Nina Alexeyevna Krivosheina – Prokofiev – Songs & Romances (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:06:50 minutes | 1,07 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Naxos
Sergey Prokofiev is acknowledged as one of the 20th century’s greatest composers, and his enduring popularity today rests on a rich legacy of orchestral and chamber works. Less well-known are his songs, which display a lyrical component that suited his liking for clear and simple forms. This can be heard particularly in Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova, but all of these pieces show Prokofiev to be a worthy successor of the great 19th-century tradition of art songs. Margarita Gritskova’s voice was described by Opera News as ‘a spectacular instrument’ in her recording of Russian Songs on Naxos 8.573908.
The Russian avant-garde composer’s songs show him in an unusual light.
Sergey Prokofiev was one of the cult figures for the early modernist movement in music. Early works such as the Scythian Suite caused a series of scandals because of their strident, apparently unbridled musical language. During the premiere of the Second Piano Concerto, given with the composer at the keyboard, a man in the audience bellowed: ‘The man’s a wild animal’. Later generations know Prokofiev as the creator of the brilliant, effervescent Classical Symphony or the much-loved symphonic fairy tale Peter and the Wolf, however. Prokofiev’s biography begins with heated arguments over a performance artist who clearly lacked restraint and ends with links to the Socialist Realism prescribed in Stalin’s Russia, with its close similarities to folk song. His voluntary return from his exile in the West following the October Revolution completes the picture. Prokofiev died on the same day as Joseph Stalin, meaning that his death remained a footnote in Soviet consciousness—politics had marginalised a master composer.
Nevertheless, the world loves Prokofiev’s music, in all its enigmatic variety. Some of his works are among the most frequently performed pieces of 20th-century repertoire, but the composer has remained mysterious to this day. He himself called the four ‘basic lines’ in his work classical, modern, motoric and lyrical. There is hardly a work in which these elements are in balance. This confused people, and it still does.
Prokofiev’s yearning for the lyrical component is very much in evidence in his songs. While he was mainly occupied with Russian folk song during the Soviet phase of his life, his early solo songs show him striving to meld advanced compositional techniques with the laws of songfulness. …
Sergei Prokofiev (1891 – 19536):
1 The Ugly Duckling, Op. 18
5 Poems, Op. 23 (Excerpts):
2 5 Poems, Op. 23 (Excerpts): No. 2, The Little Grey Dress
3 5 Poems, Op. 23 (Excerpts): No. 3, Trust Me
4 5 Poems, Op. 23 (Excerpts): No. 5, The Sorcerer
5 Poems, Op. 27:
5 5 Poems, Op. 27: No. 1, The Sun Has Filled My Room
6 5 Poems, Op. 27: No. 2, Real Tenderness
7 5 Poems, Op. 27: No. 3, Memory of the Sun
8 5 Poems, Op. 27: No. 4, Hello!
9 5 Poems, Op. 27: No. 5, The Grey-Eyed King
10 Remember Me, Op. 36 No. 4
11 2 Songs from Lieutenant Kijé, Op. 60bis: No. 1, My Grey Dove Is Full of Sorrow
12 2 Choruses, Op. 66a: No. 2, Anyutka (Version for Voice & Piano)
13 3 Children’s Songs, Op. 68: No. 1, The Chatterbox
14 3 Songs from Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78bis: No. 2, Mark, Ye Bright Falcons
15 3 Romances, Op. 73: No. 2, The Rosy Dawn Is Colouring the East
16 12 Russian Folksongs, Op. 104: No. 6, Katerina