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Olli Mustonen has an affinity with the music of Prokofiev. This release completes his traversal of the piano concertos.

The performance of the monumental Second is the finest here. Mustonen’s attunement with Prokofiev is clear, his cadenza phenomenal; the powerful re-entry of the orchestra is brilliantly managed by Lintu. Mustonen plumbs the depths of the Intermezzo, and finds his way through the thicket of a Finale. A splendid performance, though not one to displace the best of a younger generation.

The tricky Fifth comes up against Richter (with Rowicki) and the difference is obvious. Mustonen’s version is decidedly brittle, the second movement spiky but curiously non-directional. The performance does include a spectacular Toccata at its centre, and the Larghetto has grandiosity. But this is a less satisfying experience than the Second.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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