Not Any Musical Dissonance

Posted by M ws On Monday, July 29, 2013 0 comments
It was such an unbelievably hectic weekend. My relatives from US and HK are in town to celebrate my youngest aunt's 80th birthday and my eldest aunt's 98th birthday. In between, I still had to study. My younger son is in the middle of his PMR trials. Yesterday afternoon, he played at a recital held at Auditorium A, KOMTAR at 3.30 p.m.

His piece, Sonata No. 4 in C minor, Op 29, II. Andante Assai, "is a sonata composed for solo piano. It was first performed by the composer on April 17, 1918, in Petrograd. The work was dedicated to Prokoviev's good friend Maximilian Schmidthof, whose suicide in 1913 shocked and saddened the composer." (Source: HERE)

When he first started practising this piece, I HATED IT. It is a very dark piece and I could not understand why he chose this piece. I tried to talk him out of it but he was adamant and this will be one of his repertoire for his piano LTCL exam in November this year.

Over the months, I have grown to love it and appreciate the technical skills needed for this very difficult piece. Yesterday was the first time I sat down to listen to it for in the past, I would run and hide in my room to study when he practised. And, I was just so amazed that he played the whole seven and half minute piece from memory! He fumbled a few times but other than that, it was a clean performance. Plenty of room and opportunities to improve for his exam in November...Here it is...


Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (23 April 1891 Р5 March 1953) was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His best-known works are the five piano concertos, nine completed piano sonatas and seven symphonies. Besides many other works, Prokofiev also composed family favourites, such as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet Рfrom which "Dance of the Knights" is taken Рand Peter and the Wolf.

A graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory, Prokofiev initially made his name as an iconoclastic composer-pianist, achieving notoriety with a series of ferociously dissonant and virtuosic works for his instrument and his first two piano concertos. Prokofiev's first major success breaking out of the composer-pianist mould was with his purely orchestral Scythian Suite, compiled from music originally composed for a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets Russes; Diaghilev commissioned three further ballets from Prokofiev – Chout, Le pas d'acier and The Prodigal Son – which at the time of their original production were all highly successful. Prokofiev's greatest interest, however, was opera, and he composed several works in that genre, including The Gambler and The Fiery Angel. Prokofiev's one relative success in that genre during his lifetime was The Love for Three Oranges, composed for Chicago and subsequently performed over the following decade in Europe and Russia.


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