P0953. SERGEI PROKOFIEV: Sonata #4, Op.29; Visions fugitives, Op.22; Children’s Pieces, Op.65 (the latter with Prokofiev’s Spoken Introduction (in English!), Broadcast Performance, 16 Jan., 1937, Columbia Concert Hall; w.Prokofiev Cond.Moscow State Phil.: Romeo and Juliet – Suite #2, Op.64 - recorded 1938, USSR / CCCP (Played / Conducted by Composer). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-145. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“…the contents of a 1937 broadcast by Prokofiev …have never appeared before in any form. Only the ‘Childrens’ Music’ and the seventh ‘Vision Fugitive’ are not duplicated on the commercial recordings, but we do hear the composer introduce the former in clear, accented English….The second disk is made up with Prokofiev’s rhythmically vigorous, straightforward account of his Second ROMEO AND JULIET Suite…. The St Laurent transfer is…the best I have heard of this important document.”
- Alan Sanders, Classical Record Quarterly, Autumn, 2014
“In breathing new life into the symphony, sonata, and concerto, Sergei Prokofiev emerged as one of the truly original musical voices of the twentieth century. Bridging the worlds of pre-revolutionary Russia and the Stalinist Soviet Union, Prokofiev enjoyed a successful worldwide career as composer and pianist. As in the case of most other Soviet-era composers, his creative life and his music came to suffer under the duress of official Party strictures. Still, despite the detrimental personal and professional effects of such outside influences, Prokofiev continued until the end of his career to produce music marked by a singular skill, inventiveness, and élan. During World War II, Prokofiev and other artists were evacuated from Moscow. He spent the time in various places within the U.S.S.R. and produced propaganda music, but also violin sonatas, his ‘War Sonatas’ for piano, the String Quartet #2, the opera WAR AND PEACE, and the ballet CINDERELLA. Prokofiev, himself a formidable pianist, completed nine piano sonatas out of a projected eleven. His music for piano also includes piano versions of music from the ballets ROMEO AND JULIET and CINDERELLA. In 1948, with the revolution that criticized almost all Soviet composers, several of Prokofiev's works were banned from performance. His health declined and he became more insecure. In a rather bitter coincidence, Prokofiev died on 5 March, 1953, the same day as Joseph Stalin."
- Michael Rodman, allmusic.com
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent’s natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011