiev Visions fugitifs are two.

First off, welcome, by the way!  I might have missed your inaugural in the Introductions thread.

Ravel is a special case, since he himself orchestrated so much of his own piano music.  These orchestrations are indeed value added, as they show another facet of Ravel's musical personality, and reveal something somewhat addition of the music's character. I should say even in his case, though: there is a Ravel to get to know, by listening to the piano solo music, which you miss completely if you just "consume" the notes in the orchestral versions.

Put it another way with a deliberately exaggerated simile:  If I'm at a truck stop, and buy a velvet painting with a rendering of Da Vinci's The Last Supper — how well would upi say I know Da Vinci's work?
; )

Quote from: jhns
I think that the war sonatas tell us most about what he thought of the dictatorship. He didn't like the politics but he had to live there. His soul was for Russia only even though he didn't feel happy about going back.

It's easy to sentimentalize the bios and oeuvre of (for example) the 20th century composers who lived in places of political turmoil, so we should probably be a little careful.  I don't think it's quite right to say of Prokofiev that "he didn't feel happy about going back" to Russia; he dearly missed Russia, and made a quite deliberate (if naïve) decision to repatriate. He was not at all forced against his will to take up residence in the Soviet Union.

And thereby hangs many a tale . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on September 28, 2011, 04:30:25 PM
Characterising the 3rd symphony as a bunch of crazy noise is a sure sign that you haven't actually listened to it. Sure, it starts out loud - for about 10 seconds. Then it settles down to mp for most of its duration. The finale has some loud, but c'mon, it's the finale.

Edit: I just listened to the Scythian Suite (Abbado), and the same applies: it starts and ends loud, but in between it's mostly quite moderate and certainly never unmusical (in the old-fashioned sense of tunefulness with orchestrations flattering to the ear).
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on September 29, 2011, 04:45:49 PM
I can't get Nevsky out of my head today!


Here's something I posted in the "What are you listening to?" thread last night, on the subject of the 2nd symphony. I have probably made these points in this thread before, but just in case....
Quote
First thing when listening to Prok is to get past the conventional wisdom, e.g. Gramophone accolytes who automatically put Jarvi top in anything. Second thing is to take with a grain of salt those who are dismissive of most of the symphonies. I just made myself very angry by reading Santa Fe Listener's review of the Jarvi cycle, in which he said only the 1st and 5th were masterpieces, and that Jarvi was "good enough" for the rest.

Kuchar's cycle definitely has its ups and down, but I put him at or near the top in 2, 3 and 4. Problem is, these are the symphonies taken least seriously of the cycle (except maybe for 7), so most people haven't bothered to listen seriously to the recordings.

I went through a project of comparing all my recordings of the 2nd a while ago. The work itself is problematic. In the blaring first movement, the conductor needs to really work on the section transitions to make the rhetoric work, otherwise it can sound random. In the theme-and-variations second movement, it's difficult for the listener to pick out the continuing theme, plus the individual variations are quite long, and all this means it's difficult to follow. In this case, I think the best thing the conductor can do is characterise each section strongly, and make sure to delineate where one variation ends and the next begins.

From comparative listening, I picked Kuchar as the top. Rozhdestvensky was also a hot contender, until he seemed to lose focus in the long variation of the second movement. I can imagine a better performance than Kuchar - none of those I've heard have been quite hard hitting enough at the end of variation 6.

(I have the recordings of Kuchar, Rozhdestvensky, Weller, Gergiev, Jarvi.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on September 29, 2011, 10:27:43 PM
The original piano works are better than the orchestral arrangements, I agree.

That's not what he was saying!
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: snyprrr on October 10, 2011, 06:14:03 AM
I'm interested in trying some SP ballets, or, some of the smaller pieces I've sampled that I like (Dreams, and other moody stuff). The Jarvi series on Chandos seems to have some particularly attractive issues.

What do you think? I'd go for wild, or lush, or just plain awesome!

I've noticed some catchall sets that include a lot of stuff. Anyhow, I'm in your hands...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 10, 2011, 06:48:21 AM
Pretty much all of his ballets are excellent.
But to start with, I'd recommend these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z47150STL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2Bd%2BVoEhxL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 10, 2011, 08:26:52 AM
Pretty much all of his ballets are excellent.
But to start with, I'd recommend these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z47150STL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


Great recommendation, I'll add to that.
Wonderful performances of Le Pas d’Acier (The Steel Step) and L’Enfant prodigue (The Prodigal Son)

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2011, 09:46:50 AM
Yes, all of Prokofiev's ballets are worth exploring. The Stone Flower has been a recent discovery of mine. A great work. Outside of the ballets, the symphonies and concertos are essential listening. I heard Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra for the first time a couple of days ago and what glorious work this is. Prokofiev composed so much wonderful music.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 10, 2011, 10:19:49 AM
.




This is a disc I've really been enjoying lately, mainly the incidental music to Hamlet. It may seen as a minor piece in 20th Century repertoire, but its sound and emotions are pure Prokofiev. The highlights are the four Ophelia's songs sung by soprano, each feature luxurious and heartbreaking melodies, with the fourth Ophelia song reminiscent of The Field of the Dead from Alexander Nevsky.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2011, 12:30:37 PM
Lately, I've been addicted to Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra. What an incredible work! I had never heard this work before until I bought the Wallfisch/Jarvi recording a week or so ago. Today I bought the Rostropovich performance of it (coupled with Myaskovsky's Cello Concerto), so I can't wait to hear this performance, which I read is great.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on October 10, 2011, 12:57:12 PM
Lately, I've been addicted to Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra. What an incredible work! I had never heard this work before until I bought the Wallfisch/Jarvi recording a week or so ago. Today I bought the Rostropovich performance of it (coupled with Myaskovsky's Cello Concerto), so I can't wait to hear this performance, which I read is great.
It's a very fine performance (as is the coupled Miaskovsky). Another very fine Symphony-Concerto from around the same era is Andre Navarra's with Ancerl and the Czech Philharmonic; better and more sympathetic orchestral playing (Ancerl was a superb Prokofievan) but the solo playing has to take second place to Rostropovich.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2011, 01:21:35 PM
It's a very fine performance (as is the coupled Miaskovsky). Another very fine Symphony-Concerto from around the same era is Andre Navarra's with Ancerl and the Czech Philharmonic; better and more sympathetic orchestral playing (Ancerl was a superb Prokofievan) but the solo playing has to take second place to Rostropovich.

Let's not forget how natural Jarvi was at Prokofiev as well. The Wallfisch/Jarvi recording is excellent.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2011, 04:52:34 PM
Pretty much all of his ballets are excellent.
But to start with, I'd recommend these:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z47150STL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2Bd%2BVoEhxL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Mmm, I can approve both these recordings.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2011, 05:15:15 PM
Mmm, I can approve both these recordings.

I own all of Ozawa's Prokofiev recordings, which range from very good to great. I have not heard any Jurowski's recordings on CPO, but honestly I've never been too impressed with his conducting.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Cato on October 10, 2011, 05:17:04 PM
Wow!  What a coincidence! 

The CPO CD of Chout has been in my car's player for several days! 

(http://991.com/newgallery/Prokofiev-The-Love-of-Three-534837.jpg)

This Recording is STILL not available on CD, but it was a barn-burner, especially with its incredibly atomic performance of Seven, They Are Seven!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2011, 05:21:14 PM

(http://991.com/newgallery/Prokofiev-The-Love-of-Three-534837.jpg)

This Recording is STILL not available on CD, but it was a barn-burner, especially with its incredibly atomic performance of Seven, They Are Seven!

I've got a bunch of Rozhdestvensky's Prokofiev recordings on the way --- all ballet recordings and I've heard one of his recordings years ago and it was, as you say, a barnburner. Absolutely riveting performance.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 10, 2011, 06:41:38 PM
Wow!  What a coincidence! 

The CPO CD of Chout has been in my car's player for several days! 

(http://991.com/newgallery/Prokofiev-The-Love-of-Three-534837.jpg)

This Recording is STILL not available on CD, but it was a barn-burner, especially with its incredibly atomic performance of Seven, They Are Seven!

By the way, Cato, these are the recordings I bought of Prokofiev/Rozhdestvensky:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000AGK9KA.01.L.jpg) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Zndtu-V0O4w/Tb1-OequbXI/AAAAAAAABSA/ZqNp_BAYvps/s1600/Front%252878%2529.jpg)

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WwUa9-yI-3Y/Tb1-NMz35eI/AAAAAAAABRw/q7VNZUuUE3c/s1600/Front%252874%2529.jpg) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2ZbW5dsVj1k/Tb1-NSVREZI/AAAAAAAABR0/xFfa7YjVEd0/s1600/Front%252875%2529.jpg)

Have you heard any of these recordings?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: snyprrr on October 11, 2011, 05:26:54 AM
By the way, Cato, these are the recordings I bought of Prokofiev/Rozhdestvensky:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000AGK9KA.01.L.jpg) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Zndtu-V0O4w/Tb1-OequbXI/AAAAAAAABSA/ZqNp_BAYvps/s1600/Front%252878%2529.jpg)

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WwUa9-yI-3Y/Tb1-NMz35eI/AAAAAAAABRw/q7VNZUuUE3c/s1600/Front%252874%2529.jpg) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2ZbW5dsVj1k/Tb1-NSVREZI/AAAAAAAABR0/xFfa7YjVEd0/s1600/Front%252875%2529.jpg)

Have you heard any of these recordings?

How's the sound on those?


btw- thanks everyone for your recommends. I was afraid y'all were going to recommend EVERYTHING, haha!! :o ??? ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 11, 2011, 05:47:14 AM
Lately, I've been addicted to Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra. What an incredible work! I had never heard this work before until I bought the Wallfisch/Jarvi recording a week or so ago. Today I bought the Rostropovich performance of it (coupled with Myaskovsky's Cello Concerto), so I can't wait to hear this performance, which I read is great.

You might consider buying this one too, MI (available for just a couple of bucks used):




When Rostropovich heard it, he said it was better than his!  ;D  It really is a stunning performance.


Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2011, 07:47:20 AM
How's the sound on those?


btw- thanks everyone for your recommends. I was afraid y'all were going to recommend EVERYTHING, haha!! :o ??? ;D

I'm not sure, snyprrr, I haven't heard them, but I read that it was good.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2011, 08:12:19 AM
You might consider buying this one too, MI (available for just a couple of bucks used):




When Rostropovich heard it, he said it was better than his!  ;D  It really is a stunning performance.


Sarge

Thanks for the recommendation, Sarge. I've looked at this recording before, but I wasn't sure how the performance was. I heard she played the middle movement ridiculously fast, which I'm too sure about.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 11, 2011, 09:00:44 AM
Thanks for the recommendation, Sarge. I've looked at this recording before, but I wasn't sure how the performance was. I heard she played the middle movement ridiculously fast, which I'm too sure about.

Listening to it now. Yes, she sets a blistering pace at the beginning. faster than Rostropovich or Wallfisch. Whether you'd find it ridiculous, I don't know. It's different certainly--and that's what I look for first when buying additional performances: something different. She slows down dramatically a few minutes into the movement, though, and overall her timing isn't that far off the other two:

Chang             16:46
Wallfisch          17:13
Rostropovich    17:27

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2011, 09:08:13 AM
Listening to it now. Yes, she sets a blistering pace at the beginning. faster than Rostropovich or Wallfisch. Whether you'd find it ridiculous, I don't know. It's different certainly--and that's what I look for first when buying additional performances: something different. She slows down dramatically a few minutes into the movement, though, and overall her timing isn't that far off the other two:

Chang             16:46
Wallfisch          17:13
Rostropovich    17:27

Sarge

Yes, I look for something different too when buying other performances, but being a speed demon has never necessarily won me over. Anyway, I'll try and sample this recording and if I like it I'll buy it.

By the way, do you own the Wallfisch per chance? This was an extremely good performance and Jarvi's accompaniment was spot on.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 11, 2011, 09:28:09 AM
Yes, I look for something different too when buying other performances, but being a speed demon has never necessarily won me over. Anyway, I'll try and sample this recording and if I like it I'll buy it.

By the way, do you own the Wallfisch per chance? This was an extremely good performance and Jarvi's accompaniment was spot on.

Where Chang's version really scores over Rostropovich, quite decisively, is in the accompaniment.  Pappano and the LSO are unbelievable. Really, if you love this piece, you need to hear it even if you don't agree with every tempo. For two bucks and change, it's worth the gamble  ;)

No, I don't own Wallfisch/Järvi. I found some clips, though, to compare their opening with Chang/Pappano and Rostropovich.

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 11, 2011, 09:36:00 AM
Where Chang's version really scores over Rostropovich, quite decisively, is in the accompaniment.  Pappano and the LSO are unbelievable. Really, if you love this piece, you need to hear it even if you don't agree with every tempo. For two bucks and change, it's worth the gamble  ;)No, I don't own /Järvi. I found some clips, though, to compare their opening with /Pappano and Rostropovich.

And anyway, there's less than half a minute's difference between the Wallfisch and the Chang; not really an exaggerated difference in a 17-minute movement.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2011, 09:37:38 AM
And anyway, there's less than half a minute's difference between the Wallfisch and the Chang; not really an exaggerated difference in a 17-minute movement.

That's true, Karl.

By the way, I bought the Chang recording on EMI.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 11, 2011, 11:52:48 AM
By the way, Cato, these are the recordings I bought of Prokofiev/Rozhdestvensky:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000AGK9KA.01.L.jpg) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Zndtu-V0O4w/Tb1-OequbXI/AAAAAAAABSA/ZqNp_BAYvps/s1600/Front%252878%2529.jpg)

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WwUa9-yI-3Y/Tb1-NMz35eI/AAAAAAAABRw/q7VNZUuUE3c/s1600/Front%252874%2529.jpg) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2ZbW5dsVj1k/Tb1-NSVREZI/AAAAAAAABR0/xFfa7YjVEd0/s1600/Front%252875%2529.jpg)

Have you heard any of these recordings?


I'm not Cato but I have a couple of discs's worth of Rozhdestvensky performing Prokofiev ballets, although not necessarily coinciding with what you have here.

We cross paths somewhat in that I have a highlights disc of Rozhd's Cinderella but I think it's a different recording than yours. Mine is with a certain Great Radio Symphony Orchestra of the USSR from 1974. So who knows.

At any rate, the sound is good and the performance I find to be well up to scratch when pitted against Pletnev's gorgeously recorded Cinderella on DG. Interpretively Rozhd might be a bit more on the angular side but Pletnev certainly isn't afraid of the quixotic in the music while finding perhaps a bit more warmth. This could be due however to the richer sonics.

Le Pas d´Acier isn't part of your collection above but I do own Rozhd's recording of the work (with the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra from 1984) and again find him well attuned to the unique characteristics of the music. It's a very fine performance and I rate it as the equal of Jurowski's on CPO which, again, is graced with better sound.

Not that the sonics for either Rozhdestvensky disc poses any problems whatsoever for me, I might add.


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 11, 2011, 11:56:37 AM
You might consider buying this one too, MI (available for just a couple of bucks used):




When Rostropovich heard it, he said it was better than his!  ;D  It really is a stunning performance.


Sarge


Agreed, fine performance. Glad to see MI going for it.



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2011, 12:11:06 PM

I'm not Cato but I have a couple of discs's worth of Rozhdestvensky performing Prokofiev ballets, although not necessarily coinciding with what you have here.

We cross paths somewhat in that I have a highlights disc of Rozhd's Cinderella but I think it's a different recording than yours. Mine is with a certain Great Radio Symphony Orchestra of the USSR from 1974. So who knows.

At any rate, the sound is good and the performance I find to be well up to scratch when pitted against Pletnev's gorgeously recorded Cinderella on DG. Interpretively Rozhd might be a bit more on the angular side but Pletnev certainly isn't afraid of the quixotic in the music while finding perhaps a bit more warmth. This could be due however to the richer sonics.

Le Pas d´Acier isn't part of your collection above but I do own Rozhd's recording of the work (with the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra from 1984) and again find him well attuned to the unique characteristics of the music. It's a very fine performance and I rate it as the equal of Jurowski's on CPO which, again, is graced with better sound.

Not that the sonics for either Rozhdestvensky disc poses any problems whatsoever for me, I might add.

Thanks for your feedback, Divertimentian. I knew the dangers sonically buying the Rozhdestvensky recordings, but I just listened to a little bit of Chout and I have no beef with the audio at all. Is it ideal? No. Is it serviceable? Absolutely. I can tell the performance is first-rate.

The recording of Le Pas d´Acier is very expensive and out-of-print. Hopefully, I'll find it on the used market.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 11, 2011, 12:27:26 PM
The Chang version is the one I have and have ever listened to, and honestly, it's good enough to where I've never felt the need to find another recording.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2011, 12:44:11 PM
The Chang version is the one I have and have ever listened to, and honestly, it's good enough to where I've never felt the need to find another recording.

This is good to know, Greg, but if I really enjoy a work, I like having more than one performance of it. So now I have Wallfisch, Rostropovich, and Chang. I'm sure there's several more, I think Pletnev recorded this work.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2011, 08:33:16 PM
Went off the deep end again with more Prokofiev ballet recordings:

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2000/dec00/Prokofiev_Cinderella.jpg) (http://img1.wantitall.co.za/images/ShowImage.aspx?ImageId=Prokofiev-Le-Pas-d-Acier-L-enfant-prodigue%7C51ohAxQ%2BDFL.jpg)

(http://www.hmv.ca/images/Music/450/11/1142/1142728.jpg) (http://imc-static.simranmt.com/catalog/product/cache/2/image/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/0/f/0f2ab0c8-f778-3f0a-b2e8-a55850e66069_6.jpg)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00011MK6A.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00008WQB1.01.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 11, 2011, 08:39:18 PM

Agreed, fine performance. Glad to see MI going for it.

Yeah, I'm glad I went for it, DD. If so many people feel that adamant about this performance, then count me in! :) Anyway, it will be nice to have another performance of this fine work anyway. That middle movement is something else, especially after a couple of minutes into it the cello states this heartbreakingly melody with the orchestra sweeping this melody right along. It's such a yearning musical phrase that it really pulled me right in.

Could it be that Prokofiev is climbing into my Top 5 spot of composers of all-time? I'm developing such a strong kinship with his music it seems. I've always liked his music, but it has only been recently until it started really tugging away at me.

I've been reading a lot about his life and this helps my appreciation for his music even further. His history may not be as exciting as some composers, but the fact that he finally returned home after avoiding it for such a long time really puts emphases on that old saying "Home is where the heart is."
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on October 11, 2011, 11:57:36 PM
I own all of Ozawa's Prokofiev recordings, which range from very good to great. I have not heard any Jurowski's recordings on CPO, but honestly I've never been too impressed with his conducting.

I have Jurowski's Cinderella and I think it's splendid.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: snyprrr on October 12, 2011, 01:28:29 PM
Went off the deep end again with more Prokofiev ballet recordings:

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2000/dec00/Prokofiev_Cinderella.jpg) (http://img1.wantitall.co.za/images/ShowImage.aspx?ImageId=Prokofiev-Le-Pas-d-Acier-L-enfant-prodigue%7C51ohAxQ%2BDFL.jpg)

(http://www.hmv.ca/images/Music/450/11/1142/1142728.jpg) (http://imc-static.simranmt.com/catalog/product/cache/2/image/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/0/f/0f2ab0c8-f778-3f0a-b2e8-a55850e66069_6.jpg)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00011MK6A.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00008WQB1.01.L.jpg)

hmmm ;)



I just got the Gergiev set of Symphonies from the library (could have gotten Ozawa R&J) and listened to No.7. Sure, who doesn't like the first movement, but then it all ends up sounding like ballet music anyhow, at least to me. I was in the middle of No.6 when I started wondering how the ballets could be so much different than these wistful and sentimental/nostalgic Symphonies?

After being reminded by 6-7 that I consider Prokofiev a 'Christmas' Composer (he's just so heart warming), I question whether I do really want to plow through the giant stack of ballets that MI has just set up for himself. I mean, the season is upon us, so, maybe... but I just don't feel like falling for it (meaning I'm sure I could if I let myself).

