Chandos’s previous Prokofiev series, recorded in the 80s with Neëme Järvi and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, is still probably the most recommendable complete cycle available. Chandos now seem to feel the need to start again, the reason possibly being that they are now using ‘authentically’ all-Russian forces. Whatever the company’s motivation (or if indeed it is to be a complete cycle), the results are impressively powerful, and the coupling stimulating and generous.
…The detail and clarity of the engineering, plus the spacious, airy overall spectrum of the recording (made at the famous Watford Colosseum), cements the conclusion that it is still possible to make a classic Tchaikovsky symphony recording that listeners are likely to enjoy decades in the future, just as recordings made decades ago—Wilhelm Furtwängler's (on Naxos and EMI), or Bernstein's and Mravinsky's second recordings (both on DG)—are today. Recording Of The Month.
…The rating says five stars. I say: there are too many stars to count. Get this SACD, and listen to Beethoven the humanist who plumbed and characterized all those joys and struggles we have come to call the human condition.
This concerto includes Prokofiev's Classical Symphony No.1 and Tchaikovsky's piano concerto No.1 featuring Evgeny Kissin. Karajan is in very good mood despite the pain in his back that kept him leaning back (instead of his customary forward position) in the special supporting device prepared for him in the conductor's podium.