Recorded on 10/20/2011, uploaded on 04/09/2011
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
I. Allegro inquieto; II. Andante Caloroso; III. PrecipitateIn the summer of 1939, Prokofiev met Maria-Cecilia Abramovna Mendelson, called Mira. The two began a passionate liaison. It is from her that we learn that Prokofiev had been reading Romain Rolland's book on Beethoven and that this strongly influenced his sixth, seventh and eighth sonatas, works that he wrote during the following years.Prokofiev completed his seventh piano sonata in 1942 and it was first performed at the Hall of Columns in Moscow in January, 1943 by Sviatoslav Richter, who later wrote that he felt the chaos and death-dealing forces in the sonata juxtaposed with the continuation of what man lives for: love and the affirmation of life.The first movement, marked Allegro inquieto, starts with an opening unharmonized phrase. Before long, two strands of melody diverge, leading to syncopations of greater stridency. A secondary theme appears in an Andantino section, part of a modified sonata-allegro structure. The second movement Andante caloroso is in E major, now with a key signature, a feature absent in the first movement. The singing melody in an inner part, followed closely in the bass, leads to a central section of varied tonalities and textures, before the final return of the material of the opening, much abridged. The sonata ends with a final movement in 7/8 metre, perceived as 2+3+2. Marked Precipitato, the material is dominated by this asymmetrical rhythmic pattern, to end in a final affirmative and unambiguous B flat major. Natasha Paremski
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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