Prokofiev: Violin Concertos

Solo Violin Sonata

Album review
Prokofiev: Violin Concertos


Violin Concertos. Solo Violin Sonata

Label: Pentatone
Media: SACD
Genre: Classical

Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto reminds me of a phrase I used to hear in the South: “We’ll treat you so many different ways, you’re bound to like one.” Fireworks, charm, neoclassic pirouettes, good humor, growling brass, shifting tempos, melodies that swing from an air of mystery to warmth within two chord changes— and fresh, piquant harmonies that turn on a dime. The dreamlike ending is one of the most magical ever written. No. 2 is a more straightforward, boasting a soaring second theme in the first movement you can whistle along with. The duck from Peter and the Wolf even makes a cameo in the third movement. The 1947 Solo Sonata is a sturdy, attractive piece, with a chipper, tuneful opening moderato and a concluding theme and variations that keeps moving ahead, alternately confident and flirtatious. Steinbacher’s playing is exceptional: her technique is astounding, and she perfectly captures Prokofiev’s inimitable mix of verve, pungency, charisma, and wistfulness. The sound in the Sonata is especially good: close, but with plenty of ambience. 

More Info

  • composer, Prokofiev
  • primary artist, Arabella Steinbacher
  • primary artist, Russian National Orchestra
  • SACD

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