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Prokofiev’s piano concertos have been doing well on disc of late, whether full cycles (Bavouzet on Chandos) or exceptional individual recordings from the likes of Beatrice Rana, Alexei Volodin and Vadym Kholodenko. Sadly, this new set – the first of a complete survey with Nos 2 and 5 to follow – does not match these rivals. Tempi throughout are generally too relaxed with a lack of momentum and drive a common failing; the opening of the exuberant No 1 here sounds laboured, although things pick up later on. Starting with the most popular of the five (No 3) was adroit but the piano tone is brittle and ugly, at odds with the music’s lyrical impulse. No 4 fares best overall, but this is a disappointing start and a disc I shall not return to often.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica


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