Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 overlay 2 pianos into 1 piano
Michael Nanasakov
April 29, 2021







  • english description

    Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 overlay 2 pianos into 1 piano

     The CD recording done in 2013 used a two piano version of the score. In this Youtube video, the two piano versions were superimposed on one large score, with duplicated notes removed, and recorded with a computer and an Disklavier.

     It was composed between the end of 1912 and the spring of 1913, while he was a student at the Petersburg Conservatory. When it was premiered in Pavlovsk on September 25 of the same year, it caused a stir of controversy that surpassed that of No. 1. The score was lost during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, and in 1923 Prokofiev restored it from memory in the version that has survived to this day. In 1914, Prokofiev met Diaghilev of the Russian Ballet and played this piece in front of him, and he was asked to compose music for the ballet. Diaghilev asked him to compose music for his ballet.

     First movement (Andantino) Sonata-like free form. The melancholy first theme is played by the solo piano, and the second theme is a moving rhythm that seems to be organically pieced together from several fragments, unified by a strong, quiet force. In a long improvisatory cadenza, NANASAKOV creates the atmosphere of a giant wheel beginning to roll and gaining speed by interpreting some of the facial expressions in the score differently and changing the speed from warm to rapid over a long bar.

     Second movement (Scherzo Vivace) in toccata-like three-part form with the piano running in octave unison throughout.

    T hird movement (Allegro moderato) in three parts. It begins with a dramatic bass introduction reminiscent of a group of ferocious beasts, and then, after a huge sound image is formed with the addition of sparkling piano glissando ornaments, it ends with a small reverberation as if a group of these beasts were passing by.

     The fourth movement (Allegro tempestoso) is full of dynamism, with the piano pushing forward in a percussive and aggressive manner in the introduction, and then the middle section turns into a sad folk song-like melody, which changes beats and intertwines with each other in double and triple time. The cadenza, which is beautifully extended, expands fantastically, and finally, the opening part is reproduced to bring the piece to a powerful conclusion.