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Sergei Prokofiev War Sonatas & N.9 VOL.2 Piano Sonatas 8 and 9
Artist/Band: David Ezra Okonsar
The last piece of this gigantic triptych: the "War Sonatas" is certainly the most complex in its content: Piano Sonata No. 8 in B-flat major, Op. 84 (1944). It is more difficult for the listener, requiring a long sustained concentration to be fully appreciated. So its popularity is much less than the previous two.
Sviatoslav Richter admirably described it: "a sort of heaviness, but this is due to its richness. Like a tree bending because of its fruits." The main difference between this Sonata and the ones number 6 and 7 is in its tendency towards introverted meditation, mostly in its first movement and also, partly, in the broadening of the musical discourse. It was premiered by Emil Guilels in 1944.
Last completed work for the solo piano, the Sonata N.9 was composed during 1946-47 and dedicated to Sviatoslav Richter. "This will be "your" sonata.." said the composer, "..but do not expect a show piece. It is not made to strike the big hall of the (Moscow) Conservatory"
Despite its huge proportions and presenting some serious technical challenges to the performer, this last Sonata is extremely refined and "purified". The settling down and purification of the last period of Prokofiev can be clearly seen in that work. In many points, one can trace a parallel with the noble style of Poulenc, a good old friend of Prokofiev.
Read more: okonsar.com