Prokofiev: Cinderella; Symphony No. 1 (Classical)

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COMPOSERS: Prokofiev
LABELS: EMI Double Forte
WORKS: Cinderella; Symphony No. 1 (Classical)
CATALOGUE NO: CZS 5 68604 2 ADD Reissue (1983, 1977)
Previn makes broad, handsome work of both these inventive scores – something of a miracle in the case of Cinderella, enigmatically wiry and spare for much of its duration, and not really music for young listeners. Avoiding the glacial stare of the wildly overrated Pletnev Cinderella (DG), Previn preserves a slightly nasty edge to the magic and adds a luminous glow to the slightly under-par happy end. Both the instrumental solos and the string playing are more sophisticated than they were ten years earlier in the same team’s sometimes stolid Romeo, which resists going to the brink of desparate passion in love or war until a suitably hair-raising account of the denouement, ‘Juliet’s Funeral’. Still, there’s an impeccably characterised Classical Symphony to provide a youthful bonus to Cinderella, and since another ‘double’ in this series also includes Previn’s Nevsky along with Muti’s electrifying Ivan the Terrible, you can pick up stunningly engineered accounts of five crucial Prokofiev scores at remarkably little expense. David Nice