11 May 2012

Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Sonata No.6

After two violin-centric posts it's probably about time for something else, right? So I thought it might be a good idea to post a piano sonata! It is by one of my favourite Russians, Sergei Prokofiev, who wrote a huge amount of fantastic piano music. The Piano Sonata No.6 was the first piano sonata I actually listened to on my own all the way through (a recording by Evgeny Kissin that I "borrowed" from my parents) quite a few years ago. I love it because it's energetic and fun and diverse yet it's still rather affecting and just wonderful.


Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Sonata No.6 - Mvt.1: Allegro moderato. 
Played by Nikolai Lugansky (I'm still waiting for CDs of him playing all of Prokofiev's piano concertos, seriously don't understand why these don't exist yet) 

The Piano Sonata No.6 (1940) is a four-movement work for solo piano. I once tried to play it but my hands couldn't even reach to play the opening chords, so it wasn't quite succesful. I've read lots of conflicting opinions about the sonata, some find it overly simple and don't find enough (emotional) depth in it, but there's also lots of people for whom it's their favourite sonata. And legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter said this about it: "The remarkable clarity of style and structural perfection of the music amazed me. I hadn't heard anything like it before. The composer, with barbaric audacity, breaks with the ideals of the Romantics and includes the shattering pulse of the twentieth century in his music." (From Sergei Prokofiev by Daniel Jaffé). If you like bombastic Russians writing amazing melodies and being jealous of pianists, then I'm sure you'll like it too. If you're only into Chopin/Satie/the piano as a calming instrument, you might not be so keen. But give it a try anyway! 

Other YPGTCM posts on Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet, Piano Concerto No.2.


  1. Gorgeous interpretation of my favourite bit of Prokofiev - thanks for posting.

  2. That's great! I'm glad you liked it :).