Perhaps the emotions of Chout are more up my alley?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on October 12, 2011, 02:24:44 PM
After being reminded by 6-7 that I consider Prokofiev a 'Christmas' Composer (he's just so heart warming
The 6th symphony heart-warming? I can understand people finding the 7th that way (I don't), but the 6th?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 12, 2011, 06:31:40 PM
hmmm ;)

I just got the Gergiev set of Symphonies from the library (could have gotten Ozawa R&J) and listened to No.7. Sure, who doesn't like the first movement, but then it all ends up sounding like ballet music anyhow, at least to me. I was in the middle of No.6 when I started wondering how the ballets could be so much different than these wistful and sentimental/nostalgic Symphonies?

After being reminded by 6-7 that I consider Prokofiev a 'Christmas' Composer (he's just so heart warming), I question whether I do really want to plow through the giant stack of ballets that MI has just set up for himself. I mean, the season is upon us, so, maybe... but I just don't feel like falling for it (meaning I'm sure I could if I let myself).

Perhaps the emotions of Chout are more up my alley?

Prokofiev had a melodic gift and he used this to great effect in his music. I don't consider his symphonies all that sentimental. They are marvelous though and do contain many different moods and emotions.

I don't like Gergiev in Prokofiev at all. I think too often his approach is wrong-headed and not structured or lyrical enough. You can't conduct Prokofiev like you do Shostakovich, but I guess both composers sound the same to him. ::) One of the most important things in Prokofiev is to never loose sight of the musical line and how it develops. A conductor also has to get ready to change their frame of mind many times, especially in the ballet music.

You see, snyprrr, I could listen to ballet music all day and all night and never tire of it, because I'm passionate about this genre. I like the changing moods, the rhythms, the forward motion, the motivic development, etc. that is found in this music. Prokofiev was a master of this form and really injected his own wit, humor, heart, and mind into the music. At this juncture, it doesn't matter to me whether somebody dislikes his music. I could really careless. His music reaches me and soothes my soul. Not many composers have done this, but I can now say that Prokofiev's music means a lot to me.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 12, 2011, 06:46:56 PM
I don't like Gergiev in Prokofiev at all. I think too often his approach is wrong-headed and not structured or lyrical enough. You can't conduct Prokofiev like you do Shostakovich, but I guess both composers sound the same to him. ::) One of the most important things in Prokofiev is to never loose sight of the musical line and how it develops. A conductor also has to get ready to change their frame of mind many times, especially in the ballet music.


The Gergiev symphony set is inconsistent, but I believe his fiery approach works for No.3, No.4 (1947 version) and No.6. Haven't heard anything else of from Gergiev other than his R&J, which benefits from his intensity and the great LSO. Here's a taste.

http://www.youtube.com/v/Z_hOR50u7ek
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 12, 2011, 07:09:18 PM

The Gergiev symphony set is inconsistent, but I believe his fiery approach works for No.3, No.4 (1947 version) and No.6. Haven't heard anything else of from Gergiev other than his R&J, which benefits from his intensity and the great LSO. Here's a taste.

http://www.youtube.com/v/Z_hOR50u7ek

I own Gergiev's symphony set and his Romeo & Juliet with the LSO. From comparing Ozawa's Romeo & Juliet recording with the BSO with Gergiev's, Ozawa is clearly the frontrunner. Ozawa approaches the score with grace and vigor when the music calls for it to be pushed, but he's always mindful that this is a ballet and not something to be rushed through as if he's got something better to do, which is the feeling I got from Gergiev. The Ozawa set of symphonies doesn't hold a candle to my preferred choices: Jarvi and Rostropovich, who both seem to have a better feel for these works than Ozawa, but Ozawa still ranks ahead of Gergiev. I'm starting to second guess a lot of what Gergiev does interpretatively and have to say that 9 times out of 10 his interpretative choices do not coincide with how I think the work should sound. Anyway, not to turn this into a Gergiev rant, but the guy is so damn inconsistent and leaves me puzzled half of the time as to why he just can't get his act together. Is it the case of spreading himself too thin? Perhaps...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 12, 2011, 07:43:23 PM
Prokofiev Piano Concertos anyone? :D What are some of your favorite performances and do you have a favorite overall set?

Mine would be a tough choice, but I'm leaning towards Ashkenazy/Previn (Decca), but lately I've been spinning Krainev/Kitaenko (Teldec) and Berman/Gutierrez/Jarvi (Chandos), which I think both sets are fantastic, but I think I may prefer (slightly) the Krainev set. He's such an excellent pianist and Kitaenko's accompaniment is top-notch.

Anyway, what say ye?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on October 12, 2011, 08:29:11 PM
For me, you can't do better than the Gutierrez/Berman/Järvi set on Chandos. Gutierrez's absolutely jaw dropping performance of the second concerto is perhaps one of the best recordings of any piano music. The cadenza in the first movement has to be one of the all time feats of recorded pianism, and coming from a pianist, I'm not exaggerating. The way he plays an already near-impossible work to learn is incredible. For a microcosm of what Berman brings to the table, try out his great rendition of the first concerto. It might not suit everyone, but there's just something that "pops" with the outer movements that I haven't heard in anyone else, with the exception of Andrei Gavrilov's rendition (unfortunately, his piano is not very good). His middle movement is paced perfectly, also. Järvi seems like one of the better "concerto conductors", able to work with his soloists very well to whatever they ask for.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 12, 2011, 08:42:37 PM
For me, you can't do better than the Gutierrez/Berman/Järvi set on Chandos. Gutierrez's absolutely jaw dropping performance of the second concerto is perhaps one of the best recordings of any piano music. The cadenza in the first movement has to be one of the all time feats of recorded pianism, and coming from a pianist, I'm not exaggerating. The way he plays an already near-impossible work to learn is incredible. For a microcosm of what Berman brings to the table, try out his great rendition of the first concerto. It might not suit everyone, but there's just something that "pops" with the outer movements that I haven't heard in anyone else, with the exception of Andrei Gavrilov's rendition (unfortunately, his piano is not very good). His middle movement is paced perfectly, also. Järvi seems like one of the better "concerto conductors", able to work with his soloists very well to whatever they ask for.

Coincidently, I'm listening to Gutierrez perform Prokofiev's PC No. 2 right now. 8) Yes, this is an amazing performance. No doubt about it. His approach works quite well with this concerto. He is a great player. I think many approaches here are valid and I like Krainev's performance from the Kitaenko set a lot too. I think I slightly prefer it because of there's a certain atmosphere it conjures up that the Jarvi doesn't quite achieve. But, as I said, both approaches work well for the 2nd. I've always liked Jarvi's accompaniment, but Kitaenko has him running for his money here too I think. Kitaenko's approach is perhaps more refined than Jarvi's, but both conductors bring fire to the table.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on October 12, 2011, 09:41:34 PM
I'll have to try out the Krainev/Kitayenko (I've seen this transliterations often) set soon, then. Vladimir Krainev recently passed on, and he is a pianist I have wanted to get better acquainted with. I can't say I like having multiple recordings of the concertos on my regular listening, but I will give it a shot soon enough.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on October 12, 2011, 11:44:12 PM
Anyway, what say ye?


I agree with your asessment of Gergiev's Prokofiev symphonies. However, I do like the set with Piano Concertos with Toradze.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on October 12, 2011, 11:45:59 PM

 I was in the middle of No.6 when I started wondering how the ballets could be so much different than these wistful and sentimental/nostalgic Symphonies?

There is nothing merely wistful or sentimental about Prokofiev's 6th symphony.

It is one of the great symphonies of the 20th century, a mindblowing piece.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on October 13, 2011, 04:14:57 AM
Prokofiev Piano Concertos anyone? :D What are some of your favorite performances and do you have a favorite overall set?
For the set, Browning/Leinsdorf would definitely get the nod. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did; but all the performances are of a very high calibre. Individual concerto-wise:

Richter or Moravec in the 1st (not a deep work, but both pianists are exhilarating when appropriate and make much from the more lyrical passages).
Baloghova in the 2nd (almost the also-excellent Guiterrez's polar opposite; much less virtuosic but building the narrative so perfectly).
Prokofiev himself in the 3rd (despite the 1930s sound, it's so outstanding a performance as to make me feel other performances are superfluous).
Richter/Wislocki in the 5th (another performance that's simply on a different plane from the competition).

I don't have a favourite 4th.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 07:49:09 AM
Baloghova in the 2nd (almost the also-excellent Guiterrez's polar opposite; much less virtuosic but building the narrative so perfectly).
Prokofiev himself in the 3rd (despite the 1930s sound, it's so outstanding a performance as to make me feel other performances are superfluous).

Speaking of polar opposites, this is how I would compare Guiterrez's and Krainev's performances. They are miles apart from each other. Guiterrez's is the more virtuosic performance, whereas Krainev's is more about texture, atmosphere, and building the lines. Both are valid approaches and compliment each other quite well I think.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 13, 2011, 08:09:26 AM
I'll send a shout-out to the Bronfman/Mehta recordings of the Piano Concertos. Always seem to get mixed reviews online, but I like them.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on October 13, 2011, 08:10:00 AM
Speaking of polar opposites, this is how I would compare Guiterrez's and Krainev's performances. They are miles apart from each other. Guiterrez's is the more virtuosic performance, whereas Krainev's is more about texture, atmosphere, and building the lines. Both are valid approaches and compliment each other quite well I think.
Sounds like Krainev's view of the work may have much in common with Baloghova (Browning also shares much of Baloghova's attributes, I think). Another view I've heard that was very similar was Severin von Eckhardstein's when he didn't win the Leeds--Angela Hewitt said that it was the best performance she'd ever heard of the work, and I was inclined to agree, though I'd not heard Baloghova at that point in time. I'd still like to hear him make a commercial recording of the work.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 13, 2011, 08:18:51 AM
The Krainev/Kitaenko set was my first. (Well, I suppose my absolute first was a set of Vox LPs way back, to which I don't even recall listening.) I like the K/K series well enough, and in fact, I am grateful to it for having illumined for me the Fifth Concerto, which (perhaps strange to say) the Richter recording somehow did not.

My favorite is probably the Béroff/Masur set with the Gewandhausorchest, although I certainly also like the Järvi set (which is well superior to his symphony set IMO).  This week I've been listening (again, and yet closer) to the Browning/Leinsdorf reissue, and I like it a great deal.

Fact is, I think these are all good sets.  For some intangibles, perhaps, again: my favorite is probably the Béroff/Masur.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on October 13, 2011, 08:25:44 AM
In the context of that post, a comment from a pianist friend of mine that's stuck with me for a long time. Probably paraphrasing a little, but the sense should be clear:

"The reason people never win piano competitions with Prokofiev is that everyone knows the music is so well-written for the instrument that it almost plays itself. So it's easy to give a good performance of the works--what the judges forget sometimes is that it's still very hard to give a great performance of them."
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 13, 2011, 08:32:19 AM
I'm starting to second guess a lot of what Gergiev does interpretatively and have to say that 9 times out of 10 his interpretative choices do not coincide with how I think the work should sound. Anyway, not to turn this into a Gergiev rant, but the guy is so damn inconsistent and leaves me puzzled half of the time as to why he just can't get his act together. Is it the case of spreading himself too thin? Perhaps...

Spreading himself thing could be something of a liability for Gergiev but he did do some wonderful work early in his career which stands as his crowning achievement on disc: his Russian opera series on Philips. Notably, his enthusiasm for the genre spread beyond the mainstream workhorse works to include some fascinating rarities, particularly the operas of Prokofiev.

Which brings me to the point of this post: No one's mentioned the operas in a while!! 8) Despite their obscurity they are central to Prokofiev's output.







Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 13, 2011, 08:43:09 AM

Which brings me to the point of this post: No one's mentioned the operas in a while!! 8) Despite their obscurity they are central to Prokofiev's output.


Two of my favorite operas, which also translated into great symphonic works, and my choice for recording...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71b0qWMhLUL.png)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61IGvaIGerL._SL500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: The new erato on October 13, 2011, 11:09:09 AM
Spreading himself thing could be something of a liability for Gergiev but he did do some wonderful work early in his career which stands as his crowning achievement on disc: his Russian opera series on Philips. Notably, his enthusiasm for the genre spread beyond the mainstream workhorse works to include some fascinating rarities, particularly the operas of Prokofiev.


The great thing about Gegiev is the Russian (and Soviet) operas he's given us. Unfortunately, that seems to be a thing of the past.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 13, 2011, 12:52:57 PM
 8)
  l
  l
  l______________________________________
                                                                              l
                                                                              l
                                                                              v

A large portion of Gergiev's recorded output consists of opera - in particular the Russian Opera Series on Philips. It's quite an expansive series and his consistency throughout the nine eleven operas I'm lucky to have from it is amazing. 

This is where it all began for Gergiev on records and really no overview of his work is complete without consideration of this series.

It's gotten nothing but good press as far as I can tell and picking from it is as easy as throwing a dart - wherever it lands you have a winner.

It's undoubtedly Gergiev's crowning achievement on disc.


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 06:05:03 PM
Sounds like Krainev's view of the work may have much in common with Baloghova (Browning also shares much of Baloghova's attributes, I think). Another view I've heard that was very similar was Severin von Eckhardstein's when he didn't win the Leeds--Angela Hewitt said that it was the best performance she'd ever heard of the work, and I was inclined to agree, though I'd not heard Baloghova at that point in time. I'd still like to hear him make a commercial recording of the work.

I'll have to checkout Baloghova and Browning...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 06:13:52 PM
Spreading himself thing could be something of a liability for Gergiev but he did do some wonderful work early in his career which stands as his crowning achievement on disc: his Russian opera series on Philips. Notably, his enthusiasm for the genre spread beyond the mainstream workhorse works to include some fascinating rarities, particularly the operas of Prokofiev.

I don't doubt his contributions to Russian classical music, I just don't care for the way he's been plowing through one work after another without, what seems to me, much care. As I said, after listening to the Ozawa recording of Romeo & Juliet, I doubt I can listen to Gergiev's LSO Live recording now. Again, his interpretative choices here in the past few years have been completely dumbfounding to me. His Mahler series was disappointing and his Debussy La Mer recording doesn't even stack up against second-tier performances.

I have a feeling that Paavo Jarvi is spreading himself too thinly as well. He seems to move from one composer to the next without much thought about the repertoire, the history of that composer, and the overall catalog of performances that have happened before his own. Anyway, P. Jarvi is another topic for another time.

Back to Prokofiev....
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 13, 2011, 07:50:48 PM
I don't doubt his contributions to Russian classical music. I just don't care for the way he's been plowing through one work after another without, what seems to me, much care. As I said, after listening to the Ozawa recording of Romeo & Juliet, I doubt I can listen to Gergiev's LSO Live recording now. Again, his interpretative choices here in the past few years have been completely dumbfounding to me. His Mahler series was disappointing and his Debussy La Mer recording doesn't even stack up against second-tier performances.

I don't claim to know anything about Gergiev aside from what Prokofiev and Shostakovich of his I have. So whether or not his conducting skills have declined since his earlier days on record I wouldn't know. Don't care, either.

Because in the end my attempt at spreading the word about Prokofiev's operas has little to do with Gergiev.

The focus of my comments is to shed light on a virtually unknown slice of Prokofiev's output: his great operas.

Perhaps Gergiev's flame has dimmed, but like I said I really wouldn't know. What's important however is what was Gergiev's form at the time of these recordings!!

Personally I hear great things in these recordings. I hear preparation. I hear integrity. I hear total immersion in the music. What this means to Prokofiev is that his musical vision gets total advocacy. And really that's all I care about.

What Gergiev's doing now isn't of any interest to me at all.

So...GO PROKOFIEV!!!  ;D


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 08:25:19 PM
I don't claim to know anything about Gergiev aside from what Prokofiev and Shostakovich of his I have. So whether or not his conducting skills have declined since his earlier days on record I wouldn't know. Don't care, either.

Because in the end my attempt at spreading the word about Prokofiev's operas has little to do with Gergiev.

The focus of my comments is to shed light on a virtually unknown slice of Prokofiev's output: his great operas.

Perhaps Gergiev's flame has dimmed, but like I said I really wouldn't know. What's important however is what was Gergiev's form at the time of these recordings!!

Personally I hear great things in these recordings. I hear preparation. I hear integrity. I hear total immersion in the music. What this means to Prokofiev is that his musical vision gets total advocacy. And really that's all I care about.

What Gergiev's doing now isn't of any interest to me at all.

So...GO PROKOFIEV!!! ;D

My, my aren't we a little touchy tonight?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 08:28:03 PM
Prokofiev's operas never interested me. Don't know why, but then again, I don't really care to examine the reasons of why I never cared to explore them.

Anyway, I have enough Prokofiev recordings on the way to keep me busy for awhile...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 13, 2011, 08:34:49 PM
My, my aren't we a little touchy tonight?

Where do you see "touchy"?

Oh, it must've been here:


So...GO PROKOFIEV!!!  ;D


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 08:52:55 PM
Where do you see "touchy"?

Oh, it must've been here:

I just think you were getting an unnecessary attitude with me when all I was doing was making conversation with you. Perhaps you don't think you did, but it just seemed like you were being a little defensive when there were no reason to be.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 13, 2011, 09:04:04 PM
I just think you were getting an unnecessary attitude with me when all I was doing was making conversation with you. Perhaps you don't think you did, but it just seemed like you were being a little defensive when there were no reason to be.

Attitude check stops here: ;D



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 09:07:41 PM
Attitude check stops here: ;D

No, need to worry, my friend. I understand you're passionate about this music and that inspires me.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 13, 2011, 09:11:07 PM
Here's some early Prokofiev passion not to be ignored.


http://www.youtube.com/v/i6AhHBu_A_U
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 09:14:46 PM
Here's some early Prokofiev passion not to be ignored.


http://www.youtube.com/v/i6AhHBu_A_U

I know that picture of Argerich can't be ignored. She was such a babe when she was younger.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 13, 2011, 09:21:54 PM
No, need to worry, my friend. I understand you're passionate about this music and that inspires me.

I do perhaps get a little intense at times. But I'd sure hate to put anybody off. :)


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 09:26:34 PM
I do perhaps get a little intense at times. But I'd sure hate to put anybody off. :)

Don't worry about it. All is forgiven.

So what do you, DD, think about Le pas l'arcier? I've heard excerpts from this ballet (courtesy of Jarvi/Chandos) and thought the music packed a heavy duty punch.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 13, 2011, 09:27:15 PM
Here's some early Prokofiev passion not to be ignored.


http://www.youtube.com/v/i6AhHBu_A_U

Ah, the Op.11 Toccata! Fantastic piece. Thanks for posting GS.



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 13, 2011, 09:36:35 PM
So what do you, DD, think about Le pas l'arcier? I've heard excerpts from this ballet (courtesy of Jarvi/Chandos) and thought the music packed a heavy duty punch.

I enjoy the piece a lot. It's another undiscovered gem that doesn't get the mainstream attention it deserves. Much like a lot of Prokofiev.
 


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 13, 2011, 09:40:32 PM
I enjoy the piece a lot. It's another undiscovered gem that doesn't get the mainstream attention it deserves. Much like a lot of Prokofiev.

Tell me about it. There's so much that goes unnoticed by the general public. I wonder out of let's say 10 concertgoers, which ones would you think are actual serious classical listeners?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on October 13, 2011, 11:15:27 PM
Prokofiev's operas never interested me. Don't know why, but then again, I don't really care to examine the reasons of why I never cared to explore them.

Anyway, I have enough Prokofiev recordings on the way to keep me busy for awhile...

I don't listen to Prokofiev operas a whole lot either, if only because of the time it takes, but it is no more than fair to consider that these works are of the highest importance for the Prokofiev oeuvre: Three Oranges, Fiery Angel, and War & Peace. These are central works.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 14, 2011, 07:58:01 AM
I think the neglect of many of Prokofiev's ballets is shameful. Here we have a major 20th Century composer who's writing in one of his preferred genres and completely at the top of his game. Listened to more excerpts from The Stone Flower, which was his last ballet, and what beautiful, lyrical work. I wish I could see a performance of one of Prokofiev's ballets with a major conductor and orchestra. Man, how I would love this. I wonder why orchestras aren't performing ballets as much as they have in the past? Many of these ballets can stand alone without the choreography. I mean look at Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe when was the last time this ballet was actually staged and how often does it get performed this way?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on October 15, 2011, 03:30:16 AM
I wish I could see a performance of one of Prokofiev's ballets with a major conductor and orchestra. Man, how I would love this. I wonder why orchestras aren't performing ballets as much as they have in the past?

