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JDT 128
Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Medtner: PIANO SONATAS
Tatjana Rankovich, piano
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artist photoSergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), precocious as a child, entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1904, by which time he had already written a great deal of music. At the Conservatory he shocked the more conservative director, Glazunov, but learned much from an older fellow-student, the composer Myaskovsky. After the Revolution he was given permission to travel abroad and he remained intermittently out of Russia, in America and then in Paris, until his final return to Russia in 1936. At home, though in touch again with the root of his inspiration, he found himself out of favour with the authorities and in 1948 the subject of particular and direct censure. His death in 1953, on the same day as Stalin, deprived him of the enjoyment of the subsequent relaxation in musical censorship that then took place. In style Prokofiev is ironic, writing in a musical language that is often acerbic. Prokofiev first attempted to write an opera at the age of nine. Maturer operas include The Love for Three Oranges, written in 1919 for Chicago, The Fiery Angel and War and Peace, the last based on Tolstoy's novel. An early ballet score for Dyagilev proved unacceptable, but later ballets, once rejected as undanceable, include Romeo and Juliet, and in 1944 Cinderella. Both ballets as well as the first mentioned opera are known to concert audiences from orchestral suites based on them by the composer. Film scores by Prokofiev include Alexander Nevsky, written for Eisenstein's film of that name, and music for the same director's Ivan the Terrible. Music for the film Lieutenant KijÚ, a fictional character, created by a clerical error and maintained in existence to the end, was written in 1933. Of Prokofiev's five piano concertos the third is best known, written in the composer's instantly recognisable musical language, from the incisive opening to the motor rhythms that follow, in a mixture of lyricism and acerbic wit. More overtly romantic in feeling are the two fine violin concertos. His early Cello Concerto was followed in 1952, fourteen years later, by a Cello Concertino, completed by the cellist Rostropovich and the composer Kabalevsky after Prokofiev's death.

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JDT 117 Other CDs featuring Sergei Prokofiev: JDT 158

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