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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra Op. 125 (1954) [36.51]
Cello Sonata Op. 119 (1949) [24.33]
Han-Na Chang (cello)
Antonio Pappano (piano)
London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano
rec. March 2002, No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London. DDD
EMI CLASSICS 72453 5 57438 2 4 [61.41]



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As I have recently had cause to write in connection with Daniil Shafran's Cello Classics recording, the Sinfonia Concertante is a reworking of his Cello Concerto in E minor from 1939. The work lacks the consistently compulsive invention of the First Violin Concerto. This is a piece in transition; imperfect chrysalis rather than butterfly. Nevertheless it is rife with Prokofiev's keen fantasy and romantic edginess. As yet Han-Na Chang does not cut quite such a dash as Daniil Shafran although she certainly shines in the central allegro giusto. Then so does Prokofiev. The orchestral part is rendered with the depth of character invited by Prokofiev's writing but that strength of character is not projected by the soloist.

Both Pappano and Han-Na are common to the orchestral work and the sonata. Here both cellist and pianist strike sparks and undulating contours off each other much more successfully. This is a highly desirable reading and is recommended. If you want to be won over try the scorching allegro ma non troppo finale. Now if only Han-Na Chang could be inveigled into recording the Schmitt Introit Récit et Congé …

Rob Barnett



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