Rostropovich: Prokofiev Sinfonia Concertante - Capitol G 7121, beautiful copy
Jacket NM / LP NM
This beautiful and quite rare LP – a superb collector's copy – from Capitol (G 7121, US pressing, Capitol / EMI logo at 9 o'clock, mono, original inner sleeve included) features Mstislav Rostropovich's unsurpassed account of Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante Op. 125, warmly recorded with conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at EMI Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, London, on 15 April 1957.
Of an EMI CD re-issue of this remarkable performance, the eminent critic Robert Layton wrote for the November 1988 issue of The Gramophone:
"The Sinfonia Concertante, a reworking of the E minor Cello Concerto, came into being after the war when Prokofiev heard the young Rostropovich play it. Although he first called it Concerto No. 2, he subsequently had second thoughts and chose the present title without ever rejecting or disowning the earlier concerto. He described the new piece as ''a reworking of the material of the first, made in collaboration with Mstislav Rostropovich''. There is greater opportunity for virtuoso display in the present version, and Prokofiev expands on the Theme and Variations of the Concerto. Much of the Sinfonia Concertante is too close to the earlier work for it to be regarded as completely separate; I regret one or two changes in the second movement but the third movement undoubtedly has greater coherence in its revised and extended form. This was Rostropovich's first recording of it in the West, and like the Miaskovsky, it almost sounds as if it was made yesterday. A self-recommending disc."
Incidentally, the lovely cover art was executed by Gene Grant. There are informative liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by Felix Aprahamian, provided in English only.