Classical Music Library Free Download of the Week

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Every two weeks, Alexander Street offers a free music download from our popular online music collection. This download is freely available, regardless of whether or not your library subscribes to the collection.

Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, Sergey Prokofiev

Russian composer Sergey Prokofiev’s (1891–1953) second violin sonata premiered as a sonata for flute and piano in 1943. Violinist David Oistrakh, a prominent Russian violinist who also worked with Shostakovich and Khachaturian, convinced Prokofiev to arrange the sonata for violin. Oistrakh premiered this arrangement with pianist Lev Oborin on June 17, 1944.

The piano part remains the same as the original, with minor changes to the flute line to accommodate and showcase the violin. The fourth movement reveals the greatest changes, with added double and triple stops (a chord-like effect in which two strings are played at the same time, or in the case of the triple stop, one string is bowed and allowed to ring while the other two are played immediately after).  The sonata is quite traditional in form, especially for a mid-20th century composition, in that it adheres to the classical four-movement structure. This includes a first movement in the eponymous sonata form, a fiery Scherzo, a lyrical Andante, and a virtuosic finale.

This recording is performed by violinist Gaëtane Prouvost and pianist Abdel Rahman El Bacha.

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