Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D; Piano Concerto No. 3 in C; Lieutenant Kijé Suite

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COMPOSERS: Prokofiev
LABELS: DG
WORKS: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D; Piano Concerto No. 3 in C; Lieutenant Kijé Suite
PERFORMER: Shlomo Mintz (violin), Martha Argerich (piano); Chicago SO, Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado
CATALOGUE NO: 439 413-2 ADD/DDD (1967-84)
Martha Argerich’s impressive 1967 account of the third Prokofiev Piano Concerto hasn’t aged well; despite digital refurbishment, climaxes are congested, and piano timbre remains disappointingly brittle. Nonetheless, Argerich engages the ambivalent qualities of a work demanding rarified musical perception and precipitous virtuosity, emerging triumphantly in each regard! Prokofiev’s D major Violin Concerto receives a sensuous, idiomatic performance from Mintz, in excellent digital sound; his rhapsodic approach focuses strongly on the impressionistic element of this formidably taxing work. Abbado’s 1978 Kijé is bitingly sardonic yet aptly humorous; the digital transfer is brash, though serviceable. Michael Jameson

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