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Before playing it in concert, we had to perform it at the Composer’s Union, where these gentlemen decided the fate of all new works. During this period, more than any other, they needed to work out whether Prokofiev had produced a new masterpiece or, conversely, a piece that was ‘hostile to the spirit of the people.’ Three months later, we had to play it again at a plenary session of all the composers who sat on the Radio Committee, and it wasn’t until the following year that we were able to perform it in public, in the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on March 1, 1950.
Whether or not dictated by the Soviet State policy of the day, simplicity is paramount in the sonata. Gone are the more abrasively dissonant techniques often so thrillingly prominent in his works and the harmony, rhythm and accompaniment are uncluttered and direct in utterance. The cello is employed particularly successfully in its lower register, joyful and movingly lyrical by turns. The whole effect is satisfying and positive, hardly bereft of struggle, but up-beat rather than downcast. It is hardly surprising Miaskovsky thought it, ‘a miraculous piece of music.’
from notes by M Ross © 2011
|Shostakovich, Britten & Prokofiev: Cello Sonatas|
The authentic musical complicity between Jamie Walton and Daniel Grimwood for having performed and worked together regularelym lead to the present album featuring sonatas for cello and piano by Shostakovich, Britten and Prokofiev.» More