Saturday, November 24, 2007

Prokofiev's second piano concerto

Wow. I have been listening to Prokofiev's second piano concerto and it is amazing. It is definitely one of my favorites (mind you, that isn't saying much because it changes every couple of weeks.)

Did you know that when he first wrote it, it was very strongly disliked? One critic even went as far as to say:

"To hell with this futurist music! What is he doing, making fun of us? The cats on the roof make better music!"

Each to his own, I guess. I think that its a masterpiece. It was pretty futuristic for his time though, so I guess that man can be excused.


pianomanhere said...

Dan: Thanks for posting on my blog (specifically about Prokofiev's second piano concerto).

I noticed your blog, too. I'm interested in Shakespeare, and other items as well as listed on yours !

Prokofiev's 2nd and Rachmaninoff's 3rd are probably the most difficult piano concertos in the standard concert repertoire.

Another one that is close in difficulty is Bartok's 2nd, which I have also tried learning at one time.

However, as things go, I am a dedicated amateur and not an international concert pianist, and therefore I have a life other than music to deal with.

Right now, I'm focusing on the first movement cadenza. It's a glorious piece of music.

Also check out pianist Claire Huangci playing it at a piano competition in Switzerland, at the following YouTube link: Stay in touch. If you'd like to chat, you can reach me at the following i-m clients: AOL (name: brianmkulesza); Windows Live Messenger (name:; Yahoo I-M (name: pianomanhere). Cheers, mate.

Dan said...

Thanks for your comment. I love hearing about others who are learning concertos, because they make up such an important part of the piano repertoire. I have even more respect for people like you who do it outside of "professional" life! Prokofiev's second and Rach 3 are two concertos that I really hope to play someday, but it will probably be a while before I start!

pianomanhere said...

Dan: Don't give up the ship.. It all depends on the level of technique you have achieved.

Remember, too, that if you're playing it for personal satisfaction (as I am for the most part), then you can learn it at your leisure without pressures of the commitment of performance (or the attendant anxiety and expectations).

Look at it this way...Prokofiev's Second Piano Concerto is played less often than his 1st and 3rd concertos. It's a fierce piece technically and harmonically. Furthermore, it's darker than his other four piano concertos (it was dedicated to a fellow pianist who had committed suicide).

No.5 is more biting harmonically, but is not played nearly as often as any of his other piano least not in public venues.

As with anything, the ability to execute it well will depend on the level of time and energy you can devote to it.

piono lessons said...

I really enjoyed this and hope to see more soon.