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After listening to Gaff's 6th, I really wasn't convinced that the conductor had a feel for Prokofiev's sound world. ( Too soft-edged, colors not bold enough, etc.)
His 5th seems to be a different story, at least in the 1st mov't: Dark, propulsive, and paced just right, though Gaffigan takes the remarkable ending at speed, (you can clearly feel the 3-beat). I prefer the section be treated more as an event in itself, overall coherence be damned. The tam tam in these pages is roaring and weighty (as opposed to sharp and shrill) and hits you in the gut like it should. The Netherlands Radio Symphony percussionists purchased the my kind of bass drum: deep and resounding. Still, I didn't get tingles, as I do with (yes) Previn/LA Phil, or his older EMI. Or Maazel's sleeper in Cleveland.
Recorded sound is wonderful, if a touch diffuse. BIS is keeping the microphone sweet spot a secret. I'll probably download the other three mov'ts.
This performance sounds fabulous as a remastered CD, but unfortunately it's out of print. It's available as a download from prestoclassical if you don't live in USA, and there are some used copies on Amazon:
The best performance of this piece I've heard, bar none, was a broadcast by Dudamel/NY Philharmonic. Unfortunately, it's not available as a disc or download.
My go to version of the several that I have.
No, haven't heard it, but I will check it out.
But don't worry - previous defective judgement is a condition most of the rest of us have been afflicted with too! ;-)
BTW, I'm surprised you mentioned Previn/LA - I used to have that one and I thought it was kind of bloodless, but "previous defective judgement" might be in play here, and if I heard that Telarc recording again, I might think better of it these days! ;-)
I have a Previn/LA 5th (coupled with the 1st) on Philips, which could fairly be characterized as "kind of bloodless." (Good sound, though.) Previn did record an Alexander Nevsky in LA for Telarc, another performance low in horsepower. His cycle of the piano concertos with Ashkenazy provides evidence that Previn could be effective in Prokofiev, but these LA recordings argue otherwise. Had he lost interest? Was there a lack of rapport with the orchestra?
For me, the 5th begins and ends with Ormandy's two stereo recordings--the Columbia for impetus and intensity, the RCA for epic grandeur. This probably betokens lowbrow taste, but there it is.
Don't worry, I'll give you plenty more chances to catch me in the act. ;-)
Ormandy's RCA 5th was my first exposure and I remember it fondly.
The most intense performance on record I've heard is Karajan's. They play the hell out of the piece.
The recording is a let-down in the bass dept: low piano and bass drum is almost inaudible.
Worth a listen though. The Berlin Phil's intensity really elevates the last 3 movt's.
Actually I listened to it again yesterday but I still find the first mov't a bit directionless and too plush. Just a few minutes of Litton's on BIS validated my suspicions.
Previn's 5th (and 6th) was released by Philips. Really nice recordings in LA.
I understand people's lack of confidence in Previn, but IMHO he has a feel for Prokofiev, especially regarding matters of color, ebb and flow, and balance between tartness and sweetness.
Currently streaming it now, via TIDAL, using a Battery Powered Raspberry Pi/HiFi Berry audio player hooked directly the internet through my local network.
S/PDIF out to my DAC/Headphone amp. No longer a slave to my computer when streaming.
Sounds very good, but I'm a sucker for Prokofiev.
BTW, congrats on getting yours up and running!
But worth a shot for streaming.
Been controlling it up to now with a laptop but would like to try using my iPad for that and just downloaded an app that lets me forget about the laptop when listing in my living room easy chair.
It's the website of the actual recording outfit (Northstar), which does contract work for Challenge Classics, among others (I presume). (NativeDSD has it in 'only' DSD64.)
I'm still deciding whether to part with the extra $12. : )
The end of the first movt just wasn't as sensational as I'd hoped, though it could be me: I've heard the symphony so often.
That said, their recording surpasses earlier efforts, and that's saying a lot!
Just finished listening to the 5th via headphones (which is how I do most of my listening these days) and I'm afraid that I found it a rather 'meh' performance. Nothing obviously wrong or bad, but then there was nothing special, either. Just OK. I want to listen a few more times, though. (It's very late!) Great sound (DSD128).
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