Thursday, September 29, 2016

More Prokofiev!

Yes. I'm on a Prokofiev kick. My craze with the Nash Library vinyl began when I was researching recordings of the Prokofiev flute sonata. Hopefully my research paid off. Today's Prokofiev features Isaac Stern performing the first and second violin concertos. I first experienced the playing of Isaac Stern during a summer job in college. I worked at a women's clothes shop in Old Saybrook, CT. We would play CDs to create lovely, ambient clothes-shopping music. One of my favorite recordings was Isaac Stern performing famous violin works from movies, like the piece Pour Una Cabeza (a.k.a. the tango from Scent of a Woman).

I love that the notes for this recording begin with a physical description of Prokofiev: "He was tall and bald-headed and looked exactly like a well-to-do business man. His suit was a conservative English tweed; his tie a small-patterned foulard. His unremarkable face was clean-shaven. Prokofiev sat eating and talking with a minimum of motion and without changing his poker-face expression . . . Judged by his looks, Prokofiev might have been the author of the President's Annual Report of the Consolidated Utilities Corporation. There was an air of authority about him and the evidence of seasoned judgement in his remarks. Prokofiev is a man who know exactly what he wants, formulates his aims with absolute clarity and has the talent, healthy vitality, and capacity for hard work to achieve them."

The premier of the First Violin Concerto took place in 1923 under the direction of Sergei Koussevitzky, with Marcel Darieux as the soloist. The reactions of the press were mixed. Unfortunately Prokofiev's style straddled the line between too modern and too traditional. This often led to criticism from both sides of the tonal argument. The Second Violin Concerto is quite different, with clear tonality and the echoes of Russian folksong.

In this recording, Isaac Stern is accompanied by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.

Dorothea Redepenning"Prokofiev, Sergey." Grove Music OnlineOxford Music OnlineOxford University PressWeb29 Sep. 2016.< grove/music/22402>.

Sergey Prokofiev, Isaac Stern, Leonard Bernstein, Dimitri Mitropoulos, and Sergey Prokofiev. Violin Concerto No. 1 in D, Op. 19: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63. England: Fontana, 1958. Sound recording.

Nash Library Catalog Record

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
Since earning her Ph.D. in music theory and history from the University of Connecticut in 2014, Dr. Sekula has been a full-time faculty member with the department of music at USAO where she teaches the music theory curriculum and conducts the concert band. Sekula also serves as the coordinator for the department of music. She has previously earned Bachelor’s degrees in music education and flute performance from Lebanon Valley College and a Master’s of Music in flute performance from George Mason University. Sekula has studied flute with Barbara Divine, Dr. Theresa Bowers, Judith Lapple, and Dr. Barbara Hopkins.