This is another splendid installment in Bronfman's cycle of the Prokofiev sonatas. Bronfman's approach to all works is deeply considered, thoughtful and individual though with an unerring understanding of the style and what makes these sonatas work. The performances are technically impeccable, the melodic lines excellently articulated and the overall conception of the individual works entirely convincing - still, there is no shortage of color and range of expression. In short, this is among the most convincing cycles of Prokofiev piano sonatas out there, and although I wouldn't want to be without certain other especially individual performances this is a superb choice for the whole cycle.
The second is very finely done, although it may perhaps lack a little bit in momentum and forward drive. In the third, however, Bronfman's play with lights and shadows and realization of the layered textures is unsurpassed - the phrasing is absolutely stunning, and the overall narrative structure impressively sustained. The lightness of touch, especially in the faster parts, is almost breathtaking.
Yet the truly outstanding performance here is probably the fifth (the earlier version is used), where the range of colors and moods is absolutely marvelous, especially in the sarcastic and (for lack of a better term) deranged final movement. The ninth is very convincing as well, even though Bronfman chooses a lighter (but completely convincing) approach than some; this is a rather gently lyrical account, but not without humor and sparkle. These performances are, in short, major contenders in the repertoire, and they receive very good sound; strongly recommended.