Prokofiev: Symphonies – No 3 in C minor, Op 44; No 7 in C sharp minor, Op 131 (including alternative ending)

Reviewed on Thu 03 Apr, 2014

Prokofiev Three is the phoenix that rose from the flames of the opera The Fiery Angel and given an incendiary performance (Rozhdestvensky and Kondrashin never fail) is thrilling from beginning to end. To my ears Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth SO seem a little too obsessed with health and safety. Theirs is a thoughtfully balanced, generally well played performance that in the first movement’s central conflagration and the juggernaut, sci-fi finale lacks an element of tension. Ideally one wants something rather less cautious. The superficially innocent Seventh is again securely musical but here the lack is more in terms of pathos and sweeping exuberance. And although Onyx usefully gives us the alternative ‘happy ending’ (if you’ll forgive the expression) as a 00:29 fill-up, they had more than enough room on the disc to double up the complete finale duly edited. You would then have had the option of hearing either version without hindrance. As it stands, you don’t. Good, neatly balanced sound.
–Rob Cowan