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Thread: Prokofiev Piano Sonatas recordings

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Default Prokofiev Piano Sonatas recordings

    I have fallen in love with Prokofiev's "War Sonatas", nos. 6, 7 & 8. I discovered these through Sviatoslav Richter's masterful recordings of them. That being said, now, I want to hear 1-5 and 9!

    I wonder if any pianist out there has recorded a complete cycle of them of consistency and quality. I see the following pianists have done it: Yefim Bronfman, Anne-Marie McDermott, Boris Berman, and Bernd Glemser. Problem is I'm completely unfamiliar with all of these pianists. Can anyone tell me whether any of these cycle recordings are worthwhile?

    Beyond this, what are some of your favorite recordings of individual Prokofiev sonatas? I see that Steven Osborne has recently recorded the 6-7-8 trio for Hyperion and I'd love to hear that. I understand Gilels is supposed to be an authoritative interpreter as well. Who else?

    Anyone else enjoying this music as much as I am?

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I have the Matti Raekallio set on the Ondine label. He's not as well known as many other pianists but the set was well received and it sounds good to me. It's 4 CDs and includes other works in addition to the sonatas. But you have a good ear so I'm on sure you'll decide on a good set.
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

    - Yip Harburg

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I have the Matti Raekallio set on the Ondine label. He's not as well known as many other pianists but the set was well received and it sounds good to me. It's 4 CDs and includes other works in addition to the sonatas. But you have a good ear so I'm on sure you'll decide on a good set.
    https://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Pia.../dp/B004TWOXGC

    Too rich for my blood at $138. But if I see it cheaper, I'll have to check it out.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Amazon is not the place for used CDs in many cases. Many times I find these types of listings brand new at other sites for a fraction of the cost. But I'm sure those other pianists you mentioned are more than adequate.
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

    - Yip Harburg

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    Question I have to ask is what is the hurry. One can move on, resist the urge to buy and listen on impulse, and look at all the CDs at home. I am a sucker for cds second hand I find in thrift stores (as the dumping is decreasing as time goes on) but I am not in the least bit interested in chasing after performances paying premium prices or even discounted when I feel it is too much. I have probably over 700 cds (classical) and I know it is to much. If I was living in a prison 24/7 listening to my music I would be getting my money's worth.

    And 95% are second hand cds or discounted to sell off. Just today I bought Benny Goodman the private collection of clarinet works with Berkshire string quartet for a dollar.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbang View Post
    Question I have to ask is what is the hurry. One can move on, resist the urge to buy and listen on impulse, and look at all the CDs at home. I am a sucker for cds second hand I find in thrift stores (as the dumping is decreasing as time goes on) but I am not in the least bit interested in chasing after performances paying premium prices or even discounted when I feel it is too much. I have probably over 700 cds (classical) and I know it is to much. If I was living in a prison 24/7 listening to my music I would be getting my money's worth.

    And 95% are second hand cds or discounted to sell off. Just today I bought Benny Goodman the private collection of clarinet works with Berkshire string quartet for a dollar.
    Well, I do hear you, and I'm trying to cut back on my music purchases. It's all too easy having so much great music just a click away from being shipped to one's home. But on the other hand, I'm sure you've heard of striking while the iron's hot. I don't always appreciate the music of Prokofiev, but I do now, lately, hence wanting to hear more of it. Anyway, we'll see. I'll either find something or I won't.