The reason is quite simple.

Prokofiev's ballets are performed quite often.

As ballets.

Both Cinderella and R&J are in the repertoire of most major ballet companies. Ashton's Cinderella is one of the crown jewels of the Royal Ballet's rep, and many other companies perform their own version.

So all you have to do, is go to the theater, rather than to the concert hall.

Musically this doesn't have to be a step down.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Cato on October 15, 2011, 03:36:57 AM
By the way, Cato, these are the recordings I bought of Prokofiev/Rozhdestvensky:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000AGK9KA.01.L.jpg) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Zndtu-V0O4w/Tb1-OequbXI/AAAAAAAABSA/ZqNp_BAYvps/s1600/Front%252878%2529.jpg)

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WwUa9-yI-3Y/Tb1-NMz35eI/AAAAAAAABRw/q7VNZUuUE3c/s1600/Front%252874%2529.jpg) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2ZbW5dsVj1k/Tb1-NSVREZI/AAAAAAAABR0/xFfa7YjVEd0/s1600/Front%252875%2529.jpg)

Have you heard any of these recordings?

Possibly The Stone Flower many decades ago: Rozhdestvensky in my experience was always a sure bet!

Please give us a review of the sound quality when you have a chance!  I see that they are Melodiya CD's: maybe eventually the record of Symero Ikh that I showed earlier will be re-released as a CD!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 15, 2011, 07:13:13 AM
Possibly The Stone Flower many decades ago: Rozhdestvensky in my experience was always a sure bet!

Please give us a review of the sound quality when you have a chance!  I see that they are Melodiya CD's: maybe eventually the record of Symero Ikh that I showed earlier will be re-released as a CD!

I have only listened to the recording of Chout right now and the audio quality isn't bad at all. This was an '80s recording, so perhaps they had better technology to work with at this juncture, but I can honestly endorse this recording. The performance from Rozhdestvensky was pretty edgy though, but it suited the music well I think.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 15, 2011, 08:26:51 PM
The reason is quite simple.

Prokofiev's ballets are performed quite often.

As ballets.

Both Cinderella and R&J are in the repertoire of most major ballet companies. Ashton's Cinderella is one of the crown jewels of the Royal Ballet's rep, and many other companies perform their own version.

So all you have to do, is go to the theater, rather than to the concert hall.

Musically this doesn't have to be a step down.

Perhaps you're right, Herman. I need to see my local ballet company are doing anything worthwhile...

Edit: Nope, just Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. ::) Like I said, I'll go when there's something worthwhile to see.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 16, 2011, 04:25:08 AM
Ouch! I don't like to see Tchaikovsky sneered at! He was one of Prokofiev's models, you know.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on October 16, 2011, 05:23:00 AM
Ouch! I don't like to see Tchaikovsky sneered at! He was one of Prokofiev's models, you know.

Me neither! I love "The Nutcracker"! :)

As I am just about to start a Prokofiev phase I thought it would be a good idea to join this topic ;)
For a long while I listened to very little Prokofiev, then I heard R+J (well, an hour of selections from it ;) ) in concert and was so very amazed by it, such beautiful, powerful and thrilling music! It amazed me how Prokofiev could achieve such violent sarcasm (for example, Tybalt's death) and also such innocent sounding beauty (for example, Juliet's death). When that C Major chord sounds in Juliet's Death, it always makes me shiver and weep... so beautiful. So R+J quickly became one of my favourite pieces of all time and now I am very keen to revisit Prokofiev. So obviously I shall return to the symphonies and concerti. But I have this extra interest in the ballets, Alexander Nevsky cantata, various orchestral suites etc. So, I am really looking forward to starting my Prokofiev phase, I already have this cd on the way...
[asin]B000001GQC[asin]

I am planning to buy some of the Jarvi recordings soon, and maybe some of the chamber music/piano sonatas as well.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2011, 02:24:35 AM
There's so very much beautiful work in his catalogue. If I had to nominate a single stop-everything-&-listen-to-this piece, it would be the f minor violin sonata.

Do it!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 17, 2011, 02:43:43 AM
Do it!

Otay!!!

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 17, 2011, 07:31:05 AM
As I am just about to start a Prokofiev phase I thought it would be a good idea to join this topic ;)
For a long while I listened to very little Prokofiev, then I heard R+J (well, an hour of selections from it ;) ) in concert and was so very amazed by it, such beautiful, powerful and thrilling music! It amazed me how Prokofiev could achieve such violent sarcasm (for example, Tybalt's death) and also such innocent sounding beauty (for example, Juliet's death). When that C Major chord sounds in Juliet's Death, it always makes me shiver and weep... so beautiful. So R+J quickly became one of my favourite pieces of all time and now I am very keen to revisit Prokofiev. So obviously I shall return to the symphonies and concerti. But I have this extra interest in the ballets, Alexander Nevsky cantata, various orchestral suites etc. So, I am really looking forward to starting my Prokofiev phase


I am planning to buy some of the Jarvi recordings soon, and maybe some of the chamber music/piano sonatas as well.

As we discussed on Facebook, the ballets are all worth looking into. I finished listening to "On the Dnieper" last night which is really excellent and contains some gorgeous melodies and lush harmonies. As I mentioned to you before, Sinfonia Concertante is essential listening, but the Wallfisch/Jarvi recording is my preferred recording right now. I listened to the Rostropovich on EMI twice and the first go aorund was good, but it didn't stand up well to a repeated listening. I thought the conductor, Malcolm Sargent was an odd choice and he really didn't provide the kind of accompaniment I thought the work should have. I haven't heard the Chang recording I bought yet, but I'm anxious to hear it. I can't say that I'm completely onboard with the ballet Chout. It just doesn't jive well with me, but I'll give it another listen before making another judgement on it.

Of course, the symphonies and concerti are mandatory listening IMHO. I'm really in love with Piano Concerto No. 2 right now. The last movement (Finale) is really something else. The VCs are also very good, but I like the PCs much better, and, of course, the Concertante.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 17, 2011, 08:08:05 AM
Ivan the Terrible has been gracing my ears quite a bit lately. Prokofiev never completed a concert oratorio for the film music, although concert versions, and an opera were created after his death.
Anyone interested in Prokofiev's music or an admirer of Alexander Nevsky should give Ivan the Terrible a serious listen.
If anything, you must checkout Prokofiev's chilling inclusion of the hymn Troparion of the Holy Cross (I think I have that name right, also used in 1812 Overture, maybe a fellow GMGr can confirm this or at least correct it)
in the movement The Oath of the Oprichniks.

Gergiev is getting some love & hate these days, but this recording with Rotterdam Phil. is wonderful.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61dXQI0laWL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2011, 08:58:19 AM
. . . Of course, the symphonies and concerti are mandatory listening.

Well, if that be true of the symphonies and concerti, it's even truer of the piano solo music and operas. Just saying.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 17, 2011, 09:04:19 AM
Well, if that be true of the symphonies and concerti, it's even truer of the piano solo music and operas. Just saying.

Don't forget his SQs, violin sonatas, cello sonatas, film music, vocal works...
 ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2011, 09:13:51 AM
You're diluting my point, though, Greg. Not that there's anything wrong with MI's approach of favoring works for orchestra, especially as Prokofiev was such a colorful orchestrator.  But when he was yet in his early teens, Prokofiev was already writing piano solo music and opera;  and he worked in those genres throughout his life.  Herman has already pointed out the importance of War and Peace; and there is an unfinished tenth piano sonata left in but a fragment.  There is a strong case to be made for if you don't know the piano solo music and operas, you don't really know Prokofiev.  Rather a weaker case for the symphonies, I should think.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 17, 2011, 09:36:07 AM
There is a strong case to be made for if you don't know the piano solo music and operas, you don't really know Prokofiev.

Since I don't much care for solo piano or opera, this doesn't mean that I don't know Prokofiev. I don't understand why you make statements like this that are completely ridiculous. One can listen to any work by Prokofiev and get a feel of his harmonic, melodic language. I could listen to Romeo & Juliet and gain as much knowledge about his music as somebody who's heard his entire output. My point is Prokofiev was such a unique composer that it doesn't take much to become familiar with his musical language. Does a person have to know a composer's piano music to really know them? No, because the music presents itself the same way in every musical context. The language is always Prokofiev's. He wrote prolifically in all genres that it doesn't really matter what you listen to, you're still going to walk away with knowledge of what the music sounds like and what kind of sound-world he works with.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2011, 09:42:41 AM
Since I don't much care for solo piano or opera, this doesn't mean that I don't know Prokofiev.

In just such a way, I hear someone saying, Just because I don't much care for organ music, this doesn't mean that I don't know Bach. And, Just because I don't much care for string quartets, this doesn't mean that I don't know Bartók.

As to whether my remark was ridiculous, I remind you that you began by asserting that the symphonies and concerti are mandatory listening.  So, by all means, tell me that my corrective statement is ridiculous, but then, you've just pulled the rug out from under your own soapbox (to gleefully mix metaphors).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 17, 2011, 09:46:26 AM
You're diluting my point, though, Greg. Not that there's anything wrong with MI's approach of favoring works for orchestra, especially as Prokofiev was such a colorful orchestrator.  But when he was yet in his early teens, Prokofiev was already writing piano solo music and opera;  and he worked in those genres throughout his life.  Herman has already pointed out the importance of War and Peace; and there is an unfinished tenth piano sonata left in but a fragment.  There is a strong case to be made for if you don't know the piano solo music and operas, you don't really know Prokofiev.  Rather a weaker case for the symphonies, I should think.

My words were in no way trying to purposely dilute your point, Karl, or even tear down MI's opinion of "mandatory" works, which it seems it may have done both.
I've just always been opposed to labeling a composer's piece as "mandatory", just as labeling a particular recording of a piece as "definitive", and I chose to express this by listing more genres Prokofiev's music that I enjoy.

<------blame it on the Sock Monkey. (forgot I changed my avatar monkey)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2011, 09:56:23 AM
. . . I've just always been opposed to labeling a composer's piece as "mandatory", just as labeling a particular recording of a piece as "definitive" . . .

I am in complete solidarity with you in this.

. . . and I chose to express this by listing more genres Prokofiev's music that I enjoy.

Ho capito.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 17, 2011, 10:06:06 AM
In just such a way, I hear someone saying, Just because I don't much care for organ music, this doesn't mean that I don't know Bach. And, Just because I don't much care for string quartets, this doesn't mean that I don't know Bartók.

As to whether my remark was ridiculous, I remind you that you began by asserting that the symphonies and concerti are mandatory listening.  So, by all means, tell me that my corrective statement is ridiculous, but then, you've just pulled the rug out from under your own soapbox (to gleefully mix metaphors).


But I never made the point of saying "If you don't listen to these works, then you don't know Prokofiev." No, you sir, made this statement not I.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2011, 10:18:55 AM
But I never made the point of saying "If you don't listen to these works, then you don't know Prokofiev." No, you sir, made this statement not I.

Let's go back to the videotape:

You're diluting my point, though, Greg. Not that there's anything wrong with MI's approach of favoring works for orchestra, especially as Prokofiev was such a colorful orchestrator.  But when he was yet in his early teens, Prokofiev was already writing piano solo music and opera;  and he worked in those genres throughout his life.  Herman has already pointed out the importance of War and Peace; and there is an unfinished tenth piano sonata left in but a fragment.  There is a strong case to be made for if you don't know the piano solo music and operas, you don't really know Prokofiev.  Rather a weaker case for the symphonies, I should think.

Note the phrase:

. . . There is a strong case to be made for . . . .

. . . which is a matter different to (and, to my mind, less objectionable than) an assertion of Mandatory Listening.

Do we still have a quarrel, John?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 17, 2011, 10:24:15 AM
Let's go back to the videotape:

Note the phrase:

. . . which is a matter different to (and, to my mind, less objectionable than) an assertion of Mandatory Listening.

Do we still have a quarrel, John?


This still doesn't change the fact that whether you meant what you said or not, that you implied "If you don't listen to these works, then you don't know Prokofiev." You can give me some vague explanation and try to make it out to be any way you want, but this doesn't change the fact that you made this implication and I did not.

Anyway, back to regularly scheduled programming...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2011, 10:29:05 AM
This still doesn't change the fact that whether you meant what you said or not, that you implied "If you don't listen to these works, then you don't know Prokofiev." You can give me some vague explanation and try to make it out to be any way you want, but this doesn't change the fact that you made this implication and I did not.

Put it another way, John: I proposed a case from the composer's biography of the importance of those genres. You're just bandying the phrase "Mandatory listening" based on your own enthusiasm. Which of us is possessed of the stronger argument?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 17, 2011, 10:37:28 AM
Anyway, Karl, I'm done arguing. It's pointless really, because we all listen to the music we enjoy, regardless of it's importance or not. Was Prokofiev's On the Dnieper a historic and groundbreaking work? Of course not, but this doesn't damper my enjoyment of it. Let's just move on shall we?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: North Star on October 17, 2011, 01:07:17 PM
As I am just about to start a Prokofiev phase I thought it would be a good idea to join this topic ;)
For a long while I listened to very little Prokofiev, then I heard R+J (well, an hour of selections from it ;) ) in concert and was so very amazed by it, such beautiful, powerful and thrilling music! It amazed me how Prokofiev could achieve such violent sarcasm (for example, Tybalt's death) and also such innocent sounding beauty (for example, Juliet's death). When that C Major chord sounds in Juliet's Death, it always makes me shiver and weep... so beautiful. So R+J quickly became one of my favourite pieces of all time and now I am very keen to revisit Prokofiev. So obviously I shall return to the symphonies and concerti. But I have this extra interest in the ballets, Alexander Nevsky cantata, various orchestral suites etc. So, I am really looking forward to starting my Prokofiev phase, I already have this cd on the way...



I am planning to buy some of the Jarvi recordings soon, and maybe some of the chamber music/piano sonatas as well.

For the piano sonatas, I recommend this superb set:
http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Sonatas-1-9-Matti-Raekallio/dp/B004TWOXGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318885413&sr=8-1

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on October 17, 2011, 01:20:09 PM
For the piano sonatas, I recommend this superb set:
http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Sonatas-1-9-Matti-Raekallio/dp/B004TWOXGC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318885413&sr=8-1
[asin]B004TWOXGC[asin]

Thank you for your recommendation. I have listened to some of the excerpts available on the amazon website, and it sounds great! Also pleased to see it comes with many extras! :) Thank you again!

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 17, 2011, 07:21:19 PM
Hmm...I kind of like seeing Prokofiev's thread getting wound up on the level of, say, a Beethoven thread! I guess Prokofiev's hit the big time at last! ;D


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 17, 2011, 07:25:05 PM
Hmm...I kind of like seeing Prokofiev's thread getting wound up on the level of, say, a Beethoven thread! I guess Prokofiev's hit the big time at last! ;D

I'll continue to promote his music whenever I get the opportunity. He has sunk his teeth into my heart. I am one with this music now. 8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 17, 2011, 07:35:00 PM
He has sunk his teeth into my heart. I am one with this music now. 8)


Sounds like something a Vampire-Jedi might say. ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 17, 2011, 07:51:33 PM

Sounds like something a Vampire-Jedi might say. ;D

 :P

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 17, 2011, 08:53:39 PM
Found this rare video of Prokofiev playing the piano and speaking:

http://www.youtube.com/v/zA82T3wFyi8
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on October 18, 2011, 12:12:02 AM
I think the sneer was more aimed at the deplorable habit of ballet companies, particularly in the US, to spend the last months of the year doing the Nutcracker.

I don't know what your location is, M.I., but I guess I was thinking of a major ballet company, with a good orchestra in the pit.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 18, 2011, 02:42:39 AM
I think the sneer was more aimed at the deplorable habit of ballet companies, particularly in the US, to spend the last months of the year doing the Nutcracker.

Yes. Still, it's a good ballet, and that deplorable habit is (probably) better than no ballet.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on October 18, 2011, 07:03:53 AM
How about Schnittke's Peer Gynt for a Christmas ballet?

I jest, of course, but here in Toronto (not that great a city for live music) we had Cinderella last November and Romeo and Juliet starting next month.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 18, 2011, 07:33:19 AM
Thanks again, Edward . . . I think I may have settled on the Leinsdorf/BSO reissue box on my own, and then afterward saw your positive remarks.  Really enjoy it in its entirety;  just listened to the Киже suite (was curious to hear how David Clatworthy would do with the Russian, not bad, really) . . . very nice to have the quiet close of that suite serve as the end of the 6-CD box.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 18, 2011, 07:47:08 AM
Hmm, and tying in with recent buzz on Romeo & Juliet . . . Leinsdorf abbreviates the Knights' Dance rather.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on October 18, 2011, 08:02:45 AM
Thanks again, Edward . . . I think I may have settled on the Leinsdorf/BSO reissue box on my own, and then afterward saw your positive remarks.  Really enjoy it in its entirety;  just listened to the Киже suite (was curious to hear how David Clatworthy would do with the Russian, not bad, really) . . . very nice to have the quiet close of that suite serve as the end of the 6-CD box.
I went ahead and bought the box myself last night when I saw a copy for sale under $20. Three and a half discs of non-duplication seemed worth it.

I had enough time to listen to the four symphony recordings: generally very positive impressions. Leinsdorf's view certainly emphasises both the brutal and lyrical aspects of the works, and perhaps lacks a little nuance in between (some of this is probably the rather unexceptional remastering, definitely inferior to the Testament reissue of the piano concerti). I thought the 6th came off really well--a very powerful and moving performance and quite possibly the best I've heard after Mravinsky; the second was very good as well with the opening salvo brutal in the extreme but the second movement sounding as melodic as I've ever heard it. The 3rd was solid rather than exceptional to me, though I admit I'm spoilt with the live Kondrashin in this one; probably the 5th was the only performance that underwhelmed me, as it seemed to be a bit too straight. (Or maybe I was just tired by then.)

Anyway, good stuff. I will definitely be curious to hear Perlman's 2nd violin concerto and the R&J extracts when I get home from work tonight.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 18, 2011, 08:16:54 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/BUNdSRVxC-Y&feature=related

Prokofiev: Symphony No.7, movement IV
Ozawa/Berlin Phil.

Although I still believe Tennstedt recorded the best 7th, this Ozawa comes very close. Here is the 4th movement with Prokofiev's original, and more dramatic, ending, the way I promote it should be heard. In order to win a Stalin Prize, Prokofiev
added an extra 20 seconds to offer a more uplifting ending, I've read that Prokofiev was not very well off towards the end of his life so this could have been the motivation for this addition.
Also, the fact that it was commissioned for a children's program shouldn't give a first time listener any direction on it's musical quality, at it's heart it is very dramatic and quite lovely, it's more Romeo & Juliet than say, Peter and the Wolf


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 18, 2011, 08:21:17 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/BUNdSRVxC-Y&feature=related

Prokofiev: Symphony No.7, movement IV
Ozawa/Berlin Phil.

Although I still believe Tennstedt recorded the best 7th, this Ozawa comes very close. Here is the 4th movement with Prokofiev's original, and more dramatic, ending, the way I promote it should be heard. In order to win a Stalin Prize, Prokofiev
added an extra 20 seconds to offer a more uplifting ending, I've read that Prokofiev was not very well off towards the end of his life so this could have been the motivation for this addition.
Also, the fact that it was commissioned for a children's program shouldn't give a first time listener any direction on it's musical quality, at it's heart it is very dramatic and quite lovely, it's more Romeo & Juliet than say, Peter and the Wolf.

