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Penguin Guide, January 2009

It makes an ideal coupling having the Symphony No. 4 alongside the ballet score from which Prokofiev drew most of the material. The 1947 revision of the symphony, now generally preferred, is richer in both structure and instrumentation. Kuchar’s readings are both powerful and idiomatic, with crisply disciplined playing from the Ukraine Orchestra bringing home the weight and violence of much of the writing. These are performances to mach and eve outshine current rivals at whatever price; the Naxos recording is satisfying full-bodied, not least in vivid brass and percussion sounds, with the piano both clear and well integrated in the Symphony.

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