Winner of the gold medal in the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Vadym Kholodenko has impressed audiences with his dynamic playing and compelling interpretations of Romantic and modern repertoire. This Harmonia Mundi hybrid SACD presents Kholodenko with Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in a pair of piano concertos by Sergey Prokofiev that fully show the pianist's artistry and virtuosity. This album is the first in a projected Prokofiev cycle, and while the Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor provides a well-rounded view of Kholodenko's abilities, from the quiet lyricism of the opening to the vigorous displays of technique in the two cadenzas, it is an odd way to launch the series. Dark, brooding, and notoriously difficult, this concerto partakes of the moody and aggressive style of Prokofiev's music circa 1913, and the spiky dissonances and dense textures in the piano part and the orchestral accompaniment call for incisiveness in Kholodenko's execution and clarity in Harth-Bedoya's direction. The Piano Concerto No. 5 in G major, written almost 20 years later, offers contrasts in its succinct movements, lighter textures, and sardonic treatment of neoclassicism, and even though this is one of Prokofiev's least appreciated concertos, Kholodenko plays it with an appealing zest that should attract admirers.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Opus 16|
|Piano Concerto No. 5 in G major, Opus 55|