Symphonies 5-7 are my favorite of the cycle. I need to go back to listen to 2-4. I listened to Symphony No. 2 a few nights ago and it's an interesting work. I'm not sure if I truly like it or not, but Jarvi's performance was very convincing.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 18, 2011, 08:36:35 AM
Symphonies 5-7 are my favorite of the cycle. I need to go back to listen to 2-4. I listened to Symphony No. 2 a few nights ago and it's an interesting work. I'm not sure if I truly like it or not, but Jarvi's performance was very convincing.


What I find great about Prokofiev's symphonies, MI, is that they are so convincingly unique and complete individuals. A little something for everyone.
You should definitely give no.2-4 more time, I think you'll appreciate them. I've always been so impressed with No.3 and Prokofiev's ability for turning a great opera (The Fiery Angel) into a great symphony.
How he arranged the music from the opera into a working 4 movements without sticking with the chronological order of the story, for example the ending of the 4th movement of the symphony is the closing scene from Act 2 of the opera, and the
3rd movement is from Act 5.
And having two versions, and quite different I might add, of his 4th is also a treat.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 18, 2011, 09:50:26 AM
Does anyone know what happened to Prokofiev's op.88 Symphonic March?

The only place on the internet I can even find a score of it is:
http://www.schirmer.com/default.aspx?TabId=2420&State_2874=2&workId_2874=31733#

And of course, there's not a single recording anywhere. Is this a false entry and the score was destroyed or lost?... or does nobody not care at all? (sort of hard to believe)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 18, 2011, 10:27:33 AM

What I find great about Prokofiev's symphonies, MI, is that they are so convincingly unique and complete individuals. A little something for everyone.
You should definitely give no.2-4 more time, I think you'll appreciate them. I've always been so impressed with No.3 and Prokofiev's ability for turning a great opera (The Fiery Angel) into a great symphony.
How he arranged the music from the opera into a working 4 movements without sticking with the chronological order of the story, for example the ending of the 4th movement of the symphony is the closing scene from Act 2 of the opera, and the
3rd movement is from Act 5.
And having two versions, and quite different I might add, of his 4th is also a treat.

Yes, I do need to spend more time with the early symphonies, but I don't like the Classical Symphony at all. I understand it is Prokofiev being sarcastic, but I still haven't warmed up to the work at all.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 18, 2011, 10:39:07 AM
I understand it is Prokofiev being sarcastic, but I still haven't warmed up to the work at all.

I don't think of it as overall a sarcastic work, nor even in any great measure.  He had been studying Haydn in a conducting class at the Conservatory, and he was engaged with the idiom.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on October 18, 2011, 10:46:05 AM
I don't think of it as overall a sarcastic work, nor even in any great measure.  He had been studying Haydn in a conducting class at the Conservatory, and he was engaged with the idiom.

Maybe not written as a joke (as such), but still a very sarcastic sounding piece! I always enjoy listening to it. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 18, 2011, 10:56:41 AM
I don't think of it as overall a sarcastic work, nor even in any great measure.  He had been studying Haydn in a conducting class at the Conservatory, and he was engaged with the idiom.

Perhaps this is why I don't enjoy it, it's a schtick of the Classical Era.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on October 18, 2011, 10:58:46 AM
Perhaps this is why I don't enjoy it, it's a schtick of the Classical Era.

But for me, a very enjoyable one with many humorous twists ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 18, 2011, 11:01:58 AM
But for me, a very enjoyable one with many humorous twists ;)

There's better Prokofiev to be heard IMHO.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on October 18, 2011, 11:07:30 AM
There's better Prokofiev to be heard IMHO.

Of course, I'll agree with that. I still find it a wonderful piece though :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: karlhenning on October 18, 2011, 11:08:43 AM
Of course, I'll agree with that. I still find it a wonderful piece though :)

Exactly. Fine music, which doesn't need to be bludgeoned by subsequent triumphs : )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Brewski on October 18, 2011, 11:12:20 AM
I don't think of it as overall a sarcastic work, nor even in any great measure.  He had been studying Haydn in a conducting class at the Conservatory, and he was engaged with the idiom.

Yes, "different ears" and all that, but I don't hear any sarcasm, either. It's a beautifully constructed, Haydn-esque piece, with - if anything - more outright love for the classical era. I enjoy this piece in the same vein as say, Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on October 18, 2011, 11:18:17 AM
MI, a few random thoughts in re: the earlier symphonies:

The 3rd seems to me the most fully successful of them. It may not be organically symphonic, but it IMO doesn't greatly betray its origin in parts of The Fiery Angel; the dramatic arc of the piece is utterly convincing to me; I'd certainly regard it as 'essential' Prokofiev. By contrast, I've never warmed up to the 4th; the problem I have with it is that the music isn't so distinct from that of its source material (the superb ballet L'enfant prodigue) and remains more balletic than symphonic.

I think it's easy to underrate the first two symphonies; perhaps the 1st does fall between pastiche and parody, but its genial good humour I find very winning (something it has in common with much of the Sinfonietta and Divertissement). The 2nd seems to be the most obviously problematic of the seven; it's easy for me to feel Prokofiev had to a certain extent bitten off more than he could chew in this work (the Beethoven op 111 model being an outrageously ambitious one to follow). Unfortunately, I think the ferocity of the first movement tends to cast a long shadow over the second movement set of variations, which have a kind of nocturnal lyricism that definitely prefigures some of the later works. Clearly Prokofiev felt there was plenty of good material in the work, as at his death he had already assigned an opus number for a never-begun revision of it. I'd have been really interested to hear what he had in mind with the work; the mind boggles at a Symphony-Concerto-sized rewrite in his late style might have achieved with this material.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on October 18, 2011, 11:32:47 AM
MI, a few random thoughts in re: the earlier symphonies:

The 3rd seems to me the most fully successful of them. It may not be organically symphonic, but it IMO doesn't greatly betray its origin in parts of The Fiery Angel; the dramatic arc of the piece is utterly convincing to me; I'd certainly regard it as 'essential' Prokofiev. By contrast, I've never warmed up to the 4th; the problem I have with it is that the music isn't so distinct from that of its source material (the superb ballet L'enfant prodigue) and remains more balletic than symphonic.

I think it's easy to underrate the first two symphonies; perhaps the 1st does fall between pastiche and parody, but its genial good humour I find very winning (something it has in common with much of the Sinfonietta and Divertissement). The 2nd seems to be the most obviously problematic of the seven; it's easy for me to feel Prokofiev had to a certain extent bitten off more than he could chew in this work (the Beethoven op 111 model being an outrageously ambitious one to follow). Unfortunately, I think the ferocity of the first movement tends to cast a long shadow over the second movement set of variations, which have a kind of nocturnal lyricism that definitely prefigures some of the later works. Clearly Prokofiev felt there was plenty of good material in the work, as at his death he had already assigned an opus number for a never-begun revision of it. I'd have been really interested to hear what he had in mind with the work; the mind boggles at a Symphony-Concerto-sized rewrite in his late style might have achieved with this material.

Thanks for you feedback. I need to give the Classical Symphony more of a fighting chance I suppose. It does have some good moments. Symphony No. 2 is a tough nut to crack, but it has some fascinating rhythms and harmonies. As I stated before, Jarvi's performance was quite convincing for me. It's not a bad work at all. I just haven't made that emotional connection with it yet. Symphony No. 3 I've liked ever since I heard Riccardo Muti's recording of it on Philips, which is out-of-print unfortunately. He did a great job with it and the music truly speaks for itself. I never cared much for the 4th either, I would just rather listen to The Prodigal Son.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on October 18, 2011, 11:49:40 AM
Does anyone know what happened to Prokofiev's op.88 Symphonic March?

The only place on the internet I can even find a score of it is:
http://www.schirmer.com/default.aspx?TabId=2420&State_2874=2&workId_2874=31733#

And of course, there's not a single recording anywhere. Is this a false entry and the score was destroyed or lost?... or does nobody not care at all? (sort of hard to believe)

I have copies of the sketches for op 88. It's quite a jollyish piece, it starts contrapuntally then moves into one of the songs from op 89 and then to a Peter/Wolfish march and then finishing typically noisily. It lasts only four minutes.

It was written for WW11 propaganda purposes but is harmless. I can see no reason while it and several other scores remain unpublished, it's just daft IMO.

I have synthesised it, but that is probably best kept to myself. If you want a copy of the sketches you are welcome just PM me

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 18, 2011, 07:38:29 PM

And then there are the operas, from the quixotic:




http://www.youtube.com/v/nv5cKG5ADuM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv5cKG5ADuM)




To the lyrical:



http://www.youtube.com/v/dRZNKuipAac





Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: snyprrr on October 19, 2011, 11:36:51 AM
Thanks for you feedback. I need to give the Classical Symphony more of a fighting chance I suppose. It does have some good moments. Symphony No. 2 is a tough nut to crack, but it has some fascinating rhythms and harmonies. As I stated before, Jarvi's performance was quite convincing for me. It's not a bad work at all. I just haven't made that emotional connection with it yet. Symphony No. 3 I've liked ever since I heard Riccardo Muti's recording of it on Philips, which is out-of-print unfortunately. He did a great job with it and the music truly speaks for itself. I never cared much for the 4th either, I would just rather listen to The Prodigal Son.

I finally got around to TheTwoFours on the Gergiev set. I didn't read the notes, not knowing it came from The Prodigal Son; but, as I listened, I did enjoy it as lush ballet music. I think I liked the revision better. Nice ballet music!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidRoss on October 19, 2011, 12:46:24 PM
I don't think of it as overall a sarcastic work, nor even in any great measure.  He had been studying Haydn in a conducting class at the Conservatory, and he was engaged with the idiom.
A lovely work, along with Ives's 1st a fine example of a gifted young composer who had thoroughly absorbed the lessons of his craft. 
Think I'll seek a nice recording on Mog to play at work. 8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: snyprrr on October 20, 2011, 11:10:07 AM
Got Jarvi's Suites from 'Chout' 'Pas' & 'Oranges'...

I'm starting to think Prokofiev sounds like Russian Christmas Ballet Music... all of it! It all reminds me of the incidental music to a heart warming saga. So much sounds to me like 'Coronation of Some Great Asian King'... or even 'Klingon Music', that kind of music given to the witch's guards in The Wizard of Oz.

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 20, 2011, 11:40:00 AM
For anyone who is interested in collecting rare Prokofiev, this link has tons:

http://classical-music-online.net/en/composer/Prokofiev/293


You do have to register with the site to download (it's free), and you do have to wait in-between downloads, but some of this stuff you won't find anywhere else.

I recommend starting with the full op.7... :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on October 20, 2011, 01:02:48 PM
Greg,
You have made me redundant, well done ;D

The op.7 songs are lovely and that recording has certainly gone round the world. It was made in 1991 at the Blackheath Concert Halls in London, Prokofiev's son Oleg was there, what a nice man he was.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 20, 2011, 06:55:42 PM
Greg,
You have made me redundant, well done ;D

The op.7 songs are lovely and that recording has certainly gone round the world. It was made in 1991 at the Blackheath Concert Halls in London, Prokofiev's son Oleg was there, what a nice man he was.
Wait... I'm confused.  ???
Is the one on this site your recording, just that it includes the first poem as well? If so, who was the conductor?
(and you actually got to talk to Oleg? cool... )  :)

But really, what a gift!  :) I couldn't get that melody from "The Wave" out of my head today. Something about it is so amazing.

can't wait to orchestrate op.88...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 21, 2011, 11:43:12 AM
Got the first few bars of op.88 orchestrated. I'm hoping I can finish by tonight. Just couldn't help myself...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 21, 2011, 05:21:31 PM
Man, why does orchestration have to take so long?  ::)

Well, here's what I did today. Now that I listen, I'm considering taking out a couple of snare drum notes...

Preview op.88 Symphonic March:
http://www.mediafire.com/?t0mbvv2kpjuc8dx
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on October 21, 2011, 10:56:39 PM
Greg,
That's excellent :) I'm very pleased with that, it made me smile ;D
Really looking forward to hearing the rest of it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 22, 2011, 05:34:48 AM
Haha, cool. Honestly, when I'm done, I'll have to credit you as well, because having a sound file helps soooo much when trying to do this. Trying to do decipher all of his little abbreviations and stuff is not an easy thing to do.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 14, 2011, 10:14:47 AM
Just an update: orchestration is going very well, and I'm not that far from the end.
When I'm done, I'll post a sound file, but not the score, because making a presentable score will take a little bit of time.

Also, once I make the presentable score, is there any way of contacting a conductor to have it performed?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on November 14, 2011, 01:46:18 PM
Wonderful................... plus, plus, plus.
You cannot believe how much I want to hear your efforts.
Absolutely brilliant.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 14, 2011, 08:03:15 PM
Wonderful................... plus, plus, plus.
You cannot believe how much I want to hear your efforts.
Absolutely brilliant.
And that will motivate me even more to finish!  :D


When I'm done, I'll post a sound file, but not the score, because making a presentable score will take a little bit of time.
Correction, though: I'll post a link to a sound file on my mediafire account and also upload it on youtube so anyone can hear it.
Also, I should add that I will post the score, eventually.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 15, 2011, 08:19:25 PM
Double click on it to read the video description.
http://www.youtube.com/v/ucMSkCUFyt8

 8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on November 16, 2011, 01:18:57 PM
Greg,
Many thanks for that.
I've been collecting Prokofiev for a long time now and it has always been a pleasure listening to any and all of his music. You have made a very good job of your version of what is really just some scraps of score, I immediately prefer it to my own attempt. ;D

It's actually quite catchy.

So, well done. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on November 16, 2011, 06:13:40 PM
Many thanks for your efforts! Are the sketches available online anywhere? I'd like to take a look at the source material for myself.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 16, 2011, 08:41:32 PM
Here's the mp3 of it:
http://www.mediafire.com/?is4gku3djk71kx1

Yep, you're welcome, guys- bringing his music to life is such a pleasure. It also helps to sort of fill in a gap in Prokofiev collections.  ;)


lescamil, check PM.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 25, 2011, 10:30:38 AM
I've got the score complete and e-mailed Neeme Jarvi. I included the link to the youtube video and told him that if he were interested, I'd send him the score.


(btw, anyone who is interested in the pdf of my orchestration can PM me)...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Herman on November 26, 2011, 12:41:13 AM
In my view it always helps to consider whether you really need percussion.

Also if you start using a lot of percussion effects that soon, you've got nowhere to go when the music gets bigger.

I understand the drums would be more recessed in a real orchestra acoustic.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: some guy on November 26, 2011, 01:23:25 AM
a real orchestra acoustic.
What is this?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 26, 2011, 04:18:01 AM
In my view it always helps to consider whether you really need percussion.
Are you referring to the Symphonic March? Well, it is a "March," after all...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on November 26, 2011, 11:51:12 AM
All Prokofievians will be interested to hear his "Six Popular Songs of Kazakhstan" which have recently been rediscovered in a a loft in Russia.

These are the first performances in about seventy five years since Prokofiev's wife, Lina, last performed them.

Yours truly had an input into the rediscovery so I'm more than pleased with the result.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxr6WvlOgUw
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 26, 2011, 04:34:45 PM
All Prokofievians will be interested to hear his "Six Popular Songs of Kazakhstan" which have recently been rediscovered in a a loft in Russia.

These are the first performances in about seventy five years since Prokofiev's wife, Lina, last performed them.

Yours truly had an input into the rediscovery so I'm more than pleased with the result.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxr6WvlOgUw
Wonderful, thanks!  :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 27, 2011, 11:46:58 AM
Wonderful, thanks!  :)

Has Neeme Jarvi replied yet? Would be interested to know what he says - I think it is a very interesting, wonderful orchestration!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 27, 2011, 02:30:34 PM
Has Neeme Jarvi replied yet? Would be interested to know what he says - I think it is a very interesting, wonderful orchestration!
Not yet... I'll give a it a few days, though.

This is his address:
xxxxx <xxxxx>
but I deleted the "<xxxxxx>-" not sure if that had any effect or not.

If he doesn't reply, I'll e-mail someone else, but... any suggestions are welcome, because I'm not sure who else would be good to e-mail.  ???
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on November 27, 2011, 05:08:55 PM
Uh-oh, I hope Neeme Järvi's email isn't spammed now.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 27, 2011, 05:28:07 PM
Uh-oh, I hope Neeme Järvi's email isn't spammed now.
Assuming you're saying this because I posted it here?...
Changed it to xxxxxxxxx....

it's just the e-mail on his website when you click the "E-mail" link.

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 28, 2011, 08:45:06 AM
Not yet... I'll give a it a few days, though.

This is his address:
xxxxx <xxxxx>
but I deleted the "<xxxxxx>-" not sure if that had any effect or not.

If he doesn't reply, I'll e-mail someone else, but... any suggestions are welcome, because I'm not sure who else would be good to e-mail.  ???

Ok, well, let us know when he does reply. I wonder how often people like Neeme Jarvi actually get to check their emails.... probably not often at all! Your choice of conductor to email was great by the way, I love Jarvi in Prokofiev.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on December 19, 2011, 05:08:50 PM
This last weekend I went through a big choral phase, which is rare for me. Apart from burning out on Mahler's 8th, I also returned to the choral works of Prokofiev.


October Cantata; Prosper Mighty Homeland; A Toast! (Hail to Stalin)

This CD is always a rewarding listen. The Cantata is terrifically exciting, which almost overshadows how inventive and advanced it is. I'd love to see it live one day. The other two items are delightful "occasional" works. Prokofiev really knew how to make the most out of soaring sopranos countered by vigorous ostinato basses.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41B2amJfelL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Oratorio-Ballade-Remained-Memory/dp/B004P8MG3M/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1324342455&sr=1-3)
Ballad of a Boy who Remained Unknown; On Guard for Peace - I have the Venezia reissue, bought through HMV Japan.

Not as memorable as the above items, these two oratorios are still rewarding and diverting works. As usual with Prokofiev, there are swooning anthems and stirring marches, spiced with interesting musical effects. They both sound like they'd be great fun live. Rozhdestvensky conducts and does well with works I imagine even he did not find very familiar. My only really problem is with the boy singer in On Guard for Peace, who sounds like he is auditioning for the Dead End Kids; just thoroughly obnoxious.

If you like Prokofiev and choral music, you should encounter these works!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Est.1965 on January 16, 2012, 06:14:23 AM
The year 1941.  I love this music.  Prokofiev at his best.  And this concert was outdoors before 6 in the morning!  Brilliant.

http://www.youtube.com/v/IRncyZkXSME

Wild as hell.  This piece always gets me.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on January 16, 2012, 01:14:36 PM
If you ever get the chance listen to the soundtrack of Partisans in the Ukrainian Steppes, whilst watching the film. There is a section where the main slow theme is counterpointed with a theme from Semyon Kotko, it will tear your heart apart. It is not used in the Suite 1941 for some reason.

It tears the heart apart.

You don't have to understand russian to hear it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Est.1965 on January 16, 2012, 01:25:08 PM
If you ever get the chance listen to the soundtrack of Partisans in the Ukrainian Steppes, whilst watching the film. There is a section where the main slow theme is counterpointed with a theme from Semyon Kotko, it will tear your heart apart. It is not used in the Suite 1941 for some reason.
It tears the heart apart.
You don't have to understand russian to hear it.

Thank you for that, Hattoff.  I am away to see if I can find it!  There's nothing more amazing than having ones heart ripp'd asunder by music.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2012, 02:26:07 PM
If you ever get the chance listen to the soundtrack of Partisans in the Ukrainian Steppes, whilst watching the film. There is a section where the main slow theme is counterpointed with a theme from Semyon Kotko, it will tear your heart apart. It is not used in the Suite 1941 for some reason.

It tears the heart apart.

You don't have to understand russian to hear it.

The lyrical section in the second movement of Symphonia Concertante always tears my heart apart. Such aching beauty. Yes, you don't have to be Russian to understand this either. 8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Est.1965 on January 16, 2012, 02:54:53 PM
The lyrical section in the second movement of Symphonia Concertante always tears my heart apart. Such aching beauty. Yes, you don't have to be Russian to understand this either. 8)

I was unsuccessful in obtaining Partisans in the Ukrainian Steppes quickly, so I'm listening to  Symphonia Concertante instead, as I already have it but rarely listen to it.  Now.  Thanks MI.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2012, 03:16:38 PM
I was unsuccessful in obtaining Partisans in the Ukrainian Steppes quickly, so I'm listening to  Symphonia Concertante instead, as I already have it but rarely listen to it.  Now.  Thanks MI.

