Recorded on 01/22/2008, uploaded on 01/26/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
The Seventh Sonata is
the middle one of three wartime sonatas Prokofiev wrote for piano. Begun in
1939, it was completed in 1942 following the composer's evacuation from Moscow.
The premier was performed by Sviatoslav Richter on January 18, 1943, and the
work was subsequently awarded the Stalin Prize.
The piece is as turbulent
as it is compelling. The first movement begins with material that is both
driving and disturbing. Partial relief comes in the form of a contrasting
section, which is slower-paced and serene yet questioning.
The second movement takes us into a different world. It progresses gently, but there is an underlying sense of angst. Dreamlike, it builds gradually to a climax that
ultimately gives way to a soft ending, suggesting optimism.
Fiery and poignantly rhythmic, the final movement is a dramatic toccata, one of the finest in the piano literature. Requiring considerable virtuosity, the obvious struggle that this work embodies concludes in triumph. Notes
by George F. Litterst
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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