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Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas

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Audio CD, March 21, 1995
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Product Details

  • Performer: Joshua Bell, Olli Mustonen
  • Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
  • Audio CD (March 21, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records / London / Universal Music, UK
  • ASIN: B000004231
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,239 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Vn Son in f, op.80: I. Andante assai
2. Vn Son in f, op.80: II. Allegro brusco
3. Vn Son in f, op.80: III. Andante
4. Vn Son in f, op.80: IV. Allegrissimo
5. 5 Melodies, op.35 bis: I. Andante
6. 5 Melodies, op.35 bis: II. Lento, ma non troppo
7. 5 Melodies, op.35 bis: III. Animato, ma non allegro
8. 5 Melodies, op.35 bis: IV. Allegretto leggero e scherzando
9. 5 Melodies, op.35 bis: V. Andante non troppo
10. Vn Son in D, op.94 bis: I. Moderato
11. Vn Son in D, op.94 bis: II. Presto
12. Vn Son in D, op.94 bis: III. Andante
13. Vn Son in D, op.94 bis: IV. Allegro con brio

Editorial Reviews

Prokofiev's two sonatas represent opposite sides of his personality. The first is dark, austere, acerbic, often brutal, occasionally lyrical; the second, originally for flute and piano, is sunny, singing, exuberant, humorous. This recording brings him together with kindred spirits: two brilliant young soloists who are frequent chamber-music partners and have a special affinity for his music. Bell's extraordinarily beautiful, radiant tone is intense, expressive, warm--never lush or sweet, with a flexible, focused vibrato; its infinite variety of color and inflection lets him change mood, character, and expression on a single note, from dreamy, mysterious, exciting, ominous, or aggressive to tender, serene, inward, even ecstatic. In the first sonata, the long runs are crystal-clear as well as spooky; in the second, the rhythms and cross-rhythms seem etched with a fine point, and the soaring melodies shimmer and glow. The Five Melodies, originally for wordless voice and piano, are predominantly singing and lyrical, with a charming, humorous scherzo. Mustonen is a superb pianist and partner, but in the percussive sections of the first sonata the violin is sometimes outmatched. --Edith Eisler

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 1999
I have loved the music of Prokofiev since I was a toddler, so I naturally jumped at the chance to hear Joshua Bell perform his violin sonatas. I'm glad I did. Joshua Bell, as always, makes the pieces come alive with the kind of depth and emotion and lyricism that you don't find all at once in other violinists. The first sonata on the CD, the one in F minor, is my favorite. In it, Bell really brings out the haunting quality of the piece, and yes, he is more than capable of putting a little elbow grease in the Allegro brusco movement, making it convincingly brutal. Mustonen and Bell move together as one on this recording, and IMO, he is a much better accompanist for Bell than Simon Mulligan, who accompanies Bell for recitals in the US. This is a CD worth having.
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