Tuesday 27 March 2018

Prokofiev for Two

I’ve been enjoying a new release from pianists Martha Argerich and Sergei Babayan entitled Prokofiev for Two, made up of arrangements for two pianos by Babayan. There’s familiar numbers from Romeo and Juliet, but also some real rarities, including incidental music to Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades and Hamlet. I must admit that, to my shame, I hadn’t realised that Prokofiev had written music for these plays; before hearing them, I had to check that these weren’t some Tchaikovsky arrangements thrown in for good measure. Best of all is a waltz from Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace which, rather excitingly, is to be staged by Welsh National Opera in the autumn.

The internets led me then to the next in Doremi’s series of Argerich recital releases, pairing her with violinist Ruggiero Ricci, in a concert given in Leningrad in 1961. I’ve been listening to the second recital (Doremi released a previous one already), the highlight of which a blistering account of the Franck Violin Sonata, much better than some rather relentless solo Bach from Ricci at the recital’s start. There is, for a Soviet music fan, an added thrill in imagining who might have been in the audience that night.

Thursday 15 March 2018

Sign Of The Times

They never did correct his name. I'm starting to wonder if the problem really is that no one cares.