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Pianos and Pianists - Consultant Editor Ates Orga



'It is hard to describe the impression Prokofiev made on us that evening [premiering his Third Sonata, Op 28, From Old Notebooks, Petrograd, April 15th 1918]. I think I shall not be mistaken if I say that that first performance of his gave many of us an entirely new understanding of his music, very different from that gained from the performance of other musicians, who tended to emphasize the elemental quality of the music, the dynamic contrasts and the mechanical elements. The music sounded far richer, far more subtle when Prokofiev played it. Everything he played sounded full-blooded and healthy, both spiritually and physically, everything was coloured, dynamic but without the slightest exaggeration, the slightest crudity let alone coarseness. In short, nothing "Scythian." And what was most important, everything was illumined by the light of sincerity, poetry and human warmth. Moreover, the whole performance was distinguished by a quiet reserve, a total absence of any external pianistic effects that conveyed an impression of a great spiritual calm. With his extraordinary pianistic talents, Prokofiev revealed that rich lyrical feeling in his music which we had failed to notice until then. This was a joyous and unexpected discovery for us.'

- Sergei Prokofiev ed. S.I.Shlifstein trans. Rose Prokofieva, Moscow 1961 (Russian language original, 1956): Remiscences: Materials, Documents

Want to know more about Prokofiev the pianist? Then read Ates Orga's review of Alexander Torazde's concerto cycle for Philips in the Spring 1998 issue of International Piano Quarterly

Composer in Person
Hear Prokofiev play his Third Piano Concerto
on EMI Classics

with the London Symphony Orchestra under Piero Coppola
recorded for HMV in Studio 1, Abbey Road, London, June 27th & 28th 1932

Producer: Lawrance Collingwood. [Balance Engineer?]
Digital remastering & audio restoration from original 78s: Andrew Walter,
        Abbey Road Studios
Liner notes: John McCabe

EMI Classics CDC 5 55223 2 ADD mono
released 1994

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