Sarcasms, Visions fugitives, and other short works for piano

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Courier Corporation, 1911 - Music - 179 pages
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One of the 20th century's most prolific composers of piano music, Sergei Prokofiev (1891 1953) is celebrated for his unique piano idiom, combining the seemingly incongruous elements of highly percussive textures with passages of great lyrical charm. "Above all," notes "Grove's," "his music shows a professional care for the performer, never reaching beyond the practicable limits of execution."
Pianists will welcome this excellent new compilation of pieces composed between 1907 and 1922 the great formative years of Prokofiev's unique approach to keyboard writing from his highly original "Diabolical suggestion" and the dramatic, capricious "Sarcasms" to the very popular March and Scherzo transcribed by the composer from his opera "The love for three organs."
Reproduced from authoritative early editions, this generous collection includes "Four etudes," Op. 2; "Four pieces," Op. 3; excerpts from "Four pieces," Op. 4; "Toccata," Op. 11; "Ten pieces," Op. 12; the complete "Sarcasms," Op. 17, and "Visions fugitives," Op. 22; "Tales of the old grandmother," Op. 31; "Four pieces," Op. 32; and the "March and Scherzo," Op. 33ter."


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About the author (1911)

The music of 20th century, Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev is a sharp mix of traditional and modern elements. His innovative style is characterized by emotional restraint, strong drumlike rhythms, harsh-sounding harmonies, and humor. Prokofiev was born in the town of Sontzovka, in the Ukraine. His mother, an accomplished pianist, encouraged her young son to play along with her as she practiced. The young Prokofiev showed unusual talent and began composing music at the age of five. At the age of 13, he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied with some of the finest teachers of the day, including Rimsky-Korsakov. By the time he graduated in 1914, Prokofiev has established himself as a musical innovator. In 1918 Prokofiev left Russia to appear as a pianist and conductor in Europe and the United States. While in America, he composed his most popular opera, Love for Three Oranges (1919), a musical satire of traditional operatic plots and conventions. From 1922 to 1933, Prokofiev lived mostly in Paris, where he composed two ballets, three symphonies, and four concertos. In 1934 Prokofiev returned to the Soviet Union. Back in his native land, Prokofiev's style mellowed, and he accepted the idea that a state-supported artist must appeal to a wide audience. During the next few years, he composed some of his most popular and best-known pieces, including Peter and the Wolf (1936) and Romeo and Juliet (1938). Prokofiev won the Stalin Prize during World War II. However, in 1948 Prokofiev and other leading Russian composers were denounced by Soviet Communist party leaders for "antidemocratic tendencies alien to the Soviet people." He returned to favor in the early 1950s and enjoyed great success in the Soviet Union, winning the Stalin Prize a second time. By the year of his death, in 1953, Prokofiev's music had become well known throughout the world.

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