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The opening movement harks back to the neoclassical style of Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No 5 of 1923 (which in turn appears to have inspired Poulenc’s Flute Sonata of 1956-7) as well as Cinderella. The second movement scherzo is initially light and capricious, but the piano part in particular introduces an increasingly sardonic tone, and the movement does not so much finish as precipitously wind up. There are further hints of disquieted emotions in the third movement, which has some thematic material in common with the third movement of Prokofiev’s then not yet completed tragic Violin Sonata in F minor. It also contains a striking passage of bluesy rumination: an admirer of jazz, Prokofiev at one stage held semi-clandestine meetings with fellow aficionados in his Moscow apartment in which he played recordings he had brought back from his foreign tours. Ultimately, though, the Sonata ends with an upbeat finale which includes in a central interlude one of Prokofiev’s sweetest melodies (which Poulenc, again, would recall in his Oboe Sonata, dedicated to Prokofiev’s memory).
from notes by Daniel Jaffé © 2014