Prokofiev Symphonies/Gergiev

0 of 5 stars

Symphony 1 in D, Op.25 (Classical)
Symphony 2 in D minor, Op.40
Symphony 3 in C minor Op.44
Symphony No.4 in C, Op.47
Symphony No.4 in C, Op.112
Symphony 5 in B flat, Op.100
Symphony 6 in E flat minor, Op.111
Symphony 7 in C sharp minor, Op.131

London Symphony Orchestra
Valery Gergiev

Recorded at concerts in the Barbican Hall, London, in May 2004

Reviewed by: Kenneth Carter

Reviewed: October 2006
CD No: PHILIPS 475 7655
(4 CDs)
Duration: 4 hours 15 minutes



tour de force.

Listen, though, to the ‘Classical’ Symphony, too. Gergiev plays it in this same operatic style. The result is a rather poor thing – flabby, rescued by contrivance in the last movement (almost, not quite). The symphony is maimed by lack of qualities which, on reflection, it is clear that Gergiev has not offered us elsewhere in this corpus – elegance, precise orchestration, playfulness, intellectual brilliance (and showing off), and a sense of the sardonic.

Thus, magnificently, we have a lot – much more than we might find elsewhere, if not the revised (fast and loud) version of the finale of Symphony No.7 that Gergiev also played in these concerts (we get the quiet and simple original). But there’s a significant portion of Prokofiev’s character and qualities missing, too – yet, if we do not have everything, to be fair to Gergiev, these things are not to be found elsewhere either.

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