You're welcome, John. What performance are you listening to of Sinfonia Concertante? My favorite is Wallfisch/Jarvi on Chandos.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Est.1965 on January 16, 2012, 03:39:09 PM
It sounds like this was made for Rosty.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gYJcXglBL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2012, 04:17:36 PM
It sounds like this was made for Rosty.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gYJcXglBL._SS500_.jpg)

I have this recording too and I wasn't too impressed with it. I mean I see the value in Rostropovich's performance, but the conducting from Sargent couldn't be more sluggish and uninvolved.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2012, 04:47:00 PM
John, you should really hear this recording...



This may make you forget about the Rostropovich. It's a perfect collaboration of soloist/conductor. Such an astonishingly good performance.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Est.1965 on January 16, 2012, 05:44:24 PM
John, you should really hear this recording...



This may make you forget about the Rostropovich. It's a perfect collaboration of soloist/conductor. Such an astonishingly good performance.

I see you have posted this before, so I'll get it bought and report back soon!
Quote
Re: Current Top 10 Most-Played Recordings
« Reply #28 on: 21 October 2011, 04:46:31 »

A new list of "Current Top 10 Most-Played Recordings" in no particular order:

1. Prokofiev: On the Dnieper, Semyon Kotko Suite, Michail Jurowski, Cologne Radio Symphony Orch., CPO
2. Prokofiev: Sinfonia Concertante, Sinfonietta, Neeme Jarvi, Raphael Wallfisch - cello, Scottish National Orch., Chandos
3. Shostakovich, Prokofiev: Violin Concertos, Viktoria Mullova, Andre Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orch. Philips
4. Koechlin: Vocal Works with Orchestra, Juliane Banse, Heinz Holliger, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orch., Hanssler Classics
5. Respighi: Belkis - Queen of Sheba, Geoffrey Simon, Philharmonic Orch., Chandos
6. Janacek: Glagolitic Mass, Sinfonietta, Michael Tilson Thomas, London Symphony Orch., Sony
7. Parry: Complete Symphonies, Matthias Bamert, London Philharmonic Orch., Chandos
8. Vaughan Williams: Job, A Masque for Dancing, Richard Hickox, Bournemouth Symphony Orch., EMI
9. Prokofiev: Piano Concertos 1-5, Vladimir Krainev, Dmitri Kitaenko, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orch., Telarc
10. Bartok: The Wooden Prince, Cantata Profana, Pierre Boulez, Chicago Symphony Orch., Deutsche Grammophon
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2012, 05:47:18 PM
I see you have posted this before, so I'll get it bought and report back soon!

Alright! You'll love it! This is the performance that made me appreciate Sinfonia Concertante. If I had listened to Rostropovich's performance first, I don't think I would have pursued this work any further.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on January 20, 2012, 02:38:30 AM
I'm another who was disappointed by the Rostro EMI recording. I like Rudin on Naxos (which includes the other cello concertante works as well). The other one I've heard is Chang/Pappano on EMI; her glissandos were too gloopy for me, though Pappano's accompaniment was terrific.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2012, 07:43:17 AM
I'm another who was disappointed by the Rostro EMI recording. I like Rudin on Naxos (which includes the other cello concertante works as well). The other one I've heard is Chang/Pappano on EMI; her glissandos were too gloopy for me, though Pappano's accompaniment was terrific.

You should hear Wallfisch/Jarvi. The best performance of Sinfonia Concertante I've heard.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 20, 2012, 08:00:34 AM
I like both the Ivashkin/Polyansky (my first) and the Navarra/Ančerl.  Honestly, from the Järvi/Prokofiev I have heard, I am skeptical that he could better either of these.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2012, 08:09:09 AM
I like both the Ivashkin/Polyansky (my first) and the Navarra/Ančerl.  Honestly, from the Järvi/Prokofiev I have heard, I am skeptical that he could better either of these.

Well those are your favorites, Karl. Not mine.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 20, 2012, 08:13:13 AM
Thank you for stating what I think was obvious from my own post ; )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2012, 08:16:04 AM
Thank you for stating what I think was obvious from my own post ; )

 :P
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 20, 2012, 11:09:03 AM
I like both the Ivashkin/Polyansky (my first) and the Navarra/Ančerl.  Honestly, from the Järvi/Prokofiev I have heard, I am skeptical that he could better either of these.

Let me get this straight, Karl; that IS just an opinion, isn't it? 'cause you know, I prefer Jarvi here. Just sayin'... ;)

8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 20, 2012, 11:16:03 AM
Let me get this straight, Karl; that IS just an opinion, isn't it? 'cause you know, I prefer Jarvi here. Just sayin'... ;)

8)

I am glad you ask, O Gurn . . . it never hurts to go over First Things again.

The key is right at the start. Let's go to the video-tape:


I like both the Ivashkin/Polyansky (my first) and the Navarra/Ančerl.  Honestly, from the Järvi/Prokofiev I have heard, I am skeptical that he could better either of these.

It's right there, out in front! The opinionizing formula I like — an enormous clew that what follows is being offered in light of an opinion, not as any disingenuous claim that these recordings are superior to anything else on earth, and you're the wan moonlight gleaming off a sick polecat's hairball if you don't think so, too.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Est.1965 on January 22, 2012, 01:35:45 AM
Does anyone have any preferences when it comes to Prokofievs Alexander Nevsky?  I am interested to hear, as I love the piece, and am looking to augment the single Abbado recording I have with either something more "Russian" or something...er...eehhhhh....well, something that might be considered definitive.  :o
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DieNacht on January 22, 2012, 02:33:37 AM
I have Abbado/Obraztsova DG and Svetlanov/Avdeyeva Melodiya/EMI.

IMO Svetlanov is more passioned and cinematic, and I actually prefer the sound there too; even that seems more engaging, your living room being more or less transformed into a battlefield of Teutonic knights and Novgorodnians   :-). Orchestral and vocal forces of course distinctively Russian, but the brass not too arrestingly so.

Timings are
1. 3:05
2. 3:09
3. 7:22
4. 2:26
5. 12:40
6. 5:53
7. 4:03
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Est.1965 on January 22, 2012, 02:37:00 AM
I have Abbado/Obraztsova DG and Svetlanov/Avdeyeva Melodiya/EMI.

IMO Svetlanov is more passioned and cinematic, and I actually prefer the sound there too; even that seems more engaging, your living room being more or less transformed into a battlefield of Teutonic knights and Novgorodnians   :-). Orchestral and vocal forces of course distinctively Russian, but the brass not too arrestingly so.

Timings are
1. 3:05
2. 3:09
3. 7:22
4. 2:26
5. 12:40
6. 5:53
7. 4:03

I appreciate your feedback DieNacht.
Quote
your living room being more or less transformed into a battlefield of Teutonic knights and Novgorodnians
Yes, that sounds like what I'm after!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 22, 2012, 03:13:48 AM
Does anyone have any preferences when it comes to Prokofievs Alexander Nevsky?  I am interested to hear, as I love the piece, and am looking to augment the single Abbado recording I have with either something more "Russian" or something...er...eehhhhh....well, something that might be considered definitive.  :o
Well, there are those two plus Jarvi, Stokowski, and Ancerl. The Jarvi is good, but I was never entirely satisfied. The Stokowski is excellent - with the exception of one small issue that I have written about in earlier posts. Ancerl was recommended here to me by Brian and I have not heard it just yet. You can read my Stokowski comments here: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg455143.html#msg455143 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg455143.html#msg455143)

But there are also at least Temirkanov, Previn, Reiner, and Yablonsky - none of which I have heard.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Est.1965 on January 22, 2012, 03:45:03 AM
Well, there are those two plus Jarvi, Stokowski, and Ancerl. The Jarvi is good, but I was never entirely satisfied. The Stokowski is excellent - with the exception of one small issue that I have written about in earlier posts. Ancerl was recommended here to me by Brian and I have not heard it just yet. You can read my Stokowski comments here: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg455143.html#msg455143 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg455143.html#msg455143)

But there are also at least Temirkanov, Previn, Reiner, and Yablonsky - none of which I have heard.

I am having a look now Mr. 3000 poster.   ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 22, 2012, 05:12:45 AM
Does anyone have any preferences when it comes to Prokofievs Alexander Nevsky?  I am interested to hear, as I love the piece, and am looking to augment the single Abbado recording I have with either something more "Russian" or something...er...eehhhhh....well, something that might be considered definitive.  :o


The Temirkinov/St Petersburg recording is interesting being thats it's the score to the film, not the cantata. It has great sound and a good performance.
I have the Temikinov, Jarvi, Abbado & Dutoit and pleased with all four.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 22, 2012, 06:01:23 AM
I am having a look now Mr. 3000 poster.   ;D
oooh. I hadn't even noticed! Thankee! Has a nice ring. The Temirkanov comment is a good one too - an important differentiator from the others.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on January 23, 2012, 11:55:28 PM
You should hear Wallfisch/Jarvi. The best performance of Sinfonia Concertante I've heard.
I've heard Wallfish in the Shostakovich concertos, and found them too warm-hearted and mellow, for my tastes at least, so probably won't seek out this recording immediately. (Also, am not a fan of Jarvi's Prokofiev.) Sorry!

Re Nevsky, my first recording was the Reiner, which made no positive impression. Then I bought Temirkanov's recording of the film score, which was okay, but not really as satisfying as the cantata, and also had some annoying sound effects added. I got the Gergiev, after being impressed with his Ivan, but his Nevsky was unsatisfying and rather abrasive. I did a bit of a search, my main criteria being that the overture be taken broadly. I now have the Abbado, which is excellent. I would like to hear Svetlanov someday....

I am also intrigued with this recording by the Mexico Philharmonic, which has the slowest timings of all (there's also a CD version selling for $49):

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on January 30, 2012, 04:53:35 PM
Here's an idea I had last night, which gave me some pleasure:

Prokofiev's cycle of symphonies may be said to form a symmetrical ARC (or trough, if you're feeling negative).

1 & 7 - deceptively light, neoclassical works (I think of 7 as Schumann-esque).
2 & 6 - harmonically his toughest, structurally his least conventional. We know he planned to revise 2 in three movements, which would have made the correspondence even more obvious.
3 & 5 - solid modern updatings of the symphony qua symphony. Both noted for memorable wacky scherzos.
4 - the pastoral capstone (or nadir!) of the cycle. In keeping with the symmetry of my conceit, its structure is two fast movements surrounding a pair of slow movements.

Does this fancy have merit? I'd love to see it turn up in liner notes or a concert program sometime.
 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 30, 2012, 05:09:39 PM
Curious as to why you think of the Seventh as Schumann-esque . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on January 30, 2012, 07:49:24 PM
Something to do with the whimsical, melancholic strain of the melodies combined with the rich-yet-light sound of the orchestra (excepting the piano, obviously). I should add that I strongly disapprove of the tendency of conductors to try to make the work more "serious" by turning it into a dirge. See Malko for the correct approach :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 30, 2012, 08:20:49 PM
Came across the beautiful gem this evening, a wonderful animated short on Prokofiev's life.
I don't speak Russian so I do not understand the narrator, but knowing enough about Prokofiev's life I was able to keep up with the story.


http://www.youtube.com/v/wHvxY6ouQp0
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Hattoff on January 30, 2012, 11:46:51 PM
What a smashing little film. Interesting post soviet viewpoint of his departure from Russia in 1918. Also contains a brief excerpt from his childhood opera "The Giant". Excellent, thanks for that.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on January 31, 2012, 06:35:45 AM
Something to do with the whimsical, melancholic strain of the melodies combined with the rich-yet-light sound of the orchestra (excepting the piano, obviously). I should add that I strongly disapprove of the tendency of conductors to try to make the work more "serious" by turning it into a dirge. See Malko for the correct approach :)
If only Malko had the original ending, I doubt I'd feel much need to go elsewhere in this symphony.

Agreed on the issues with overly grave interpretations; given that the music so effectively combines grace and nostalgia, you can't do much worse than overegging the pudding. Plus it reduces the effect of the ending, which--I'd say--should (so typically for Prokofiev) give the listener a rather different perspective on what went on before.

It's very much a personal interpretation, but in some ways I think the 7th is every bit as dark a work as its predecessor. However, where the 6th expresses its rage and sorrow very directly, the 7th wears an elegant, well-made mask that sometimes slips a bit to give the listener a glimpse of what lies beneath.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 31, 2012, 06:58:53 AM
It's very much a personal interpretation, but in some ways I think the 7th is every bit as dark a work as its predecessor. However, where the 6th expresses its rage and sorrow very directly, the 7th wears an elegant, well-made mask that sometimes slips a bit to give the listener a glimpse of what lies beneath.

I've always found an underlining sense of sadness from the 7th.
I believe that it was written for a children's program in early 1950s, which might explain some of the light-heartedness that has always labeled it. But I've always imagined that a composer late in his life, and after experiencing so many traumatic personal and world events, that writing a piece for children might not be as lighthearted as first expected. As I get older thinking back on my youth and my innocence lost, I feel a little more sadness that it is gone, happy and joyful memories followed by a urge to feel that way again and then realizing that it's gone. Perhaps this was how Prokofiev felt?
Sorry for the rambling, but that is how I've always viewed #7, and why it has always been my favorite of Prokofiev.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on January 31, 2012, 08:00:17 AM
Yes, it's hard not to see it as a nostalgic reminiscence of a past can no longer be recovered; the end of the finale (if the correct ending is played) always leaves me feeling very uncomfortable, as to me the message is that the composer's looking back on the past because the only thing he sees in front of him is his own death. (I wouldn't be surprised if this was how Shostakovich viewed it too; his praise for the work is oft-quoted and to me there are very clear parallels with the end of DSCH 15.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on January 31, 2012, 08:56:14 AM
Curious as to why you think of the Seventh as Schumann-esque . . . .

Yes, I'm wondering too. I guess we'll have to wait until the next Schumann centennial to find out. :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on February 01, 2012, 05:33:53 PM
It's interesting how we agree on the "nostalgia" of the 7th. You wouldn't necessarily think such an ambivalent emotion could be conjured by a non-programmatic work, yet hear we are. Just goes to show the power of music.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 01, 2012, 06:01:46 PM
It's interesting how we agree on the "nostalgia" of the 7th. You wouldn't necessarily think such an ambivalent emotion could be conjured by a non-programmatic work, yet hear we are. Just goes to show the power of music.

Karl and I are still waiting on why you think the 7th is Schumann-esque.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on February 01, 2012, 07:00:34 PM
Karl and I are still waiting on why you think the 7th is Schumann-esque.
Already answered this.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on February 02, 2012, 09:39:14 PM
I've been thinking about buying a new set of the symphonies, and surprised myself by becoming interested in the Rostropovich and Kosler cycles. The Kosler is completely unavailable. Does anyone own this set?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 02, 2012, 09:48:12 PM
I've been thinking about buying a new set of the symphonies, and surprised myself by becoming interested in the Rostropovich and Kosler cycles. The Kosler is completely unavailable. Does anyone own this set?

The Rostropovich is quite good. It's with the Orchestre de Paris and they play very well for him and the sound quality is very good too. I haven't heard the Kosler. The other sets I own are Ozawa, Kitajenko, and Jarvi. I need to relisten to the Ozawa as it's been awhile.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 10:53:28 AM
Here are the Prokofiev symphony cycles I own: Gergiev, Jarvi, Kitajenko, Ozawa, and Rostropovich. What does everybody think about Kuchar's cycle on Naxos? Any good? Worth acquiring?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 15, 2012, 10:58:19 AM
 Quote from: eyeresist on February 03, 2012, 01:39:14 AM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=86.msg598234#msg598234)
I've been thinking about buying a new set of the symphonies
[....]
 
Have you got the Ozawa/Berliner Philharmoniker?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 15, 2012, 01:59:12 PM
Have you got the Ozawa/Berliner Philharmoniker?[/font]
 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic
[font=georgia)


I second this, always seems to be overlooked in favor of other sets, but Ozawa's performances have great clarity. I actually prefer it over the Jarvi. 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 02:05:22 PM
Just bought a nice little haul of Kuchar/Wit Prokofiev recordings from Naxos:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000014CV.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000143Q.01.L.jpg)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000IMFT.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000143R.01.L.jpg)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000143T.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000141E.01.L.jpg)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000014A5.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000013U1.01.L.jpg)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000013U0.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000014E2.01.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 03:25:17 PM
No Prokofiev fans familiar with Kuchar's recordings? Hmmm....
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 15, 2012, 04:04:55 PM
No Prokofiev fans familiar with Kuchar's recordings? Hmmm....

I've heard several of the symphony performances, they are well-played.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 04:09:57 PM
I've heard several of the symphony performances, they are well-played.

Good to hear. What I'm looking for is an edge and a rawness that seems to be lost in Gergiev, Ozawa, Jarvi, and Kitajenko. I don't even mind the occasional slip up from the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine because this affirms, for me, that they weren't after perfection, but rather intensity. I just need more bite from Prokofiev that I find often lacking in the other sets.

I also picked this one up tonight for $10:

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: DavidW on February 15, 2012, 04:18:43 PM
I've heard several of the symphony performances, they are well-played.

Ditto.  My favorite now is Ozawa, but there is great atmosphere in the Kuchar performances. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 15, 2012, 04:19:55 PM
Good to hear. What I'm looking for is an edge and a rawness that seems to be lost in Gergiev, Ozawa, Jarvi, and Kitajenko. I don't even mind the occasional slip up from the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine because this affirms, for me, that they weren't after perfection, but rather intensity. I just need more bite from Prokofiev that I find often lacking in the other sets.


Some of that "bite" you might find from individual recordings...such as...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417E573XBXL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51j3jeMZ3yL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sJCYv2AmL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41o1TtYKMfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

These are some of my favorite performances of #3, 5 & 7. Although I prefer the Ozawa and Gergiev sets, I still find a little lacking as a complete set and prefer a few individual discs.
But if having to pick one set, it's Ozawa.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 04:24:03 PM

Some of that "bite" you might find from individual recordings...such as...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417E573XBXL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51j3jeMZ3yL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sJCYv2AmL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41o1TtYKMfL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

These are some of my favorite performances of #3, 5 & 7. Although I prefer the Ozawa and Gergiev sets, I still find a little lacking as a complete set and prefer a few individual discs.
But if having to pick one set, it's Ozawa.

I own all of these except the Chailly. I may very well remedy this soon. I don't think much of the Muti performance and the Levine wasn't that impressive. The Tennstedt was very, very good. :)

I never have liked the Gergiev Prokofiev recordings except for his performance of the Scythian Suite from the Alexander Nevsky recording. His symphony performances just sound trite to me. The Ozawa is a set I've been meaning to listen to again, but my mind had been pre-occupied with the Jarvi.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 15, 2012, 04:41:00 PM
I own all of these except the Chailly. I may very well remedy this soon. I don't think much of the Muti performance and the Levine wasn't that impressive. The Tennstedt was very, very good. :)

I never have liked the Gergiev Prokofiev recordings except for his performance of the Scythian Suite from the Alexander Nevsky recording. His symphony performances just sound trite to me. The Ozawa is a set I've been meaning to listen to again, but my mind had been pre-occupied with the Jarvi.

I find the Levine 5th benefits from a strong Chicago brass section, mainly Charles Vernon on the bass trombone who cuts through the final minutes like a chainsaw. And I'm surprised you didn't enjoy the Muti 3rd, I find it to be the fiercest performance, speedy with no mercy.

But give Ozawa a good listen, the interpretations are clean and all of Prokofiev's lines are clearly audible.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 04:54:31 PM
I find the Levine 5th benefits from a strong Chicago brass section, mainly Charles Vernon on the bass trombone who cuts through the final minutes like a chainsaw. And I'm surprised you didn't enjoy the Muti 3rd, I find it to be the fiercest performance, speedy with no mercy.

But give Ozawa a good listen, the interpretations are clean and all of Prokofiev's lines are clearly audible.

