thu 23/01/2020

Gergiev's Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: a worthy winner? | reviews, news & interviews

Gergiev's Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: a worthy winner?

Gergiev's Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: a worthy winner?

There's enough ravishingly beautiful playing on the current version to make it a worthy candidate among the options on which the public voted this year, and it was good enough to include in our Valentine's Day special. But even in the three nominations for the orchestral category, I'd have been more inclined to choose Vasily Petrenko's sensationally brisk interpretation of Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony on the Naxos label.

What's the drawback here? Well, listen to rival versions and Gergiev's drama hangs fire a bit in the earlier fight scenes. So if I'd been on the panel this time, as I was back in 2008, I might have applied a bit more pressure on the final overall decision.

Still, there are some good choices for 2011, even if out of all the categories my money was only on one "winner": the ever-thoughtful Alexander Melnikov's two-CD Harmonia Mundi set of the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues.

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