Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1; Piano Concerto No. 3; Piano Sonata No. 7

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COMPOSERS: Prokofiev
LABELS: ASV
WORKS: Piano Concerto No. 1; Piano Concerto No. 3; Piano Sonata No. 7
PERFORMER: Mari Kodama (piano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Kent Nagano
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 786 DDD (1991)
Not since the Previn/ Ashkenazy Prokofiev cycle has the orchestra staked so characterful a claim in the concerto argument. This is indeed a partnership, as one might expect from husband and wife, though Kodama is no heavyweight match for Nagano’s team at full pelt; she all but disappears as the First Concerto’s joyously noisy motto theme hits the roof. Otherwise, these are clean and clear, if hardly risk-taking, performances of two sprightly concertos rarely heard in tandem. A third, darker period in Prokofiev’s pianistic output is represented by the Sonata No. 7; here, as in the concertos, it is introspection rather than tumultuous fireworks which is Kodama’s great strength. The off-stage birdsong in the Third Concerto’s variations, incidentally, is charming. David Nice

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