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Prokofiev's Piano SonatasA Guide for the Listener and the Performer$
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Boris Berman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300114904

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300114904.001.0001

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Conclusion: To be a Prokofiev Pianist

Conclusion: To be a Prokofiev Pianist

(p.215) Conclusion: To be a Prokofiev Pianist
Prokofiev's Piano Sonatas

Boris Berman

Yale University Press

This book concludes with an attempt to summarize the qualities and skills a pianist must possess in order to be a successful Prokofiev interpreter. Prokoviev had a particular talent for creating a fully identifiable mood within the first notes of a piece, passage, or theme. Sometimes, especially in the later sonatas, this mood undergoes a gradual development or transformation. More often, though, it is juxtaposed against a contrasting image, the character of which is also established immediately. It is essential that a pianist meticulously observe the composer's indications regarding tempo, dynamics, and articulation. These are all crucial in creating full characterizations of individual themes and passages. Far too often, one hears unidiomatic performances of Prokofiev's music in which speed and loudness seem to be the only parameters that matter to the pianist.

Keywords:   pianist, Prokofiev interpreter, identifiable mood, contrasting image, unidiomatic performances, speed, loudness

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