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Prokofiev Oeuvres Pour Piano / Abdel Rahman El Bacha


Release Date: 05/08/2012 
Label:  Mirare   Catalog #: 165   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Abdel Rahman El Bacha
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PROKOFIEV Toccata. 10 Pieces, op. 12. Piano Sonata No. 2. Sarcasms. Visions fugitives Abdel Rahman El Bacha (pn) MIRARE MIR 165 (77:45)


This disc begins with an exceptionally lucid reading of the Toccata, one that—by attending more to its complex rhythmic superimpositions than to its dissonant fury—looks ahead to American Minimalism more than to, say, middle-period Bartók. And if the rest of the performances Read more are not quite so arresting, they are (except for the oddly shapeless reading of the sonata’s Andante) consistently alert, imaginative, and technically immaculate.


On the whole, Abdel Rahman El Bacha maintains a relatively light touch, stressing precision of gesture and details of articulation and playing down color and harmony. The performances are therefore at their best where the music is at its most brittle; highlights include the chipper reading of the March that opens op. 12, the assured handling of the rhythmic cross-currents in the Rigaudon that serves as the third piece of the set, the euphoric dizziness in the waltz-inflected Scherzo that closes it out, the infectious leap of the finale of the sonata, the bounce of the Feroce and the tightness of the Presto agitatissimo from Visions fugitives . Still, while you might want more mystery in the harmonically troubling Legend, op. 12/6, there are excellent moments in the more sustained music, too: Listen to his navigation of the musical flow in the outer sections of op. 12’s Prelude, his control of the long crescendos in the following Allemande, his elegance in the Andante, op. 22/2.


Excellent sound, good notes by Frans C. Lemaire. There’s plenty of competition in most of this repertoire, and I wouldn’t want to be without a Richter performance of the sonata or Visions (unfortunately, he never recorded the whole set) or Anne-Marie McDermott’s Sarcasms . Even so, this new entry can be warmly recommended, especially if you are looking for an illumination of the Toccata or for an attractive op. 12, which has been poorly represented in the catalog since Frederic Chiu’s cycle has gone missing.


FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
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Works on This Recording

1.
Toccata for Piano in D minor, Op. 11 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Abdel Rahman El Bacha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Russia 
Venue:  Ferme de Villefavard 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
2.
Pieces (10) for Piano, Op. 12 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Abdel Rahman El Bacha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1913; Russia 
Venue:  Ferme de Villefavard 
Length: 21 Minutes 20 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in D minor, Op. 14 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Abdel Rahman El Bacha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Russia 
Venue:  Ferme de Villefavard 
Length: 18 Minutes 10 Secs. 
4.
Sarcasms (5) for Piano, Op. 17 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Abdel Rahman El Bacha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1914; Russia 
Venue:  Ferme de Villefavard 
Length: 9 Minutes 33 Secs. 
5.
Visions fugitives (20) for Piano, Op. 22 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Abdel Rahman El Bacha (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915-1917; Russia 
Venue:  Ferme de Villefavard 
Length: 17 Minutes 14 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Toccata opus 11
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: I. Marche
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: II. Gavotte
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: III. Rigaudon
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: IV. Mazurka
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: V. Capriccio
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: VI. Légende
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: VII. Prélude
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: VIII. Allemande
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: IX. Scherzo humoristique
Dix pièces pour piano opus 12: X. Scherzo
Sonate n°2 en ré mineur opus 14: I. Allegro ma non troppo
Sonate n°2 en ré mineur opus 14: II. Scherzo, Allegro marcato
Sonate n°2 en ré mineur opus 14: III. Andante
Sonate n°2 en ré mineur opus 14: IV. Vivace
Sarcasmes opus 17: I. Tempestoso
Sarcasmes opus 17: II. Allegro rubato
Sarcasmes opus 17: III. Allegro precipitato
Sarcasmes opus 17: IV. Smanioso
Sarcasmes opus 17: V. Precipitosissimo
Visions fugitives opus 22: I. Lentamente - introduction
Visions fugitives opus 22: II. Andante - pièce en forme d'arabesque
Visions fugitives opus 22: III. Allegretto - danse
Visions fugitives opus 22: IV. Animato - pièce pleine d'énergie acérée
Visions fugitives opus 22: V. Molto giocoso - pièce joyeuse
Visions fugitives opus 22: VI. Con eleganza - pièce raffinée
Visions fugitives opus 22: VII. Pittoresco - narratif
Visions fugitives opus 22: VIII. Commodo - pièce alliant spiritualité et vivacité
Visions fugitives opus 22: IX. Allegro tranquillo
Visions fugitives opus 22: X. Ridicolosamente
Visions fugitives opus 22: XI. Con vivacità - pièce faite de légèreté et de tension
Visions fugitives opus 22: XII. Assai moderato - danse de valse
Visions fugitives opus 22: XIII. Allegretto - scherzo malicieux
Visions fugitives opus 22: XIV. Feroce - pièce fougueuse et percutante
Visions fugitives opus 22: XV. Inquieto - pièce tourmentée et angoissée
Visions fugitives opus 22: XVI. Dolente - pièce lyrique
Visions fugitives opus 22: XVII. Poetico - pièce lyrique
Visions fugitives opus 22: XVIII. Con una dolce lentezza - pièce lyrique
Visions fugitives opus 22: XIX. Presto agitatissimo e molto accentuato - épisode révolutionnaire
Visions fugitives opus 22: XX. Lento irrealmente - conclusion sentimentale

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