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Stravinsky is superb and Prokofiev not bad, where Kopatchinskaja meets a suiting repertoire

09.02.2015


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Stravinsky, Prokofiev: Violin Concertos * * * *
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski
Naive
 
Stravinsky is superb and Prokofiev not bad, where Kopatchinskaja meets a suiting repertoire
 
I have never really enjoyed Kopatchinskaja’s classical recordings, and especially dislike her approach to Beethoven. However, as is the case with such gifted instrumentalists, there are areas where she has more to say. This CD contains two such works, the Stravinsky and the (second) Prokofiev concerti. It starts with the Stravinsky where she is absolutely perfect. She does well to alienate the music, together with Jurowski, from any Baroque references, and leaves the titles aside. Both soloist and conductor treat the openings of the four movements and the rhythmic relation worthily. The Stravinsky concerto poses problems for the soloist especially in the sudden changes, which she manages with a different surprise each time. The first movement’s technical difficulties are made easy by Kopatchinskaja whereas the finale is almost clarified by her opening up the difficult to understand rhythmics. This is a must buy CD if only for the Stravinsky, where Jurowski creates by making so much of Stravinsky’s sometimes banally circus music. Having said this, the Prokofiev is less successful. The rhythmic stability and the virtuosity is certainly there, and the Russian flavour is definitely missing. But that is not all. Here Kopatchinskaja is not creative enough and the music’s less melodic, more narrative style devours her. The slow movement is not grave enough and the finale lacks some irony, it is played too mechanically. Not a bad performance but there are many, and several modern, recordings that easily treats Prokofiev better. Nevertheless, get it for the Stravinsky.

Feyzi Erçin

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