Piano Concert No. 1
Piano Concerto No. 3

Mikhail Petukhov, piano
Timophei Dokshitzer, trumpet

Bolshoi Theater Chamber Orchestra
Yuri Simonov, conductor

USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Vladimir Fedoseev, conductor

Catalog #S022590CD [ADD]

Program Notes

...Composed in 1933, Piano Concerto No. 1 in c minor op. 35 by Shostakovich is in a fairly conventional fast-slow-fast form while being innovative in instrumentation and expression. While the piano has the lion's share of solos, the trumpet stands alongside frequently and does a star turn in the finale. After an early performance of the Concerto in Moscow, a friend from the Moscow Conservatory could not resist asking Shostakovich, "Why does your first theme begin like Beethoven's Appassionata?" The composer quickly retorted, "That is indeed so. You see, I wrote it so that any idiot could understand it." The work is filled with amusing quotations, or at least very suspicious allusions to other people's tunes. Among those considered sure bets are Beethoven's Appassionata and Rage Over the Lost Penny, which comes during the cadenza in the concerto's final movement, Haydn's D Major Piano Sonata, the Austrian folk song Ach du lieber Augustin, and some of Shostakovich's own works including his incidental music for the Soviet film version of Hamlet. Shostakovich establishes a spirit of wit and humor in the first movement. The middle two movements are more serious. The waltz-like second movement is an extended study in lyrical dreaminess. Ultimately, the intensity builds and the tempo quickens to a dramatic climax. The third movement is a brief intermezzo featuring the soloist in two cadenzas. The finale is "a kaleidoscope of endless jokes," according to the composer's son, Maxim...

...Prokofiev completed his Third Piano Concerto during the summer of 1921 while staying at St. Brèvin-les-Pins, a small village on the Atlantic coast of Brittany in France. The composition of this Concerto was not a sudden inspiration for Prokofiev. By 1913, he later recalled in his memoirs, "I had composed a theme for variations, which I kept for a long time for subsequent use. In 1916-1917, I had tried several times to return to the Third Concerto. I wrote a beginning for it (two themes) and two variations on the theme for the second movement. Thus, when I began [in 1921] working on the Third Concerto, I already had the entire thematic material with the exception of the subordinate theme of the first movement and the third theme of the finale."
Prokofiev completed the Third Concerto in time to take it on his 1921 American tour, which also included the world premiere, in Chicago, of his opera The Love for Three Oranges. Prokofiev was the soloist at the premiere of the Concerto, which was given on December 16, 1921 at a concert of the Chicago Symphony with Frederick Stock conducting...


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