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    I am going to say this: Years ago I was driving and was listening to Beethoven Pastoral symphony on the radio. I do not know who the performers were but I just felt the music in a way like no other time before. What I learned from that experience was this: I cannot achieve a state that allows me to absorb music like some people might. It was not simply just getting it at the time, I entered a state that allowed me to "hear" it differently. I suppose composers of very high caliber lived this a lot of course. All I can do is take what comes to me, and struggle to get something new that will allow me to relive the experience. Anyway, I knew then as I know now, it is not "out there", it is within, and the most mundane music can appear heavenly to my ears when I am feeling it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    https://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Pia.../dp/B004TWOXGC

    Too rich for my blood at $138. But if I see it cheaper, I'll have to check it out.
    Raekallio was the Hatto pianist for quite a few of the sonatas. It’s exceptional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Well, I do hear you, and I'm trying to cut back on my music purchases. It's all too easy having so much great music just a click away from being shipped to one's home. But on the other hand, I'm sure you've heard of striking while the iron's hot. I don't always appreciate the music of Prokofiev, but I do now, lately, hence wanting to hear more of it. Anyway, we'll see. I'll either find something or I won't.
    You need to start streaming. That’s by far the best way to hear a lot of music, a lot of interpretations.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Feb-02-2020 at 07:51.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    You need to start streaming. That’s by far the best way to hear a lot of music, a lot of interpretations.
    Ah, I'm sure you're right and you're hardly the first to have recommended that to me. But I grew up in my dad's record store. I have a big hangup on the physical component of listening to a CD or an LP that goes way back. How could I betray that now, especially a couple of thousand dollars deep into a badass CD collection

    Again, I'm sure you're right. Hopefully one day I will see the light.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Ah, I'm sure you're right and you're hardly the first to have recommended that to me. But I grew up in my dad's record store. I have a big hangup on the physical component of listening to a CD or an LP that goes way back. How could I betray that now, especially a couple of thousand dollars deep into a badass CD collection

    Again, I'm sure you're right. Hopefully one day I will see the light.
    YouTube is your friend. A great way to listen to various interpretations before buying the physical product. But I'm a CD guy too. I enjoy buying stuff based on my hunch that it's going to be a good performance. Even if it's not exactly to my taste I don't mind unusual interpretations unless I feel like they really fall flat. More disappointing is a perfunctory performance that lacks passion.
    “Music makes you feel feelings. Words make you think thoughts. But a song can make you feel a thought.”

    - Yip Harburg

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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    I have fallen in love with Prokofiev's "War Sonatas", nos. 6, 7 & 8. I discovered these through Sviatoslav Richter's masterful recordings of them. That being said, now, I want to hear 1-5 and 9!

    I wonder if any pianist out there has recorded a complete cycle of them of consistency and quality. I see the following pianists have done it: Yefim Bronfman, Anne-Marie McDermott, Boris Berman, and Bernd Glemser. Problem is I'm completely unfamiliar with all of these pianists. Can anyone tell me whether any of these cycle recordings are worthwhile?

    Beyond this, what are some of your favorite recordings of individual Prokofiev sonatas? I see that Steven Osborne has recently recorded the 6-7-8 trio for Hyperion and I'd love to hear that. I understand Gilels is supposed to be an authoritative interpreter as well. Who else?

    Anyone else enjoying this music as much as I am?
    I'm not a big fan of Prokofiev, short of his 1st and 5th Symphonies and I had a hard time enjoying his piano sonatas and piano concertos for that matter. I tried several different performers and for whatever reason I started enjoying them after listening to Bronfman. I bought the Yefim Bronfman box set with his Prokofiev Piano Concertos & Piano Sonatas for like $10 and have been very happy with that cycle ever since.

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    I have quite a few recordings of Prokofiev's piano sonatas and my favourite set has to be Boris Berman's.

    51wWdJgg1bL._AC_.jpg

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    Boris Berman’s 9th sonata was filched by Barrington Coupe for his phoney Hatto releases. And he must have singled out Berman’s 9th because he used other piano players for the other sonatas. That made me curious because he had good taste, and the 9th is my favourite of the sonatas, I like small scale and quiet music.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Feb-07-2020 at 18:03.

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    Well, I guess I have to make 10 posts before ... I dunno.

    I love BERMAN -- he can be "heavy-handed" but let's be honest -- these sonatas often call for a bit of "heaviness." POST 1.

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