A Tribute to Prokofiev
The legacy of Sergei Prokofiev (1891 - 1953) is by now well explored and universally acknowledged. His music is performed all over the world. It is hard to imagine our musical life without his works, which have become indispensable ‘standards’ on our concert menu.
In addition to his outstanding abilities as a composer, Prokofiev had an incredible melodic gift – a rarity for a twentieth-century composer (Rachmaninoff excepted). It is this lyrical and intimate aspect of his music that is explored in this recording, which has been put together in the manner of an installation of stained glass and attempts to produce a portrait of the composer, when listened to straight through. All the works collected in this album are short, ranging from under one minute to five minutes in length. Vladimir Feltsman
The pianistic production is inseparable from the life and work of the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953). Vladimir Feltsman, who has recorded on several occasions for the Nimbus label, attracts for its vast repertoire and for its versatility. Prokofiev's compositions are a stylistic sample that, although they are works that are very free in expressiveness, in their final form become well-defined pieces. Feltsman's interpretation, which has an undeniable appeal, favors that this varied music by Prokofiev is likely to be of interest to a wide audience. Núria Serra, Sonograma Magazine
Vladimir Feltsman’s latest recording is entitled, ‘A Tribute to Prokofiev’ and it explores Prokofiev’s intimate and lyrical gifts as a composer through the medium of his piano miniatures. All the works in the recording are short and range from under 1 minute to 5 minutes in length.
In the opening Remembrance, Feltsman artfully layers Prokofiev’s textures subtly bringing out inner voices. In the ‘Harp’ Prelude the light crystalline outer sections contrast beautifully with the spiky material in the central section. Prokofiev’s 5 Sarcasms show the composer flexing his modernist muscles with their harsh, biting rhythms and polytonal harmonies. In the quicker movements Feltsman delivers the work’s pugnacious hammer blows with vehemence without breaking the tone while at the same time sustaining the melodic line. The slower movements have an introspective meditative feel and Feltsman evokes some imaginative veiled sonorities. Feltsman’s tempi are a little slow – a point which he acknowledges himself in the programme's notes: “Most of the works in this recording are played in moderate tempos, a bit slower than usual, in order make the textures of each work clear and apparent”. While the intention is laudable, some of the pieces could have benefited from quicker tempi in order to convey the composer’s distinctive rhythmic bite.