Prokofiev: Piano Music, Vol. 1: Visions fugitives; Ten Small Pieces, Op. 12; Sarcasms; Four Pieces, Op. 4; Toccata

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Prokofiev
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Piano Music, Vol. 1: Visions fugitives; Ten Small Pieces, Op. 12; Sarcasms; Four Pieces, Op. 4; Toccata
PERFORMER: Eteri Andjaparidze (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553429
None of the works on this generous disc is particularly lacking in advocates, but Eteri Andjaparidze is the only pianist to bring them together in one collection. The pieces were written before Prokofiev was thirty and they provide numerous opportunities to discern the young composer’s influences. The music is littered with the fingerprints of Scarlatti, Schumann, Reger and Scriabin, to name but a few. But the lasting impression is the precocity with which the striking individuality of Prokofiev’s own voice emerges. Even in the Four Pieces, Op. 4, written while he was still a teenager, the echoes of other composers are used as a catalyst for the creation of an entirely idiosyncratic work, albeit one which does not quite belong to his compositional maturity.

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Andjaparidze is mostly impressive. The Visions fugitives, which have found increasing popularity amongst pianists in recent years, fall slightly short of the very best versions available. Furthermore, the Ten Small Pieces, Op. 12, are too restricted in their range of emotions and dynamics, though this may be due to the distant recording level. Overall, however, this is a very welcome release and would be worth considering at any price. Christopher Dingle