For Evgeny Kissin, recording Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto must be déjà vu all over again, to quote noted American philosopher Yogi Berra, because every time the Russian pianist switches labels, he records the piece again. In 1985, he recorded it for RCA with Andrei Chistyakov and the Moscow Philharmonic, and in 1994, he recorded it for Deutsche Grammophon with Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2008 he recorded it for EMI with Vladimir Ashkenazy leading the Philharmonia Orchestra.
These were the six quartets that caused Haydn to tell Mozart's father that his son was the finest composer in the world–and Haydn wasn't just saying that because Mozart dedicated the pieces to him. In richness of invention, density of thought, length, and melodic appeal, these pieces set new standards for the medium. However, they are not easy pieces to play or to listen to, and the Juilliard Quartet's lean, emphatic approach works very well in clarifying the busy textures and maximizing the music's dramatic impact. And at budget price, this three-disc set belongs in every string-quartet lover's collection. – David Hurwitz