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.
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