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Cat. No. CHAN 10802(2) Price: £21 No. of discs: 2
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CHAN 10802 - Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos 1-5
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Available From: 01 January 2014

Chandos CHAN 10802

Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos 1 – 5 – Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda

The exclusive Chandos artist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet performs all five of Prokofiev’s formidable piano concertos in partnership with Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic. The flair of Bavouzet for powerful twentieth-century repertoire was made clear in his recording of Bartók’s Piano Concertos, described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘vibrant in colour, vital in rhythm and detail, and viscerally exciting in impact’.

Prokofiev wrote these works between 1911 and 1932, mostly as performing vehicles for himself during his most active period as a pianist of astonishing gifts. The First Concerto is for the most part a youthful jeu d’esprit, full of rhythmic energy, but its brief slow movement is surprisingly tragic. The Second Concerto poses some of the most significant technical challenges in the entire piano repertoire, its vivid and athletic keyboard writing pushing the boundaries of what is playable. The Third Concerto, in C major, a bright and breezy vehicle for Prokofiev to showcase his talents as a performer, is today his most popular piano concerto. Nos 4 and 5 are the least well known, having been written at a time when Prokofiev was pushing his musical language to new extremes. However, both concertos contain slow movements that are full of wistful lyricism, foreshadowing the melodic impulse revealed in later works such as Romeo and Juliet.

Reviews

                ****½

 
Thiemo Wind - de Telegraaf (Netherlands) - 28 June 2014

                        Repertoire   ****½  (Very Good/Outstanding)           Sound ***½ (Good/Very Good)
Ingo Harden - Fono Forum magazine (Germany) - May 2014

“…This is a release that effectively sets the standard for 21st-century Prokofiev interpretation.”

Colin Clarke – International Piano magazine – May/June 2014

 "...Splendidly presented by Chandos this set sports an exemplary booklet essay by David Nice. The performer’s note by soloist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is a real bonus. Using the BBC Philharmonic’s studio at MediaCity UK, Salford the ever reliable Chandos team have excelled combining clear and well-balanced sound with a realistic presence. In short this is an indispensable set for Prokofiev admirers and all enthusiasts of 20th century music."

 
Michael Cookson - MusicWeb-International.com - 22 April 2014

                *** (Good Album)       *** (Good Sound)

Stéphane Friédérich – Classica magazine  (France) – April 2014 

 "... he [Bavouzet] is most sucessful in the knotty Left hand Concerto (No 4), he actually betters Richter in the Fifth ... this disc does boast the best orchestral support these concertos have received in recent years - the BBC Phil and Noseda push the music to unheard-of levels." ****
Marius Dawn - Pianist magazine - April/May 2014
 

 “… he [Bavouzet] plays these challenging works brilliantly, with crisp clarity, flair and style … Gianandrea Noseda … draws inspired, colorful playing from the excellent BBC Philharmonic.”

Anthony Tommasini – The New York Times – 12 March 2014

"...Forget the competition, this is the cycle to have ..."
David Denton - The Yorkshire Post - 21 February 2014

                                  Recording of the Month - Editors Choice

“…Throughout, Bavouzet displays a light touch and laudable levels of physical stamina, with a firm grasp of the very different personalities of each piece. Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic perform like soulmates for the duration, and with superb notes by Prokofiev scholar David Nice as part of the deal, you can hardly go wrong.”

Rob Cowan – Gramophone magazine – March 2014

                 Classical Album of the Week

“…Chandos’s recording is typically excellent, and the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda accompanies diligently. .. a set to have.”  ****

David Mellor – The Mail on Sunday – 2 March 2014

             Album of the Week

“…a top recommendation for the rarely heard G minor No 2, and the strange B flat major No 4 for left hand … Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Phillies are ideal partners in this enterprising set, which should win friends for these less familiar works.”

Hugh Canning – The Sunday Times (Culture magazine) – 2 March 2014

                   Performance ****         Recording ***

“Following Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Gianandrea Noseda’s superlative Bartók Concerto cycle here are their attention-grabbing interpretations of Prokofiev’s characterful five of that genre. With Bavouzet’s lively temperament allied with Noseda’s fierce attention to detail, no listener will come to these performances without hearing something new in these works…”

Daniel Jaffé – BBC Music magazine – March 2014

"... Strongly recommended ..."
David Gutman - International Record Review - February 2014

 

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