Kabalevsky: Piano Sonata No. 1; Piano Sonata No. 2; Piano Sonata No. 3; Recitative and Rondo, Op. 84; Four Preludes, Op. 5

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COMPOSERS: Kabalevsky
LABELS: Collins
WORKS: Piano Sonata No. 1; Piano Sonata No. 2; Piano Sonata No. 3; Recitative and Rondo, Op. 84; Four Preludes, Op. 5
PERFORMER: Artur Pizarro (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 14182 DDD
Dmitry Kabalevsky was a contemporary of Shostakovich, and died in 1987. He seems to have been an accommodating man, sitting adroitly on the fence during the ideological battles of the Twenties, until the establishment of the Union of Soviet Composers, when he became, and remained, officially OK. On delegations abroad he proved to be an urbane diplomat, and spoke English with an Oxford accent. He’s thought to have been Prokofiev’s ‘minder’, wherein lies the clue to his own Second and Third Piano Sonatas. Written just after the war, they sound indebted to Prokofiev’s Seventh and Eighth Sonatas, though admittedly, what seems like influence may be shared background. The important thing is the result, which, compared with Prokofiev, lacks bite. Kabalevsky’s First Sonata, of 1927, is even less focused, with its confused harmonic language and square phrasing. It’s all good fun for the pianist, though, and on purely technical merit, Artur Pizarro shines. Adrian Jack

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