Magazine article Gramophone

Bartok: Prokofiev: Stravinsky

Magazine article Gramophone

Bartok: Prokofiev: Stravinsky

Article excerpt

Bartok * Prokofiev * Stravinsky Bartok Piano Concerto No 3, Sz119 (a). The Miraculous Mandarin. Sz73--Suite Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet--Montagues and Capulets Stravinsky The Firebird (1910 version)

(a) Yeflm Bronfman pf

London Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev LSO Live (S) (2) LS05078 (97' * DDD) Recorded live at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, October 24, 2015

Most LSO Live recordings rigorously eschew applause and include some remedial patching. This one has a different purpose, consciously intended to capture the thrills and spills of the band's collaborations with their toothpick-wielding former helmsman. His farewell concerts as LSO chief were marketed, to the wry amusement of some, as 'Valery Gergiev--Man of the Theatre'. The conductor's notoriously over-stuffed schedule had often found him in St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre when he might have been expected at London rehearsals. That said, these final programmes played to his strengths and were followed by a successful US tour from which the present offering is drawn. The location is not one of the famous East Coast halls but Newark's New Jersey Performing Arts Center, a modern multi-purpose venue like London's Barbican Hall and, on this evidence, acoustically superior to it.

Most impressive, unsurprisingly enough, is the performance of Stravinsky's Firebird on the second CD. Long a speciality of the maestro, his commercial recording (Philips, 7/98) remains highly thought of. …

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