I haven't listened to the Levine and Muti in many years, but I just don't remember them hitting me too hard, but this was before I really understood Prokofiev's musical language.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on February 15, 2012, 06:35:00 PM
No Prokofiev fans familiar with Kuchar's recordings? Hmmm....

Sorry, I was AFK. I rate Kuchar highly overall, though I worry that with your sensitivity to poor sound you might throw all his CDs in the bin - the 5th suffers in particular. 1 and 7 are too slow for my tastes, but the rest are good, atmospheric and driven, and it's always good to hear a proper Slavic orchestra in this work. I haven't heard the Cinderella / Dnieper disc, and would be interested to hear what you think of it.

Re Romeo & Juliet, I have the Ashkenazy set. He's reliable as usual, but lacks for me the last degree of character. That's why I ordered the Maazel set.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 06:50:07 PM
Sorry, I was AFK. I rate Kuchar highly overall, though I worry that with your sensitivity to poor sound you might throw all his CDs in the bin - the 5th suffers in particular. 1 and 7 are too slow for my tastes, but the rest are good, atmospheric and driven, and it's always good to hear a proper Slavic orchestra in this work. I haven't heard the Cinderella / Dnieper disc, and would be interested to hear what you think of it.

Re Romeo & Juliet, I have the Ashkenazy set. He's reliable as usual, but lacks for me the last degree of character. That's why I ordered the Maazel set.

Well, the Ashkenazy came highly recommended to me from someone who thought the Maazel was as overrated as I did. :) This said, it's going to be hard to beat Ozawa/BSO in Romeo & Juliet for me, but we'll see how Ashkenazy measures up. I like his Cinderella recording a lot and many of his other Prokofiev recordings.

Good to hear about the Kuchar though and for the price I paid for them, the audio quality isn't that important to me. Did I just say this? ??? But it's true, I knew buying the Kuchar recordings there was going to be something wrong, because there are no recordings that are perfect. I'm not after perfection, but raw performances that, like you said, have that Slavic bite. The way the music, IMHO, is supposed to be heard and played.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on February 15, 2012, 07:16:44 PM
Well, the Ashkenazy came highly recommended to me from someone who thought the Maazel was as overrated as I did. :) This said, it's going to be hard to beat Ozawa/BSO in Romeo & Juliet for me, but we'll see how Ashkenazy measures up. I like his Cinderella recording a lot and many of his other Prokofiev recordings.

Good to hear about the Kuchar though and for the price I paid for them, the audio quality isn't that important to me. Did I just say this? ??? But it's true, I knew buying the Kuchar recordings there was going to be something wrong, because there are no recordings that are perfect. I'm not after perfection, but raw performances that, like you said, have that Slavic bite. The way the music, IMHO, is supposed to be heard and played.

A slight contradiction? Maybe not - the music contains both classical elegance and raw power IMO. The balance is tricky.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 07:34:00 PM
A slight contradiction? Maybe not - the music contains both classical elegance and raw power IMO. The balance is tricky.

I suppose so. I'm just looking for good performances that don't frustrate me like Gergiev. 8)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on February 15, 2012, 07:43:44 PM
I agree that Gergiev is no good, except for the aforementioned Scythian Suite, plus Ivan the Terrible.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 08:20:24 PM
I agree that Gergiev is no good, except for the aforementioned Scythian Suite, plus Ivan the Terrible.

Scythian Suite is the only performance of Gergiev's Prokofiev I enjoy.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 03:04:03 AM
 Quote from: Mirror Image on February 15, 2012, 07:25:17 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=86.msg601822#msg601822)
. . . that they weren't after perfection, but rather intensity.
 
Oof, not that false dichotomy again! : )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 03:06:12 AM
 Quote from: DavidW on February 15, 2012, 08:18:43 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=86.msg601841#msg601841)
Ditto.  My favorite now is Ozawa, but there is great atmosphere in the Kuchar performances. :)
 
Ah, I wasn't sure if you were familiar with the Kuchar, Davey.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 16, 2012, 03:11:14 AM

Oof, not that false dichotomy again! : )

Szell and Cleveland, somehow ;D , manage to be both perfect and intense in their great recording of the Fifth.

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 16, 2012, 03:16:27 AM
Just bought a nice little haul of Kuchar/Wit Prokofiev recordings from Naxos:

I may have to check those out. Kuchar really impresses me. I  think his set of Shostakovich Jazz and Ballet Suites is even better than Chailly's. And his Nielsen cycle I prefer to any of the competition.

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 03:18:43 AM
 Quote from: Sergeant Rock on Today at 07:16:27 AM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=86.msg601929#msg601929)
. . . And
[Kuchar's] Nielsen cycle I prefer to any of the competition. 
Gosh, really, Sarge? (Haven't heard Kuchar at all, myself.)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 16, 2012, 03:29:09 AM
Well, the Ashkenazy came highly recommended to me from someone who thought the Maazel was as overrated as I did. :) This said, it's going to be hard to beat Ozawa/BSO in Romeo & Juliet for me, but we'll see how Ashkenazy measures up. I like his Cinderella recording a lot and many of his other Prokofiev recordings.
I like both Maazel and Ashkenazy (as I wrote elsewhere). Romeo and Juliet is very lucky on disc.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 03:55:31 AM
What, you don't know the Ozawa/BSO recording? I'm cryin' here! : )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on February 16, 2012, 05:06:12 AM
I may have to check those out. Kuchar really impresses me. I  think his set of Shostakovich Jazz and Ballet Suites is even better than Chailly's. And his Nielsen cycle I prefer to any of the competition.

Sarge

Have not forgotten the Kuchar/Nielsen recommendation, Sarge. Shall definitely pick it up soon as I am keen to have another Nielsen set.

Re R+J: I just have the Maazel, but have heard the Gergiev. Might want to pick up the Ashkenazy as well soon. And I should probably get the Ozawa soon as well.
My favourite R+J on disc though, as you know, is the selections disc from Abbado. Truly brilliant.
Was browsing on amazon and came across this....



Anyone know of it? Certainly sounds interesting....
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 05:10:59 AM
Daniel, your favorite of a ballet is the ballet incomplete? This cannot be!
 
I've got a Prokofiev hammer here from Le pas d'acier:
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 16, 2012, 05:12:44 AM
Daniel, your favorite of a ballet is the ballet incomplete? This cannot be!
 
I've got a Prokofiev hammer here from Le pas d'acier:


Haha, that woman doesn't look too threatened!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on February 16, 2012, 05:19:35 AM
Daniel, your favorite of a ballet is the ballet incomplete? This cannot be!
 
I've got a Prokofiev hammer here from Le pas d'acier:

 :o

I can assure you that I love the whole ballet! Just haven't found the right performance of it yet! And that Abbado is so so good! ...  0:)

(in hoping you will put the Prokofiev hammer down, so I don't have to fetch my much bigger Mahler hammer) I shall be getting the Ozawa and Ashkenazy soon!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 05:22:48 AM
 Quote from: TheGSMoeller on Today at 09:12:44 AM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=86.msg601962#msg601962)

Haha, that woman doesn't look too threatened!
 
They're co-workers. But if Daniel makes trouble, they know how to swing those babies.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 16, 2012, 05:29:02 AM
They're co-workers. But if Daniel makes trouble, they know how to swing those babies.

 ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 16, 2012, 05:33:30 AM
 
Gosh, really, Sarge?

Yeah....surprised me too...but then Kuchar tends to do that.

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 05:39:52 AM
 Quote from: Sergeant Rock on Today at 09:33:30 AM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=86.msg601977#msg601977)
Yeah....surprised me too...but then Kuchar tends to do that.

Sarge
 
I am glad to know your thoughts here. Fact is, Kuchar has suffered in my view from paulb's enthusiasm ; )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 08:41:28 AM
Daniel, your favorite of a ballet is the ballet incomplete? This cannot be!
 
I've got a Prokofiev hammer here from Le pas d'acier:

 :P
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 08:43:47 AM
I may have to check those out. Kuchar really impresses me. I  think his set of Shostakovich Jazz and Ballet Suites is even better than Chailly's.

Sarge

Wow, better than the Chailly? They must be good. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 08:49:23 AM
I like both Maazel and Ashkenazy (as I wrote elsewhere). Romeo and Juliet is very lucky on disc.

I'm not too fond of Maazel. I like Ozawa's BSO recording a lot. It's probably my current favorite. Both of Gergiev's aren't my cup of tea. I'm anxious to hear the Ashkenazy.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 08:50:48 AM
Whichever of the Gergiev recordings I heard, I found it a little too annoying, a little too often.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 08:52:30 AM
Whichever of the Gergiev recordings I heard, I found it a little too annoying, a little too often.

My problem with the new Gergiev LSO Live recording is he's just a speed demon. He's waving his little hands about like some crazed monkey (no offense Greg :D). Gergiev's main problem, IMHO, is he's just got way too many obligations and he doesn't seem like he has much time to focus on the music.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 16, 2012, 09:02:53 AM
I am glad to know your thoughts here. Fact is, Kuchar has suffered in my view from paulb's enthusiasm ; )

Well, now that paulb is no longer with us, someone has to fill his shoes. Pettersson, Kuchar...yeah, I can handle the assignment  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 09:03:57 AM
Well, but, drat it, you make Kuchar sound worth listening to! You're letting down the legacy! ; )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 16, 2012, 09:04:31 AM
Wow, better than the Chailly? They must be good. :)

I think so...of course, YMMV.

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 09:04:46 AM
Well, now that paulb is no longer with us, someone has to fill his shoes. Pettersson, Kuchar...yeah, I can handle the assignment  ;D

Sarge

In honor of paulb . . . I believe I'll go listen to some clips, now . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 16, 2012, 09:21:00 AM
My problem with the new Gergiev LSO Live recording is he's just a speed demon. He's waving his little hands about like some crazed monkey (no offense Greg :D). Gergiev's main problem, IMHO, is he's just got way too many obligations and he doesn't seem like he has much time to focus on the music.


Gergiev's performances are inconsistent, I'll agree, and he seems to prefer faster tempi, but he does add enough excitement in his interpretations to spark my interest.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 16, 2012, 09:21:12 AM
In honor of paulb . . . I believe I'll go listen to some clips, now . . . .

 ;D :D ;D ....just be sure to make up your mind within the first 5 seconds  8)

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on February 16, 2012, 09:47:27 AM
So, has no one heard the Solti selections cd? I am certainly very interested in it....
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 16, 2012, 09:50:56 AM
So, has no one heard the Solti selections cd? I am certainly very interested in it....

If we are still referring to R&J selections, I have not.
But I do enjoy Dutoit's (a rare Dutoit recommendation) and MTT's R&J selections recordings.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on February 16, 2012, 09:55:53 AM
If we are still referring to R&J selections, I have not.
But I do enjoy Dutoit's (a rare Dutoit recommendation) and MTT's R&J selections recordings.

Thank you for the feedback, Greg. Instantly interested in both the Dutoit and MTT now! :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on February 16, 2012, 09:57:21 AM
Looking at the MTT now... looks great, but hold on... does it not have 'Juliet's Death'? My favourite part!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 16, 2012, 10:12:19 AM
Looking at the MTT now... looks great, but hold on... does it not have 'Juliet's Death'? My favourite part!


With the SFS it does, last track, "mort de Juliette".
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on February 16, 2012, 10:30:08 AM

With the SFS it does, last track, "mort de Juliette".

Thank goodness.... Thank you Greg. :)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 16, 2012, 10:32:28 AM
Thank goodness.... Thank you Greg. :)


You're welcome. I don't think you could get away with leaving that track out, whether complete or selections, it brings it all to such a satisfying conclusion.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on February 16, 2012, 10:39:10 AM

You're welcome. I don't think you could get away with leaving that track out, whether complete or selections, it brings it all to such a satisfying conclusion.

Yes... and to me, 'Juliet's Death' is some of the most beautiful music ever written. So subtle and heavenly! When the C Major sounds through the orchestra with Juliet's theme soaring through, I always start to weep.... so so so beautiful!  0:)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lisztianwagner on February 16, 2012, 01:25:20 PM
Quite attractive thread....

I've always found Prokofiev's works absolutely stunning since I heard Lieutenant Kijé's Troika in Woody Allen's Love and Death.
Prokofiev's music is incredibly passionate, expressive and thrilling, and moreover definitely involving; it shows a tonality taken to extremes and often sudden, powerful modulations which don't change the sound brilliance though, on the contrary creating gorgeous and overwhelming movements of beautiful tones. I absolutely love it! ;D
Some of my favourite Prokofiev's pieces are symphonies No.4, No.7 and No.7, the Piano Concertos, Scythian Suite, Lieutenant Kijé Suite, the Violin Concertos and Romeo & Juliet (this last one is also one of my favourite pieces of all time).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on February 16, 2012, 01:30:23 PM
Romeo & Juliet (this last one is also one of my favourite pieces of all time).

One of mine too, as you know Ilaria! :)
Wonderful description.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lisztianwagner on February 16, 2012, 01:40:19 PM
One of mine too, as you know Ilaria! :)
Wonderful description.

Thank you Daniel; of course I know, how could I say that you're wrong anyway? ;D

Yesterday John told me that I didn't talk about Prokofiev very much, haha ;D Then, I caught the occasion to express my love for that music.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on February 16, 2012, 05:14:45 PM
I've always found Prokofiev's works absolutely stunning since I heard Lieutenant Kijé's Troika in Woody Allen's Love and Death.
Prokofiev's music is incredibly passionate, expressive and thrilling, and moreover definitely involving; it shows a tonality taken to extremes and often sudden, powerful modulations which don't change the sound brilliance though, on the contrary creating gorgeous and overwhelming movements of beautiful tones.

I was copying some music for my father (that's a whole saga) and noticed for the first time that Prokofiev and Mahler have a similar trick they use in a similar way, of having lines doubled by trumpet or flute at the very top of their range, creating quite a nerve-wracking effect. No doubt Shosty approved.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Lisztianwagner on February 16, 2012, 05:27:57 PM
I was copying some music for my father (that's a whole saga) and noticed for the first time that Prokofiev and Mahler have a similar trick they use in a similar way, of having lines doubled by trumpet or flute at the very top of their range, creating quite a nerve-wracking effect. No doubt Shosty approved.

Really? How wonderful!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on February 16, 2012, 07:06:55 PM
I think the Gergiev set is better than its reputation, but somewhat less than satisfactory. To give bookends for the cycle, 7th comes off unexpectedly well in my opinion, but the 1st is a flaccid disaster.

Some other Prokofiev symphony recordings that I think would repay attention and haven't seen in the last couple of dozen posts:
* Rozhdestvensky in general (I've not heard any of his 6ths or 7ths, more's the pity, but he's definitely my favourite in the 5th and the revised 4th).
* Concertgebouw/Kondrashin in the 3rd (incredibly incisive when needed, with the most apocalyptic view of the ending I've heard--it truly does sound like Sviatoslav Richter's "falling off the edge of the world"--but never underplaying the quieter, more lyrical passages that make up a surprisingly large amount of the work).
* Leningrad/Mravinsky live in the 6th (not a canonical view of the 6th, but a quite amazing performance nonetheless--my favourite recording of any Prokofiev symphony).
* BSO/Leinsdorf in the 6th (simply the most powerful and moving mainstream recording I know of the 6th; my favourite in this work after the Mravinsky).
* RSSO/Polyansky in the 2nd (I've had a fairly tepid reaction to much of Polyansky's Prokofiev, but I think this disc is an exception, and the teeming forest of ideas that is the second movement comes off particularly well here).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on February 16, 2012, 08:25:43 PM
* Concertgebouw/Kondrashin in the 3rd

I wasn't aware of this one. A quick search reveals there are also recordings of 1 and 5, all out of print, of course.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 16, 2012, 10:30:35 PM
I think the Gergiev set is better than its reputation, but somewhat less than satisfactory. To give bookends for the cycle, 7th comes off unexpectedly well in my opinion, but the 1st is a flaccid disaster.

Good statement on the Gergiev set.
I will add that #3 is as intense as I've heard, up there with the Muti/Phil #3, absolutely fierce.
And both #4s are worth a listen.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2012, 05:03:34 AM
 Quote from: edward on February 16, 2012, 11:06:55 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=86.msg602231#msg602231)
* RSSO/Polyansky in the 2nd (I've had a fairly tepid reaction to much of Polyansky's Prokofiev, but I think this disc is an exception, and the teeming forest of ideas that is the second movement comes off particularly well here).
 
(* pounds the table *)

Sort of looks like this is to be (has been?) reissued by Naxos . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on February 22, 2012, 09:47:54 PM
By chance, I turned up a copy of the 1996 BBC Music Magazine cover disc featuring Mark Elder conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Prokofiev's October Cantata and Shostakovich's 2nd symphony. Though it's not in my mind the best performance I've heard of these two works, it's rare enough and interesting enough to merit sharing, so I've ripped it to flacs and uploaded it. The download can be found here:

https://rapidshare.com/files/1310364195/Shostakovich_2_-_Prokofiev_October_Cantata_-_Elder.zip
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on February 22, 2012, 11:08:59 PM
I'm listening to my freshly-arrived cycle conducted by Rostropovich (got it from Amazon UK for 10 pounds). Definitely better than the naysayers suggest. As I've said before, balancing all the elements present in Prok is tricky and perhaps no one conductor can do it all. Rostrop doesn't have the manic edge and sense of spontaneity that I like in Prok, but he has his own approach which involves presenting it as Serious music. He has obviously prepared his interpretations quite carefully, shapes the phrases deliberately but lovingly, and lays it all out with much grace. This doesn't work in the 1st mvt of the 2nd symphony - I'm afraid I got quite bored. In the misty coloration of the 2nd mvt, OTOH, he does very well (listening to it right now), and you certainly get a whiff of the Diaghilev ballet. I also thought his 6th was worthy, but I think I'll have to listen again more closely to see how he handles the structural sense.

Overall I'm happy with what I've heard so far, and would rank Rostropovich among the best interpreters I've heard in these works. At least he doesn't bring me out in hives like certain other conductors do!

(Although, to be honest, I'm not that happy with the sound of the orchestra for the 2nd symphony. Maybe it's the hall sonics, or the mics they used. Anyway, it aggravates my ears somehow. I will have to check the 6th symphony, which had the same engineers.)

The set comes with informative notes by David Nice (did you know both 1 and 7 contain Rimsky quotes?), with pictures including one of Sergei conducting in Moscow in 1939 - I believe this is the first pic I have ever seen of him in such a pose!

EDIT: Now listening to the 7th. This is the most convincing "slow" version of the first movement I've heard - the broad melodies and dark, slightly astringent orchestration sound so terribly Russian.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on March 13, 2012, 02:24:38 PM
Awesome..............................................................  :o   :o   :o   :o
http://www.youtube.com/v/Xy84N_U5jw0

My first encounter with this amazing work. Absolutely awesome. I really need to listen to this piece in full now...! :D

I have not been as excited with a new piece as I am now with this for a very long time!

I quote myself, from the listening thread. :D

This really must be some of the most awesome music I have ever heard! :D Out of the 30 times I must have listened to this excerpt today, I have been incredibly excited each time.
Will set some time aside tommorow so that I can listen to the Abbado recording I have. Then, I plan to buy the Yablonsky recording, as this excerpt from the performance sounds absolutely thrilling.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 13, 2012, 02:44:39 PM
I quote myself, from the listening thread. :D

This really must be some of the most awesome music I have ever heard! :D Out of the 30 times I must have listened to this excerpt today, I have been incredibly excited each time.
Will set some time aside tommorow so that I can listen to the Abbado recording I have. Then, I plan to buy the Yablonsky recording, as this excerpt from the performance sounds absolutely thrilling.


As awesome as The Battle on the Ice movement is, the following movement The Field of the Dead contains some of Prokofiev's most heartbreaking music.
Glad to see your excitement for such a great piece, Daniel.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on March 13, 2012, 02:51:17 PM

As awesome as The Battle on the Ice movement is, the following movement The Field of the Dead contains some of Prokofiev's most heartbreaking music.
Glad to see your excitement for such a great piece, Daniel.

