- Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26
- Piano Concerto No. 4 in B flat major (for the left hand), Op. 53
- Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 10
Kun Woo Paik's energetic performances of Prokofiev's five piano concertos were released by Naxos in 1992 on two discs. This recording features the Korean virtuoso in the first, third, and fourth concertos, though in an arbitrary ordering. Assertive and sometimes strident, yet glorious in its splendid orchestration and dynamic piano writing, the "Piano Concerto No. 3" makes a stunning opening. Paik delivers his relentless solo with spiky attacks and bravura runs, and his powerful performance easily dominates the orchestra. The "Piano Concerto No. 4" was commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein and was written for the left hand, as were similar works by Ravel, Strauss, and Britten. While this concerto has a subdued character, perhaps in compensation for the intended performer's limited capabilities, it is nonetheless a charming work with dry wit and serene melodies. Despite its relatively modernistic harmonies and anti-romantic posture -- so provocative at its premiere -- the "Piano Concerto No. 1" is the most old-fashioned sounding work in the series. The pianistic gestures and passionate melodies are still identifiable as romantic in thrust, and Paik's sweeping performance reflects this aspect of the piece rather more than the composer might have wished. The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Antoni Wit, provides a somewhat understated, though satisfactory accompaniment.