Prokofiev's Harmonic Language

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Host David Dubal continues his look at the life and music of Sergei Prokofiev. Innovative and elegant, Prokofiev was the last Russian master to be born in the 19th century. He wrote masterpieces in every genre and his catalog of piano works is one of the most original and formidable of any Russian composer.

As a composer, Prokofiev created a unique harmonic language, incorporating exciting rhythms and distinctive elements of mockery to express his emotion. Under the shadow of Stalin, he was seen as a cultural hero, but this did not last long. In 1948, he was publicly condemned by the Communist party for being anti-Soviet. Throughout of the end of his life, he struggled to conform and keep his artistic integrity.

This week’s program features the composer's own transcription of "Before Parting" from his ballet Romeo and Juliet, a portion of the Vision Fugitives performed by an American pianist Leonard Pennario, and the Suggestion diabolique played by the master himself.

Program playlist:

Sergei Prokofiev: Toccata, Op. 11
Samson François

Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata No. 8 in B-flat Major, Op. 84: II. Andante sognando
Dmitry Rachmanov
Vista Vera

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 26: II. Andantino
Julius Katchen

Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75, No. 10 "Before Parting"
Yekaterina Ervy-Novitskaya

Sergei Prokofiev: Suggestions diabolique
Sergie Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev: "Gavotte" from Cinderella
Arcadi Volodos
Sony Classical

Sergei Prokofiev: Prelude Op. 12, No. 7
Sergie Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14: II. Scherzo
Sviatoslav Richter

Sergei Prokofiev: Vision Fugitives, Op. 22, No. 17, Poetico
Leonard Pennario

Sergei Prokofiev: Gavotte from Symphony No. 1
Barbrar Nissman
Three Oranges Recordings

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83: III. Precipitato
Sviatoslav Richter