That certainly sounds very exciting... Although he wrote some of the most awesome music I have ever heard, I also think he has written some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful music I have ever heard too.

Perhaps I am going into a Prokofiev phase now... I have the Jarvi symphony set to relisten to, the Abbado Nevsky disc and also plan to buy some more Prokofiev (see 'considering' thread - advice would be welcomed!)

Really excited about this work! :) I've had a wonderful evening falling in love with this movement!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on March 13, 2012, 03:03:35 PM
I'm still surprised Daniel hasn't heard Alexander Nevsky before especially with as much as he likes Prokofiev's music.  :-\ Hmmm...

Anyway, Alexander Nevsky was one of the first Prokofiev works I heard and I believe the first one I heard was Abbado's on DG. This is still a good performance after all of these years I think, but I like Jarvi's much better. I own several others Temirkanov, Dutoit, and Masur.

Needless to say, Prokofiev is one of my favorites and I genuninely love his music more now than I did many years ago. The same applies to Shostakovich.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: madaboutmahler on March 14, 2012, 02:41:27 PM
Listened to all the Alexander Nevsky cantata this evening and was amazed. What an awesome piece, absolutely brilliant. The performance from Abbado was excellent - I plan to get the Jarvi next, as I was warned against the Yablonsky which I was considering before... good choice?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 14, 2012, 03:48:08 PM
.



With talk of Alexander Nevsky I came to thinking about this...I encourage all to find a way to hear this transcription for choir of The Field of the Dead from Alexander Nevsky, performed by Accentus, it leaves me breathless, I bought just the MP3 of the song so not sure about the rest of the album, but this piece is a stunner.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on March 14, 2012, 04:02:03 PM
Listened to all the Alexander Nevsky cantata this evening and was amazed. What an awesome piece, absolutely brilliant. The performance from Abbado was excellent - I plan to get the Jarvi next, as I was warned against the Yablonsky which I was considering before... good choice?

The Jarvi is a great choice, but you didn't hear it from me! ;) :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 01, 2012, 06:51:20 AM
The Fiery Angel was actually one of the first CD purchases I made, long ago in darkest Buffalo.  It is a recording which I let go, though I am not now convinced that I ever sat down to it with proper attention.  I think it was apt to be the Järvi recording, FWIW.
 
I have now, at last, listened to the Gergiev/Mariinka recording, reissued in the Six Operas box (which I ordered a shade more than two years ago).  Dynamite piece . . . will spend more time with it.  (Eventually . . . .)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 17, 2012, 07:27:31 AM
How does everyone feel about the Ashkenazy set of the piano concerti?  As compared with others.

TIA.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 17, 2012, 07:33:10 AM
How does everyone feel about the Ashkenazy set of the piano concerti?  As compared with others.

TIA.


They're probably my least favorite, Karl. I'm also not fond of the audio quality either which is surprising since I've enjoyed so many of Decca's recordings. I think Ashkenazy is a very capable soloist, but I don't think his approach is quite right for the works. My favorite Prokofiev PC set comes from Vladimir Krainev with Dmitri Kitayenko conducting the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra on Teldec (also reissued on Warner's budget line Apex). I find these performances completely idiomatic and I think Krainev did an outstanding job of finding the right expression for each concerto.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 17, 2012, 10:23:22 AM
How does everyone feel about the Ashkenazy set of the piano concerti?  As compared with others.

TIA.


I haven't heard Ashkenazy's Prokofiev PCs but these are works that I've been extremely fond of over the years and I've been well served by other recordings, first and foremost Browning/Leinsdorf/Boston Symphony as far as sets.

Major kudos also to Paik/Wit and El Bacha/Ono.


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on May 17, 2012, 01:57:26 PM
How does everyone feel about the Ashkenazy set of the piano concerti?  As compared with others.

TIA.

I couldn't really recommend it.

This was my first complete set of the concerti, and though it did good service for a while, I'd rate it a distinctly lower-grade priority than, say, Beroff or Browning. It's not so much anything bad about the set (though Ashkenazy does bang away at the keyboard at times), simply that while all the performances are quite acceptable, none of them catch fire in the way that the best performances do.

(For my money, these far-higher-priority individual recordings would include Richter and Moravec in the 1st; Browning and Baloghova* in the 2nd; Prokofiev* in the 3rd; Browning and--if my memory serves, me, as it has been many years--Paik in the 4th; Richter/Rowicki* in the 5th.)

* - these would be my votes for the greatest Prokofiev piano concerto recordings I've ever heard. Would like to hear Severin von Eckardstein make a commercial recording of the 2nd, though.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 17, 2012, 05:59:47 PM
I've thought about getting the Ashkenazy/Previn set over the years, but as I am very satisfied with Beroff/Masur plus Richter/Rowicki for the 5th, and there is so much unheard music still to buy, I haven't got around to it. I think I'd probably buy the Krainev/Kitajenko set mentioned by MI first (it's cheaper!).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 17, 2012, 06:01:44 PM
I've thought about getting the Ashkenazy/Previn set over the years, but as I am very satisfied with Beroff/Masur plus Richter/Rowicki for the 5th, and there is so much unheard music still to buy, I haven't got around to it. I think I'd probably buy the Krainev/Kitajenko set mentioned by MI first (it's cheaper!).

Just remember something being cheaper doesn't always translate to it being better. :) But this is one of those instances where it actually does. :D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 17, 2012, 06:18:45 PM
Just remember something being cheaper doesn't always translate to it being better. :)

True - but being more expensive doesn't necessarily make something better either. So, on balance, cheaper is better ;)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 17, 2012, 06:26:36 PM
True - but being more expensive doesn't necessarily make something better either. So, on balance, cheaper is better ;)

Well that is true too. Not meaning to get this off-topic, but what do you consider expensive for a CD?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 17, 2012, 06:44:40 PM
Well that is true too. Not meaning to get this off-topic, but what do you consider expensive for a CD?

I guess that depends on how badly I want it!

For singles, $10 and under is ideal, though I'll stretch to mid-teens if there's no alternative. $17-31 - I'd have to REALLY want it. Over $31, I'll do without it.

For boxsets, it has to be under $10 per disc.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 17, 2012, 06:54:22 PM
I guess that depends on how badly I want it!

For singles, $10 and under is ideal, though I'll stretch to mid-teens if there's no alternative. $17-31 - I'd have to REALLY want it. Over $31, I'll do without it.

For boxsets, it has to be under $10 per disc.

I thnk the most I've ever paid for a single CD was $20, but it was out-of-print and I desperately wanted it. I don't remember what recording it was unfortunately.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 17, 2012, 07:11:51 PM
If I was in the US I'd be scouring the Amazon marketplace like you, but having sellers ship individual items to Australia is rather expensive, and with the reliability question on top of that, I don't think it's worth bothering with.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 17, 2012, 07:50:43 PM
If I was in the US I'd be scouring the Amazon marketplace like you, but having sellers ship individual items to Australia is rather expensive, and with the reliability question on top of that, I don't think it's worth bothering with.

Yeah, I think it's unfortunate that Australia doesn't have an Amazon website yet.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 17, 2012, 09:32:33 PM
Yeah, I think it's unfortunate that Australia doesn't have an Amazon website yet.

Sadly, I don't think that'd make much difference. There's always a big "middle man" mark-up to pay here, just because distributors know they can get away with it. That includes for people buying games from Steam (from what I hear).
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 18, 2012, 01:20:18 AM

I've thought about getting the Ashkenazy/Previn set over the years, but as I am very satisfied with Beroff/Masur plus Richter/Rowicki for the 5th, and there is so much unheard music still to buy, I haven't got around to it. I think I'd probably buy the Krainev/Kitajenko set mentioned by MI first (it's cheaper!).

Just remember something being cheaper doesn't always translate to it being better. :) But this is one of those instances where it actually does. :D

Just to be clear (and clearly this is IMO), the Krainev set is cheap (as is the Béroff).  As for better, however, I find the Béroff set the better of the two.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 18, 2012, 01:23:06 AM
And thanks, John, Edward, divertimentian and resist for your feedback viz. Ashkenazy!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 18, 2012, 03:42:47 AM
(Bringing this over from the Piano Sonatas thread.)


Man, if you can speak eloquently on behalf of the Third and Fourth, I should attend your word closely.  I like them, but they do not spark my musical passion in the way the others do.

What, not even the scherzo of the 3rd? That's some of my favourite of all Prokofiev!

I've always really liked stuff in both symphonies;  my brain seems to resist thinking of them as (to coin a fraze) symphonies-en-soi.

To-day, though, the Leinsdorf/BSO recording of the Third from April 1966 has crushed all my puny doubts. Wow!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: North Star on May 18, 2012, 04:19:06 AM
This Jurowski & LPO recording of the 3rd Symphony sounds excellent to me:
http://www.youtube.com/v/Sb-Za03C1xI
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on May 18, 2012, 03:00:43 PM
To-day, though, the Leinsdorf/BSO recording of the Third from April 1966 has crushed all my puny doubts. Wow![/font]
Do you know the Concertgebouw/Kondrashin Third? It's my go-to recording for this work--brings out both the lyrical and the apocalyptic sides to the work so well (and I find it's really easy to underestimate how much lyrical material there is in this symphony).

Which isn't to say that I don't like the BSO/Leinsdorf recording--if the Kondrashin didn't exist I'm sure he and Rozhdestvensky would leave me very happy in the work.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 18, 2012, 04:50:01 PM
This Jurowski & LPO recording of the 3rd Symphony sounds excellent to me:
http://www.youtube.com/v/Sb-Za03C1xI


Thanks for sharing, would have loved to been in that audience.



Do you know the Concertgebouw/Kondrashin Third? It's my go-to recording for this work--brings out both the lyrical and the apocalyptic sides to the work so well (and I find it's really easy to underestimate how much lyrical material there is in this symphony).


I agree Edward, there is much lyricism to appreciate in this symphony, and in the related opera.
I tend to go back and forth from Muti/Philia and Chailly/Concertgebouw, Muti offers a "take-no-prisoners" approach, a demonic powerhouse, while Chailly is intense but the recording holds back a bit on the fortissimo and many lines and instruments that get hidden from the brass and percussion from Muti and even Jarvi's account, are clear and well defined here.

It has become clear to me in recent years, that I find Prokofiev to have offered the best symphony cycle of the 20th Century, everyone of them delivers a different style and timbre, play any two back-to-back and you'll understand. Even the two 4ths, Op. 47 and Op. 112, feel unique to each other, take the endings for example, Op. 47 rushes towards a jarringly abrupt canon-like chord finale, while Op. 112's addition could successfully close one of Shostakovich's grand symphonies.

In fact, it may be time to start a post solely dedicated to the Prokofiev 8....


Edit:...and I just found it.  ;D
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 20, 2012, 04:59:37 PM
I've always really liked stuff in both symphonies;  my brain seems to resist thinking of them as (to coin a fraze) symphonies-en-soi.

To-day, though, the Leinsdorf/BSO recording of the Third from April 1966 has crushed all my puny doubts. Wow!

Glad to hear it - though you make it sound like an encounter with the Incredible Hulk  :o

As ever, I recommend Kuchar for 2, 3 and 4.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 21, 2012, 03:56:43 AM
I spent yesterday in Rest Mode, in hopes of staving off one of those freak colds that can afflict a New Englander during this season of uncertain warmth.  Where that turns relevant to the thread, though, is that while vegging, I loaded a passel of Сергей Сергеевич music onto the player.  And lo! what should I find, but that I have seven different versions of the c minor Symphony!  Two of them conducted by Rozhdestvensky . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 21, 2012, 04:23:26 AM
And lo! what should I find, but that I have seven different versions of the c minor Symphony!  Two of them conducted by Rozhdestvensky . . . .[/font]

I'm jealous, I have seven too, but only one by Rozh  ;D  Think I'll listen now to one I've not yet heard.

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 21, 2012, 04:25:10 AM
I spent yesterday in Rest Mode, in hopes of staving off one of those freak colds that can afflict a New Englander during this season of uncertain warmth.  Where that turns relevant to the thread, though, is that while vegging, I loaded a passel of Сергей Сергеевич music onto the player.  And lo! what should I find, but that I have seven different versions of the c minor Symphony!  Two of them conducted by Rozhdestvensky . . . .


What other recordings do you own, Karl?
And good morning!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 21, 2012, 04:30:35 AM
Good morning, gents!

Greg, the lot go like this:

BSO, Erich Leinsdorf (from the box we spoke of)
LSO, Abbado
Moscow Radio Symphony, Rozhdestvensky
National ORTF, Martinon
Berliner Philharmoniker, Ozawa
SNO, Järvi
USSR TV & Radio Symphony, Rozhdestvensky


Of course, now I wonder if in fact it is not the same Rozhdestvensky recording, with the orchestra's name rendered differently . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 21, 2012, 04:37:22 AM
BSO, Erich Leinsdorf (from the box we spoke of)
LSO, Abbado
Moscow Radio Symphony, Rozhdestvensky
National ORTF, Martinon
Berliner Philharmoniker, Ozawa
SNO, Järvi
USSR TV & Radio Symphony, Rozhdestvensky


Of course, now I wonder if in fact it is not the same Rozhdestvensky recording, with the orchestra's name rendered differently . . .

In that case, I'm not so jealous  ;)  You list Martinon...I forgot I had that (LP). So, I have eight Thirds.

Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 21, 2012, 05:32:03 AM
Good morning, gents!

Greg, the lot go like this:

BSO, Erich Leinsdorf (from the box we spoke of)
LSO, Abbado
Moscow Radio Symphony, Rozhdestvensky
National ORTF, Martinon
Berliner Philharmoniker, Ozawa
SNO, Järvi
USSR TV & Radio Symphony, Rozhdestvensky


Of course, now I wonder if in fact it is not the same Rozhdestvensky recording, with the orchestra's name rendered differently . . . .



Thanks, Karl. Some on there I haven't heard, may need to correct that.
Happy C minor listening!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 21, 2012, 05:42:55 AM
Thanks!

In that case, I'm not so jealous  ;)  You list Martinon...I forgot I had that (LP). So, I have eight Thirds.

Quick comparison confirms that there is no occasion for jealousy, Sarge: it is indeed the same recording.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on May 21, 2012, 05:51:15 AM
Thanks!

Quick comparison confirms that there is no occasion for jealousy, Sarge: it is indeed the same recording.
I've got two copies of that recording under different orchestral names as well. :-)
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Drasko on May 21, 2012, 09:44:36 AM
Moscow Radio Symphony and USSR TV & Radio Symphony are indeed one and the same orchestra. Rozhdestvensky though did record 3rd twice, the other recording is early 60s live performance with USSR State Symphony on Revelation (same on Yedang probably), and fine performance it is, in somewhat limited sound. 
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 21, 2012, 01:21:26 PM
Just received my recording of On the Dnieper/Songs of our Day from Polyansky on Chandos, an interesting quote in the liner notes I wanted to share. It's from Prokofiev himself in an interview with the L.A. Evening Express in 1930...

"Music is getting simpler. I am moving in the direction of simple form, less complicated counterpoint, a more melodic style. All these I call 'a new simplicity'."

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 21, 2012, 04:42:02 PM
Just received my recording of On the Dnieper/Songs of our Day from Polyansky on Chandos, an interesting quote in the liner notes I wanted to share. It's from Prokofiev himself in an interview with the L.A. Evening Express in 1930...

"Music is getting simpler. I am moving in the direction of simple form, less complicated counterpoint, a more melodic style. All these I call 'a new simplicity'."

Hmmm, so it wasn't just something he said for Soviet consumption. Though really, Prokofiev's "complicated counterpoint" period was quite brief - Symphony No. 2, The Steel Step, the last two piano concertos. The symphony concerto sounds complex to me, but that was quite late.

Just looking through the opus list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Sergei_Prokofiev#By_opus_number) - I wonder if anyone alive has heard Things in Themselves (after Immanuel Kant), two pieces for piano, from 1928?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 21, 2012, 05:12:34 PM

Just looking through the opus list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Sergei_Prokofiev#By_opus_number) - I wonder if anyone alive has heard Things in Themselves (after Immanuel Kant), two pieces for piano, from 1928?


I've never heard them, but just bought them on iTunes, .99 cents a track, for a first listen. Thanks for mentioning it.   ;D

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 21, 2012, 05:51:07 PM
Sure thing. I hope they turn out to be awesome. Who's performing it?
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on May 21, 2012, 05:53:24 PM
Hmmm, so it wasn't just something he said for Soviet consumption. Though really, Prokofiev's "complicated counterpoint" period was quite brief - Symphony No. 2, The Steel Step, the last two piano concertos. The symphony concerto sounds complex to me, but that was quite late.
But it's based on the cello concerto, which was mostly written in the early 30s.

Just looking through the opus list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Sergei_Prokofiev#By_opus_number) - I wonder if anyone alive has heard Things in Themselves (after Immanuel Kant), two pieces for piano, from 1928?
They're rather attractive works, in the somewhat Francophile vein of the two op 54 sonatinas. The closest parallel amongst remotely well-known Prokofiev might be to the 4th and 5th sonatas. I have Gyorgy Sandor's recording; as far as I know this does the works justice.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 21, 2012, 07:30:46 PM
But it's based on the cello concerto, which was mostly written in the early 30s.

1933-38, according to the opus list, by which time he should have been well into his Soviet new simplicity.  But on reflection I'd say the symphony concerto is not overly complex in terms of polyphony - it just meanders on with little apparent structure so that it's hard to make sense of.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 21, 2012, 08:18:37 PM
it (Sinfonia Concertante) just meanders on with little apparent structure so that it's hard to make sense of.

Which I suppose could be apart of it's charm. I personally love the work and think very highly of it.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: lescamil on May 21, 2012, 08:27:35 PM
Just looking through the opus list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Sergei_Prokofiev#By_opus_number) - I wonder if anyone alive has heard Things in Themselves (after Immanuel Kant), two pieces for piano, from 1928?

Oleg Marshev and Boris Berman recorded these. Both are great readings of two nice miniatures. The style somewhat reminds me of what is heard in the 5th piano concerto.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 21, 2012, 08:34:47 PM
Sure thing. I hope they turn out to be awesome. Who's performing it?


I just bought the Boris Berman performances, very nice work.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2012, 01:20:27 AM
Ah, the Choses-en-soi . . . haven't heard them yet, though I've know of them for an age . . . they are a chapter title in the Harlow Robinson bio.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: edward on May 22, 2012, 02:48:03 AM
Alexander Ivashkin on the Cello Concerto/Symphony-Concerto issues:

http://www.alexanderivashkin.com/08publications_three_oranges2009_prokofiev.html
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2012, 03:07:07 AM
Alexander Ivashkin on the Cello Concerto/Symphony-Concerto issues:

http://www.alexanderivashkin.com/08publications_three_oranges2009_prokofiev.html

A wonderful essay, thanks, Edward. Great timing, too, as I revisited the Overture on Hebrew Themes, twice, after a long absence just yesterday.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 22, 2012, 03:30:16 AM
Alexander Ivashkin on the Cello Concerto/Symphony-Concerto issues:

http://www.alexanderivashkin.com/08publications_three_oranges2009_prokofiev.html

Great, thanks for sharing, Edward.
I enjoy the author's description of the piece as, "melodic fantasy and expression, and with a spirit of true independence", an accurate representation of a piece that I always found quite different and unique compared to Prokofiev's other compositions featuring soloist and orchestra.




A wonderful essay, thanks, Edward. Great timing, too, as I revisited the Overture on Hebrew Themes, twice, after a long absence just yesterday.


That's quite a melody right there, Karl.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2012, 03:32:36 AM
They're rather attractive works, in the somewhat Francophile vein of the two op 54 sonatinas.

The other day as I was tweaking the folders of my sound-file library, I was struck anew by this sequence:

Piano Concerto № 4, Op.53
Sonatinas, Op.54
Piano Concerto № 5, Op.55
Sonata for Two Violins, Op.56
Symphonic Song, Op.57
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 22, 2012, 09:01:03 AM
Do you know the Concertgebouw/Kondrashin Third? It's my go-to recording for this work--brings out both the lyrical and the apocalyptic sides to the work so well (and I find it's really easy to underestimate how much lyrical material there is in this symphony).

