How do you review a record with a parallel track running in your head?

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Two albums of Prokofiev concertos arrive in the same delivery, one piano, the other violin. Both are from pedigree artists, pedigree labels. Which one do I review?

Here’s where you run into the problem of having too much music in your head. I cannot listen to the 4th and 5th Prokofiev concertos, or the 7th and 8th sonatas, without hearing Sviatoslav Richter as a parallel soundtrack, allowing others little room for manoeuvre. Likewise, the 3rd concerto which I heard Martha Argerich play with Riccardo Muti one Sunday afternoon more than 40 years ago with such effervescence that all else pales beside it. So forget the piano concertos….

Read on here.

And here.


And here.

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    • Same question. I have not run across a Richter Prokofieff Piano Concerto 4 in 50 years of tracking Prokofieff’s music on record. Rudolf Serkin recorded the Left Hand concerto with Ormandy in Philadelphia for Columbia, released originally on vinyl with their Bartok Piano Concerto No. 1. There were very few Concerto 4 recordings until the CD era. Richter’s DG recording of Concerto 5 is a classic!

  • So let me get this straight: you are incapable of letting go of other performances in order to review a new recording?

    Does that then mean you are not really of the proper temperament to review musical performances?

  • This is unabashed advertising in the form of information:

    I note that you, Norman, consistently refer to iTunes for downloading of your reviewed items.
    When reviewing a BIS album, however, as you just did (thank you), I would be much obliged if you referred to instead – it sells worldwide. iTunes only delivers mp3, whereas we deliver full Studio Master quality, with surround thrown at no extra charge into the price that is eminently comparable to iTunes’s.

    Just saying…

    Best – Robert

  • Richter only performed the Prokofiev Piano Concertos No. 1 and No. 5. He never performed (or recorded) the other three.

    • I thought that was so. I have never found recorded evidence or reference to Concertos 2, 3 or 4 from Richter. Thanks for your information.

  • All the worship & career statistics about Richter aside — Gluzman is a phenomenal violinist and anything he plays is worth hearing.

  • Gluzman has also made a great recording of the Prokofiev Violin Sonatas. And he has transcribed various Prok and Shostakovich pieces for violin and piano.

    Check out his recording of Richard Rodney Bennett concerto

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