26 July 2011

Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Concerto No.2

Prokofiev's piano concertos are probably my favourite piano concertos. The second and third especially, they are so fantastic. A while ago I was lucky enough to see my beloved Nikolai Lugansky play the second (I've already seen him play the third a few times) and it just confirmed for me how fantastic that piece is. Here is the third movement:

Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Concerto No.2: III Intermezzo - Allegro moderato. 
Played by Nikolai Lugansky, conductor is Vladimir Jurowski but I don't know what orchestra it is.

Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No.2 was first performed in 1913 when Prokofiev was only 22 years old. Unfortunately the score was lost during the Russian revolution and Prokofiev used sketches he still had of the piece to reconstruct it, with some considerable revisions (though we will obviously never know what the revisions were). He said later of these revisions that they turned the piece into something different altogether and that it was "so completely rewritten that it might almost be considered no. 4". Apparently it is one of the most difficult pieces in the repertoire and it's definitely one of the most exciting ones! It consists of four movements, apart from the third I posted in here there's Mvt. 1: Andantino-Allegretto Part 1, Mvt 1 Part 2, Mvt 2: Scherzo - vivace (so ridiculously fast!), Mvt. 4: Allegro tempestoso Part 1 (this part is great for Lugansky's Amazing Bouncing Hands), Mvt. 4 Part 2.

On an unrelated note, I have written a few more reviews for bachtrack.com since I last posted: The opening night of Haarlem's Koorbiennale with pieces by Feldman, Gubaidulina, Manneke and Ešenvalds, Ravel, Prokofiev and Dvorak in the Concertgebouw and Debussy, Saint-Saëns and Franck, also in the Concertgebouw. As always, any and all feedback is welcome.

Other YPGTCM posts on Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet

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