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In Reply to: RE: Against my better judgement, I downloaded Gaffigan's Prokofiev 5th, 1st mov't. Not bad. posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on April 07, 2017 at 12:36:55
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.
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