Composer: Sergei Prokofiev (b. 1891 - d. 1953)
Performance date: 01/07/2013
Venue: Bantry Library
Composition Year: 1932
Recording Engineer: Damian Chennells, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation: vn, va, vc, pf
Instrumentation Other: 2vn
Vadim Gluzman -
Pekka Kuusisto - [violin]
In spite of the apparent limitations of such
a duo, one can invent so many interesting things that the audience would listen
for ten or even fifteen minutes without getting bored. Prokofiev took no chances; the timing comes
in just under fifteen minutes music.
This Sonata was
written in 1932 for a concert by a recently founded contemporary music group, Le Triton.
As it turned out the premiere actually took place in Moscow performed by the
two violinists from the famous Beethoven Quartet, Dmitri Tsiganov and Vasili
Shirinsky with the Paris premiere following soon afterwards given by Robert
Soëtens (who was later to commission the Second Violin Concerto) and Samuel
The Andante cantabile begins with a
long-breathed solo soon joined by the second part, together evoking the
melismas and close harmonies of eastern European folk-singing. The subsequent Allegro changes into dance mode
following the stamping introductory chords. The two partners move in swirling
patterns with occasional pizzicato gestures and a brief ralletando before the final whirl. Commodo is a serenade-like interlude before the intrepid Allegro con brio. Here in the work’s
longest movement, Prokofiev moves into neo-classical mode with clear, sparkling
lines, a powerful fugue and an exciting coda to conclude.
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