Four Piano Pieces, Op. 4 (Prokofiev), 8.12

Four Piano Pieces (orch. Aug. 2008) is a virtuosic piano solo work which was on of the earliest works by Ukrainian composer Sergei Prokofiev.  Written shortly after completing his Op. 1 First Sonata, Op. 4 is a collection of four separate movements which Prokofiev was intently aware of showcasing himself in such a light before audiences as to amaze them with not only his musical compositions in his twenties but his musical prowess.  Of considerable skill, these pieces constitute overtones of Scriabin, however an early, sassy and confident Prokofiev emerges in movements such as his popular movement #4 “Suggestion Diabolique” marked Prestissimo fantastico.  The composition is written brilliantly with splashes of upward and downward glissandos in the right hand as the left hand takes the thematic material.  

This orchestration of the four musical movements display the wide emotion of the pieces from a torrent of fury and heavy-handed, dense sense of despair which explores the greatest emotions depths in movement #3 (“Despair“) to movement #2 (“Elan“) which is vintage Prokofiev in his treatment of musical ideas and polyphonic development.  Scored for Full Orchestra, this orchestration is a challenging work that does not diminish any musical keys, treatment of the weight of balance, tempo, counterlines, harmonies or nuance.  It is carefully rendered, meticulously prepared and carefully balanced to remain truthful the accurate nature of one of Prokofiev’s most famous works that is at once pleasing to the ear and satisfying for audiences.