GABRIEL PROKOFIEV: Concerto for Two Turntables. Cello Concerto.
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 Pastorale. KNECHT: Le
Portrait musical de la Nature on Grande Symphonie
LSO PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE
A DJ "disk jockey" usually is someone who plays disks at a party or occasion providing a seamless musical stream. Now the DJ concept has been carried to extremes by composer Gabriel Prokofiev, grandson of famed Russian composer Serge Prokofiev. This site recently praised a recording of Gabriel's Concerto for Bass Drum and Saxophone Concerto (REVIEW). Now we have two more major works of this fascinating composer, a Cello Concerto and the unique Concerto for Two Turntbles. Actually the turntables are used as synthesizers (remember the Moog Synthesizer of the mid-sixties?). Prokofiev wrote his concerto in 2006, and i then was commissioned by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain to make a version with full orchestra accompaniment. The pre mire took pace in Birmingham's Symphony Hall August 3, 2011 with Dr. Switch as soloist and Vladimir Jurowski on the podium. On the Internet you can see a live 2011 performance from the BBC roms YOU TUBE. It is fascinating to watch and the audience loved it. It has received dozens of performances. On the Internet you can see this YOU TUBE. It is fascinating to watch and the audience loved it. The Cello Concerto composed in 2012 commissioned by Alexander Ivashkin who died of cancer 8 months after the St Petersburg premiere. The concerto has three movements, opening with a humorous but sarcastic scherzo. The second movement , Lento, is in memoriam , homage to ea past relatives including his grandfather Serge. It is a dark often percussive ad gloomy slow march. Things lighten up during the finale energetic Allegro again marked by spiky dissonance and surprises. This is a fascinating addition to the cello repertory. I think for sure Serge would hav3 approved Performances are outstanding, an the recording made made August 2018 in Russia's Sverdiovsky Philharmonic Hall captures all of these unusual sounds with state-of-the-art fidelity. An important issue!
Justin Heinrich Knecht (1752- 1817) was a respected German organist and composer. He composed profusely including operas, theatre works, as well as organ and chamber music. Little of hiss music lasted with the exception of his grand "nature" symphony composed 1784-1785. This was one of the earliest efforts to represent nature in music. It has a definite program with different sections including thunderstorms and dancing, with some bird calls. Knecht's symphony was written 25 years before Beethoven wrote his Pastorale symphony. Both Knecht and Beethoven had the same publisher and there is no question that the latter was influenced by the former. When listening to thKnecht's opus you often will hear music and effects Beethoven used. It is a fascinating work to hear, considering circumstances. It surely is well played by the fine Berlin Akademie on period instruments with the small orchestra of the era. The recordings were made in Berlin's Teldex Studio June 2019. . An intriguing release.
The London Symphony has released many recordings of live performances of their concerts, mostly made in Barbican Hall. Many of these are sonically disappointing because of the dry acoustics of the venue. Here is a disk featuring the superb percussionists of the orchestra. Instruments used are vibraphones, pianos, marimbas, Hang Drum, Drum set, and pianos. Music of Gwilym Simcock, Steve Reich, Chick Corea & Makoto Ozone, as listed above. All of this is gentle, often subtle music, and it is played to perfection. The recordings were made 2018 - 2019 in Jerwood Hall, LSO St. Luke's , London. Previous disks by these performers, music of Beethoven and Mozart, were issued on SACD; this one is regular stereo.
RE.B. (June 2020)