A crazy fairytale quest, composed in 1919, The Love for Three Oranges may reflect Prokofiev’s rootlessness having left Lenin’s Russia. The wild glee of the opera is all there in the suite. Of the composer’s later piano concertos, No. 5 (1931-2) came right after No. 4, thought for the left hand. It has more than a touch of the Three Oranges’ absurdity about it, which may be why it gets so unfairly neglected. There are five movements, the third a quick addendum to the first, the fourth slow and more serious. No. 3 (1921) is the regular three-movement concerto, outgoing and brilliant. The first movement rapidly pulls away from its wistful opening; a set of variations follows, before an exuberant finale. Prokofiev gave the first performance in 1921 in Chicago, there for the Oranges premiere.
5 August 2018
Salle des Combins
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