Theodore Kuchar

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6, Op. 111; Waltzes, Op. 110

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Aside from having been published consecutively, there isn't much to link Prokofiev's Waltz Suite, Op. 110, with his Symphony No. 6, Op. 111. The waltzes are delightful, charming, elegiac, a little bit creepy, but always ingratiating. The Symphony No. 6 is powerful, lyrical, tragic, very scary, and always monumental. The only thing they really have in common is Prokofiev's skill as an orchestrator and his powerful idenity as a composer. In this 1994 recording by Theodore Kuchar and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, both works are fully characterized and completely compelling. The waltzes are fey and affectionate with dancing rhythms and enchanting melodies. The symphony is massive and frightening with achingly beautiful themes and deeply tragic structures. The only thing they have in common is Kuchar's sympathetic but commanding interpretations and the Ukraine's powerful and persuasive playing. But that is more than enough to make this one of the best couplings in the Prokofiev discography. Naxos' sound is clean and vivid.

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