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By David Atherton, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and Peter Donohoe. By Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). Classical. CD. Naxos #SOMMCD 266-2. Published by Naxos (NX.SOMMCD-266-2).
Item Number: NX.SOMMCD-266-2
Peter Donohoe's compelling journey through the complete Prokofiev and subsequently the complete Scriabin Piano Sonatas for SOMM has led him almost irresistibly to the piano music of Stravinsky whose exuberance and many technical challenges he seems to relish. He begins with three movements from Petrushka for solo piano, drawn directly from the ballet by the composer ten years after the completion of the orchestral score. Stravinsky's goal (together with the jazz-like Piano-Rag-Music) was to encourage pianist Arthur Rubinstein to play his music. His intention was to make the arrangement not only technically challenging but also musically satisfying. Such are its demands however, that even the composer himself only played it once, confessing that he lacked the technique. This set also includes Stravinsky's early, charmingly delicate F-sharp minor Sonata which he completed in 1904 but it was only published in 1973. The Piano Sonata of 1924, also included here, was composed during his neo-classical period and pays tribute to the 18th century containing characteristic splashes of baroque brilliance as well as latent romanticism. 1940's Tango, originally conceived as a song, was composed soon after Stravinsky emigrated to the United States.