Great Recordings: Gutierrez, Jarvi, Prokofiev
The genius of Sergei Prokofiev is definitely not passed by in this incredible recording of Horacio Gutierrez as pianist, Neeme Jarvi as conductor with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. I am truly in love with this great composition and the best recording of it done by everyone involved. A four movement composition that was dedicated to Mr. Prokofiev’s friend who committed suicide, Mr. Gutierrez and Mr. Jarvi truly bring inner sadness that Sergei exhibited with an amazing dosage of strength.
Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto is incredible. (Click to Tweet).
From the first mysterious notes performed by the orchestra, Horacio Gutierrez takes the lead with an elusive, quiet-like laser theme that he develops into a strong and powerful display of pianism. Always performed with great, Mr. Gutierrez displays an incredible technique and classy tone as well. His notes do not have one meaningless feature, a rare thing to find these days in pianists. Horacio really worked on his interpretation and you can tell the love he has for this perfect composition.
The fiery temperament of Mr. Gutierrez is not shown constantly, which is such a wonderful thing to hear for me. It shows me his great taste in his inner self. Who will ever forget Prokofiev’s cadenza in the first movement, where Horacio employs the perfect example of soft to strength in his playing? Oh how much I wished modern pianists would learn from this masterful performance. Today’s pianists have a tendency not to”offend” anyone in their playing instead of taking their personality to the next level. The level that shows I am a pianist and you came to see me perform and I will give you something to think about when you leave the concert hall. It lately always feels like you come out of a concert and say why did I even come? If a composer and pianist feels this way, how do you think other non musicians feel?
Mr. Jarvi does a great job accompanying Horacio. They truly work in great tandem. A wave of orchestral tones never exaggerates their place except for the first movement’s coda. That is done with knowledge and perfection. Neeme never tries to take over the lead from Mr. Gutierrez. He knows that the pianist is the main focus. The music is also written in such a wonderful way that if a conductor does not have an ego, at the moment, then everything will flow so well as an ensemble with the pianist. Mr. Prokofiev was a great pianist and conductor, so his knowledge of what worked ensemble-wise is top notch.
My advice to anyone, especially pianists and conductors, is to listen to this masterful recording. If you have a good head on your shoulders, then you will try to learn and incorporate everything in life done masterfully. This recording is definitely one of great achievements by humans.