Which isn't to say that I don't like the BSO/Leinsdorf recording--if the Kondrashin didn't exist I'm sure he and Rozhdestvensky would leave me very happy in the work.

I agree about the qualities of the Kondrashin/Concertgebouw. Too bad it's out of print. Muti/Philadelphia is good, too. Too bad it's out of print.

I haven't heard Leinsdorf's BSO recording but if it's as good as his recordings of the 2nd and 6th syms I have I'm sure it's first rate.

Generally though when I reach for this symphony I tend to go for the complete opera. I miss the voices and the greater "substance" I feel when the singing hasn't been excised.

I'm a sucker for those operas of his...

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 22, 2012, 09:11:49 AM
I agree about the qualities of the Kondrashin/Concertgebouw. Too bad it's out of print. Muti/Philadelphia is good, too. Too bad it's out of print.

I haven't heard Leinsdorf's BSO recording but if it's as good as his recordings of the 2nd and 6th syms I have I'm sure it's first rate.

Generally though when I reach for this symphony I tend to go for the complete opera. I miss the voices and the greater "substance" I feel when the singing hasn't been excised.

I'm a sucker for those operas of his...

Muti/Phila is my go-to recording for the 3rd, has been for a while. Try to get your hands on it, the performance is monstrous and Muti pulls no punches when it comes to dynamics. I love comparing Gergiev's final chord of the 3rd, which he sustains for 10 seconds compared to Muti's at 3 seconds. Muti's definitely leaves the listener a little more jarred.

And a BIG yes for the complete opera. I spent years neglecting The Fiery Angel opera, big mistake, it's the source of the fire from Symphony no.3 and then about 90 minutes more!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 22, 2012, 10:34:46 AM
So I'm listening to Raphael Wallfisch's performance of Sinfonia Concertante yet again and let me say I'm never left unsatisfied with this performance. It's quite emotional and I think Jarvi has done the best job, of the performances I've heard, of accompanying the soloist. The other two performances I've heard (and own): Chang/Pappano I found Chang just to be too extreme in the work and not really that subtle with it at all, I also felt she played too mechanically, and Pappano could have done a better job of building climaxes and driving the orchestra and the Rostropovich/Sargent I found disappointing because I thought Sargent's accompaniment was uninspired and he seemed like he was completely disinterested in the music. Rostropovich played very well, but I think he, too, suffered the same fate as Chang and was just too erratic for my tastes. He played much, much better than Chang though.

The other performance I own but shut off almost immediately was Rudin/Kuchar. The sound quality wasn't up to par with the other performances I own. Rudin also didn't impress me.

I bought these two recordings today, so I'm interested to see how they stack up with my preferred choice of Wallfisch/Jarvi:



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2012, 10:45:11 AM
That is interesting, John.

I've not heard any of those! The three I have heard are:

Navarra/Cz Phil/Ančerl
Slava/LSO/Ozawa
Ivashkin/Russian State Symphony/Polyansky
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 22, 2012, 10:48:01 AM
That is interesting, John.

I've not heard any of those! The three I have heard are:

Navarra/Cz Phil/Ančerl
Slava/LSO/Ozawa
Ivashkin/Russian State Symphony/Polyansky


And I haven't heard any of those! What's the Polyansky like? The second performance of Rostropovich may be interesting to hear too.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2012, 10:52:02 AM
It's a while since I've listened to it.  It was the first recording I heard of the Op.125, and it sold me on the piece, entirely.  The Navarra/Ančerl & Slava/Ozawa are both very fine; so (unusually lucky, it may be) I actually think well of all the recordings I've heard thus far.  I should revisit the Ivashkin, in order to answer with more texture.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 22, 2012, 10:55:37 AM
It's a while since I've listened to it.  It was the first recording I heard of the Op.125, and it sold me on the piece, entirely.  The Navarra/Ančerl & Slava/Ozawa are both very fine; so (unusually lucky, it may be) I actually think well of all the recordings I've heard thus far.  I should revisit the Ivashkin, in order to answer with more texture.

Thanks for the feedback, Karl. I'm so in love with the work that I'm still in search of one performance that outperforms my choice of Wallfisch/Jarvi. Please have a listen to the Ivashkin/Polyansky when you have the time. I'd be interested, especially in how the second movement sounds in their hands.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2012, 10:56:21 AM
It's perfect. I remember that much ; )
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 22, 2012, 10:57:36 AM
It's perfect. I remember that much ; )

Ha! :P
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 22, 2012, 01:40:02 PM
Muti/Phila is my go-to recording for the 3rd, has been for a while. Try to get your hands on it, the performance is monstrous and Muti pulls no punches when it comes to dynamics. I love comparing Gergiev's final chord of the 3rd, which he sustains for 10 seconds compared to Muti's at 3 seconds. Muti's definitely leaves the listener a little more jarred.

Oh, I have Muti's 3rd. I just meant it's a pity the current generation is deprived! ;D

Quote
And a BIG yes for the complete opera. I spent years neglecting The Fiery Angel opera, big mistake, it's the source of the fire from Symphony no.3 and then about 90 minutes more!

Yep!


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 23, 2012, 12:34:49 AM
MI, have you heard Maisky's recording of the symphony concerto? I am curious about it....

Great timing, too, as I revisited the Overture on Hebrew Themes, twice, after a long absence just yesterday.

Karl, have you ever heard the early version of the Overture? As usual with this things, there are some nice moments that got cut, but you can tell the work is much tauter in the revised version.

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: mc ukrneal on May 23, 2012, 02:03:30 AM
MI, have you heard Maisky's recording of the symphony concerto? I am curious about it....
You did not ask me, but I have that recording. I think it works pretty well for the most part (assuming you mean the disc coupled with Miaskovsky). I am not always a fan of Maisky, but I love the balance with the orchestra (they flow together seemlessly) and the instrument sounds good. I think Pletnev and team have done a wonderful job on the sonic impact. There is plenty of bite, but beauty as well.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 23, 2012, 04:44:49 AM
Well, I don't know but these two recordings may just have sat on the shelf all this while:  the Symphony-Concerto Op.125 performed severally by Slava/LSO/Ozawa and Navarra/Cz Phil/Ančerl.  Well, I've listened to both, now.  The former is a bit nervier (without failing of lyricism), and the latter is a bit more lyrical (without any flagging energy).  The sound is perforce better in the former, though the latter does not suffer at all, sonically.
 
Time to revisit the Ivashkin/Russian State Symphony/Polyansky recording . . . .
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 23, 2012, 07:08:47 AM
MI, have you heard Maisky's recording of the symphony concerto? I am curious about it....

Interestingly enough, this is a recording I've been trying to get a hold of but still have had no luck in getting a used copy in mint condition.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Mirror Image on May 23, 2012, 07:09:30 AM
Well, I don't know but these two recordings may just have sat on the shelf all this while:  the Symphony-Concerto Op.125 performed severally by Slava/LSO/Ozawa and Navarra/Cz Phil/Ančerl.  Well, I've listened to both, now.  The former is a bit nervier (without failing of lyricism), and the latter is a bit more lyrical (without any flagging energy).  The sound is perforce better in the former, though the latter does not suffer at all, sonically.
 
Time to revisit the Ivashkin/Russian State Symphony/Polyansky recording . . . .

Cool, thanks for the feedback, Karl. Now I await your opinion of the Ivashkin...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: eyeresist on May 23, 2012, 04:40:55 PM
You did not ask me, but I have that recording. I think it works pretty well for the most part (assuming you mean the disc coupled with Miaskovsky). I am not always a fan of Maisky, but I love the balance with the orchestra (they flow together seemlessly) and the instrument sounds good. I think Pletnev and team have done a wonderful job on the sonic impact. There is plenty of bite, but beauty as well.

Thanks for this assessment. Pletnev hasn't conducted much 20th century work, as I recall...
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 23, 2012, 08:07:26 PM
Thanks for this assessment. Pletnev hasn't conducted much 20th century work, as I recall...


I don't know much about Pletnev's conducting but I do know he recorded a fantastic performance of Cinderella. If that helps anyone...



(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81ZkgwoZIwL.jpg)


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 24, 2012, 06:05:28 AM
 Quote from: Dancing  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=86.msg631932#msg631932)
I don't know much about Pletnev's conducting but I do know he recorded a fantastic performance of Cinderella.

And, of course, he has performed the two-piano suite taken from Cinderella with Martha Argerich.

Myself, I am enjoying a sort of "mini-saturation" in The Tale of the Stone Flower, Op.118, listening to both the Jurowski and Noseda recordings of the entire ballet . . . more for increasing my familiarity with the score, than for comparison (though the Hannover Radio band is obviously rougher-shod than the BBC Phil).  The ballet did not immediately come within my musical affections, a couple of years ago when I first made its acquaintance. Why?  Two reasons, to start with.

1. First I ever knew of it was via Harlow Robinson's bio.  It's some years since last I looked into that volume, but I rather suspect that he expresses a low opinion of it — and chances are, that opinion was a poison in my thought on the score.

2. The obvious difference in this piece to either Cinderella or Romeo and Juliet is, the story is unfamiliar.  For me, at any rate, this meant that the advantage held by the Opp. 64 & 87 — apart from the real possibility, let us own in all fairness, that they may in fact be stronger scores — was in the first place, that a listener such as myself, making the acquaintance of the piece not in the theatre, but via recordings, could readily imagine action, even if not closely following the libretto. (Not that I would necessarily fit all the action accurately to the music — the important psychological advantage, I think, is that whether I followed the story correctly by the music, I knew the story, and could visualize.)

Now, in the Noseda recording, the full ballet runs just a little longer than does Romeo and Juliet; and (probably) none of us here feels that the Op.64 contains even a single superfluous, unnecessary note, substantial of duration though it be.

The long and the short of my preamble, then, is that I readily entertain the possibility that (* ahem *) The Tale of the Stone Flower is not “too long,” any more than I think that War and Peace (Tolstoy, I mean, specifically) is “too long.”  But in both cases (as my working hypothesis goes) the artwork needs an audience disposed to take it at its own pace, in its own dimensions.  And that the fact that The Tale of the Stone Flower is a good deal more expansive than Le pas d'acier means nothing qualitatively about either work.

There, I think that will do for now.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 24, 2012, 10:58:49 AM
And, of course, he has performed the two-piano suite taken from Cinderella with Martha Argerich.

Myself, I am enjoying a sort of "mini-saturation" in The Tale of the Stone Flower, Op.118, listening to both the Jurowski and Noseda recordings of the entire ballet . . . more for increasing my familiarity with the score, than for comparison (though the Hannover Radio band is obviously rougher-shod than the BBC Phil).  The ballet did not immediately come within my musical affections, a cople of years ago when I first made its acquaintance. Why?  Two reasons, to start with.

1. First I ever knew of it was via Harlow Robinson's bio.  It's some years since last I looked into that volume, but I rather suspect that he expresses a low opinion of it — and chances are, that opinion was a poison in my thought on the score.

2. The obvious difference in this piece to either Cinderella or Romeo and Juliet is, the story is unfamiliar.  For me, at any rate, this meant that the advantage held by the Opp. 64 & 87 — apart from the real possibility, let us own in all fairness, that they may in fact be stronger scores — was in the first place, that a listener such as myself, making the acquaintance of the piece not in the theatre, but via recordings, could readily imagine action, even if not closely following the libretto. (Not that I would necessarily fit all the action accurately to the music — the important psychological advantage, I think, is that whether I followed the story correctly by the music, I knew the story, anc could visualize.

Now, in the Noseda recording, the full ballet runs just a little longer than does Romeo and Juliet; and (probably) none of us here feels that the Op.64 contains even a single superfluous, unnecessary note, substantial of duration though it be.

The long and the short of my preamble, then, is that I readily entertain the possibility that (* ahem *) The Tale of the Stone Flower is not “too long,” any more than I think that War and Peace (Tolstoy, I mean, specifically) is “too long.”  But in both cases (as my working hypothesis goes) the artwork needs an audience disposed to take it at its own pace, in its own dimensions.  And that the fact that The Tale of the Stone Flower is a good deal more expansive than Le pas d'acier means nothing qualitatively about either work.

There, I think that will do for now.



[Standing Ovation] Bravo!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 24, 2012, 10:59:31 AM
And, of course, he has performed the two-piano suite taken from Cinderella with Martha Argerich.

Have you by chance heard this recording, Karl? Looks tempting...


Quote
Myself, I am enjoying a sort of "mini-saturation" in The Tale of the Stone Flower, Op.118, listening to both the Jurowski and Noseda recordings of the entire ballet . . . more for increasing my familiarity with the score, than for comparison (though the Hannover Radio band is obviously rougher-shod than the BBC Phil).  The ballet did not immediately come within my musical affections, a cople of years ago when I first made its acquaintance. Why?  Two reasons, to start with.

1. First I ever knew of it was via Harlow Robinson's bio.  It's some years since last I looked into that volume, but I rather suspect that he expresses a low opinion of it — and chances are, that opinion was a poison in my thought on the score.

2. The obvious difference in this piece to either Cinderella or Romeo and Juliet is, the story is unfamiliar.  For me, at any rate, this meant that the advantage held by the Opp. 64 & 87 — apart from the real possibility, let us own in all fairness, that they may in fact be stronger scores — was in the first place, that a listener such as myself, making the acquaintance of the piece not in the theatre, but via recordings, could readily imagine action, even if not closely following the libretto. (Not that I would necessarily fit all the action accurately to the music — the important psychological advantage, I think, is that whether I followed the story correctly by the music, I knew the story, anc could visualize.

Now, in the Noseda recording, the full ballet runs just a little longer than does Romeo and Juliet; and (probably) none of us here feels that the Op.64 contains even a single superfluous, unnecessary note, substantial of duration though it be.

The long and the short of my preamble, then, is that I readily entertain the possibility that (* ahem *) The Tale of the Stone Flower is not “too long,” any more than I think that War and Peace (Tolstoy, I mean, specifically) is “too long.”  But in both cases (as my working hypothesis goes) the artwork needs an audience disposed to take it at its own pace, in its own dimensions.  And that the fact that The Tale of the Stone Flower is a good deal more expansive than Le pas d'acier means nothing qualitatively about either work.

There, I think that will do for now.[/font]

Nice write up. I've long held a similar view of the Stone Flower. I've always felt it lacked a certain "angle" or requisite "hooks" to really grab the average listener. This however is based solely on the experience of listening to my Jurowski recording, as opposed to actually seeing it staged.

No doubt "hooks" are a good thing in a score but setting aside the need to actually BE hooked by a score, I find settling in and letting the musical experience take hold without prejudice can often produce gold.

Happily I've been won over by the sheer expertise of Prokofiev's vision in this work. It does indeed need to be "taken on its own terms" but no one who ventures into it is likely to be the poorer for the experience.


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: North Star on May 24, 2012, 11:07:37 AM
Have you by chance heard this recording, Karl? Looks tempting...

I'm not Karl (although the difference is only one letter...), but it's absolutely fantastic!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_-6HEw3e00

Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 24, 2012, 11:19:55 AM
Have you by chance heard this recording, Karl? Looks tempting...

Karlo is right, it is an entirely splendid box.

I'm not Karl (although the difference is only one letter...), but it's absolutely fantastic!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_-6HEw3e00


a
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 24, 2012, 11:23:27 AM
I'm not Karl (although the difference is only one letter...), but it's absolutely fantastic!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_-6HEw3e00


Hmm...short clip but it does sound ravishing! Thanks, North Star.



Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 25, 2012, 04:12:47 PM
Copy and pasted this from listening now thread, wanted to share it in the Paddy Wagon...



(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Y98%2BiZQ-L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Symphony No. 4, Op. 112
Symphony No. 4, Op. 47
Symphony No. 3, Op. 44
Symphony No. 5, Op. 100


Did quite a bit of driving today at work, so grabbed this set to keep my ears busy. The more time I spend with this Gergiev set, the more I enjoy it. Some truly animated performances, especially for both 4ths. Both Andante tranquillo are delicate and the finales of both do a superb job of maintaining it's playfulness while continuing to drive towards their respectively intense endings. The 3rd is a little bland with the climax seeming to arise during the third movement leaving the finale to feel rushed. The 5th is very good, brisk tempi throughout which eliminates any chance of dragging, which I prefer, particularly for the third movement Adagio. For the rest of the set, the 1st symphony is passable, 2nd is good, the 6th might be the best of this set, and the 7th (original ending) gets a highly enjoyable reading. But lookout for Gergiev being Gergiev, interesting but sometimes distracting and jarring interpretation choices, some breakneck speeds (which most of the time for Prokofiev can sound very appealing) and the occasional moaning from the conductors podium. Is that a toothpick he's conducting the coda of No. 5 with?
But most importantly, you get live recorded performances from the LSO with great sound quality, they sound precise but loose, accurate but playful, but always phenomenal. I will also note that the piano and harp make a very strong presence throughout, two instruments that easily get drowned in other Prokofiev symphony recordings.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 25, 2012, 04:45:45 PM
Karlo is right, it is an entirely splendid box.


Thanks, Karl!


Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Pierre on May 29, 2012, 12:31:22 AM
I seem to remember that Glenn Gould wrote a liner note about Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 7 where he said he didn't understand how the central 'Andante caloroso' movement fits in the rest of the work. I don't have a copy of his recording: does anyone here, and if so could they post the relevant sentences he wrote about that movement?

Thank you.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 31, 2012, 01:21:39 AM
I seem to remember that Glenn Gould wrote a liner note about Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 7 where he said he didn't understand how the central 'Andante caloroso' movement fits in the rest of the work. I don't have a copy of his recording: does anyone here, and if so could they post the relevant sentences he wrote about that movement?

Thank you.

Here's a scan of the CD liner notes; a reproduction of the original LP back cover. Left click to enlarge. It doesn't have what you remember.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/apr12/prok7linernotes.jpg)


Sarge
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 31, 2012, 03:44:06 AM
Here's a scan of the CD liner notes; a reproduction of the original LP back cover. Left click to enlarge. It doesn't have what you remember.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/apr12/prok7linernotes.jpg)

Well. It's not every day you read liner notes that begin with the single word, Well : )

Thanks for your pains, Sarge, that is a fascinating snapshot upon The Mind of Glenn Gould.  Disappointed to find that he echoes the snobbery (which still has not fallen entirely out of fashion) against the Leningrad Symphony.

Interesting, too, that our Pierre misremembers, though not completely.  He remarks on the sonata's heterogeneity, and finds the theme of the Andante caloroso “cloying.”

Where, personally, I find his quotation-marks-and-hyphens characterizations not merely eccentric (which one expects from the source) but tendentious.  Again: a fascinating snapshot of a curious artistic personality.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 31, 2012, 03:48:45 AM
Meanwhile, there has come in György Sándor's volume 2 of the piano solo music:  to-day is the day I listen at last to Choses-en-soi!
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: kishnevi on May 31, 2012, 06:15:03 AM
Well. It's not every day you read liner notes that begin with the single word, Well : )

Thanks for your pains, Sarge, that is a fascinating snapshot upon The Mind of Glenn Gould.  Disappointed to find that he echoes the snobbery (which still has not fallen entirely out of fashion) against the Leningrad Symphony.

Interesting, too, that our Pierre misremembers, though not completely.  He remarks on the sonata's heterogeneity, and finds the theme of the Andante caloroso “cloying.”

Where, personally, I find his quotation-marks-and-hyphens characterizations not merely eccentric (which one expects from the source) but tendentious.  Again: a fascinating snapshot of a curious artistic personality.


Gould was actually an excellent essayist; if you can find them,  grab it; they're well worth reading both for the musicianship and for the command of English style.  Many of them were simply his liner notes for various recordings.   I once found a group of them in the library in a volume titled "The Glenn Gould Reader".  Don't know if there are more out there.

Of course, de gustibus rules in writing words as much as music.  What you found tendentious I read as grade A quality snark.  He was, after all, writing at the height of the Cold War.
Title: Re: Prokofiev's Paddy Wagon
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 31, 2012, 06:51:49 AM
Well. It's not every day you read liner notes that begin with the single word, Well : )

The