Various Artists

Prokofiev: Instrumental & Chamber Music

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The first question is, "Why this compilation of random piano works and miscellaneous pieces of chamber music by Prokofiev and not some other random and miscellaneous collection?" Why the Second, Seventh, and Eighth sonatas and not the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth? Why the quintet and Overture on Hebrew Themes and not the string quartets? Why a piano transcription of Romeo et Juliette and not a piano transcription of Cinderella? If this is a sampling, it is wholly arbitrary and not especially representative. The second question is, "Why these performances and not others?" Why the superb quintet by the Berlin Soloists and the awful performance of the flute sonata by Jean-Pierre Rampal? Why the belligerent Violin Sonata in F minor by Vadim Repin and the exquisite Music for Children by György Sebök? Why the brilliant cello sonata by Arto Noras and the grating two violin sonatas by Repin and Barakhovsky? Why the adequate-but-not-much-more performance of the Seventh sonata and the ecstatic and a-whole-lot-more performance of the Toccata by Cyprien Katsaris? The answer to both the above questions is the same. This compilation and no other and these performances and no others because this is what Warner had in its vaults to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Prokofiev. The third question is, "Who needs this compilation?" The answer is: people who want to get the great performances -- the Sebök, the Katsaris, the Noras, the Berlin Soloists -- and are willing to put up with or ignore the mediocre to awful performances.

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