Album: Prokofiev, Piano Concertos 2 & 3 – Kissin/Ashkenazy/ Philharmonia, (EMI)

Is a former concert pianist the best conductor for a piano concerto? Apparently not.

From ex-pianist (Vladimir Ashkenazy) and pianist (Evgeny Kissin) alike, this is an uncomfortable performance of two famously booby-trapped works. In the G minor Concerto, Ashkenazy's cluttered "Allegretto" blows the glacial poise of Kissin's opening "Andantino", and the grotesquerie of the "Intermezzo" is chaotic. Orchestra and soloist are most cohesive in the rhapsodic sections of the "Thema con variazione" of the C major Concerto.