Vladimir Krainev

Sergei Prokofiev: Concertos for piano and orchestra, Nos. 1-5

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Vladimir Krainev's performances of Sergey Prokofiev's five piano concertos were recorded in 1976 and re-recorded in 1981 and 1983, so this is something of a historical item for specialists, rather than a set with broad commercial appeal. Prokofiev's percussive writing for the piano comes across quite plainly, even aggressively, and Krainev makes the most of this hard and brilliant sound. However, the orchestral sonorities are unpleasant and sometimes unintelligible, with some muddy accompaniment and harsh tutti passages that detract from the overall sound quality. The Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Dmitri Kitayenko, early in his tenure with that ensemble, though how much of his interpretation shows through is hard to say, considering Krainev's dominance. But even where the orchestra is exposed, as it is in the opening of the Piano Concerto No. 3, it seems that the microphone was placed too far away to capture background details, and probably placed too close to the piano, considering Krainev's powerful volume.

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