Composers have always relied on piano transcriptions as a means of bringing selected extracts from large-scale dramatic works to the attention of a wider audience than would otherwise be possible and Prokofiev was no exception. Although he craved success as a composer of the stage and published a total of seventeen operas and ballets, he almost invariably encountered difficulties in his attempts to get these works performed. Never one to let good music go to waste, Prokofiev diligently composed piano arrangements of excerpts from a number of his stage works, thereby encouraging his public to become familiar with the highlights until such time as an opportunity might arise to see the work in its entirety.
Earlier in his career Vladimir Ashkenazy included two pieces from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ on his album of selected Prokofiev Sonatas. Much later, he revisited them for this long out-of-print digital recording, including all ten pieces from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as well as pieces from his other ballet score, ‘Cinderella and three pieces from operas: ‘War and Peace’ and ‘The Love of Three Oranges’.
Ten Pieces from Romeo & Juliet, Op. 75
Waltz, Op. 96 No. 1 (from War and Peace)
Two Pieces from The Love of Three Oranges, Op. 33b
Six Pieces from Cinderella, Op. 102
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano
Recording Producers: Andrew Cornall (War and Peace)
Balance Engineers: Stanley Goodall, Krzysztof Jarosz (War and Peace); Stanley Goodall, Michael Mailes, Krzysztof Jarosz, Philip Siney (Romeo and Juliet, The Love of Three Oranges, Cinderella)
Recording Locations: Gemeindesaal, Meggen, Luzern, Switzerland, August 1995 (War and Peace); St. Charles Hall, Meggen, Luzern, Switzerland (Romeo and Juliet, The Love of Three Oranges, Cinderella)
*** ‘attractive and appealing listening … well characterised and vividly recorded’ Penguin Guide to Compact Discs