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Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1-2 - Sonata For Solo Violi

Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1-2 - Sonata For Solo Violi

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Prokofiev first became fascinated by the violin upon hearing the playing of his private teacher, Reinhold Glière. A dozen years later Prokofiev wrote his Violin Concerto No. 1 – a work of contrasting open-hearted lyricism and whimsical playfulness that features a wild central Scherzo with dazzling technical gymnastics. By contrast, the Violin Concerto No. 2 is emotionally reserved and sardonic with an inspired plaintive and long-arching slow movement. Composed to an official Soviet commission for an ensemble piece to be played by talented child violinists in unison, the witty and upbeat Sonata for Solo Violin can also be played by a single performer.


Tianwa Yang is currently on a roll with single-composer collections for Naxos (look up her Sarasate and Rihm), and this elegantly captured all-Prokofiev effort is especially strong.

First up is the Violin Concerto no. 1. Yang’s silvery legato sweetness is a perfect match for this intensely lyrical work, and the orchestra is equally alive to the score’s brightness, pace and array of translucently scored colors. The fairy-like recapitulation of the first movement’s opening theme is a delicately luminous knockout from everyone. Equally effective is Yang’s sharp-edged clout when the Scherzo takes an acerbic turn.

The Second Concerto offers an opportunity to appreciate Yang’s darker warmth, and the luxurious, heady vibrato and romance she brings to its central movement’s soaring lines. Then the buoyant playfulness and folk pep of her Solo Sonata is a reminder of the qualities that won her a 2015 ECHO Klassik Award for her solo Ysaÿe album. If you want to cover both Prokofiev concertos in a single album, no need to hesitate here.

-- The Strad

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
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    • UPC/Barcode: 747313410774
    • Item Number: 8574107