Prokofiev: Sonatas Nos. 2 & 7

Gold medalist at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow, the Belfast-born Barry Douglas has also become one of the few recent competition laureates to parlay his fame into a promising career. He has, since the big win, paced himself wisely, resisted the blandishments of the media, and grown steadily as a wise, often profound musical artist. Sonatas Nos. 2 & 7, a worthy contribution to the Prokofiev centennial that has been somewhat overshadowed by the Mozart hoopla, contains two of this century’s most ecstatic fingerbusters: the rambunctious Second Sonata from Prokofiev’s student days and the grandly oratorical Seventh from the composer’s exuberant maturity, with its slow movement that ranks among the most beautiful seven minutes for piano from any pen in any era. It’s easy enough to put these works over merely as showcases for awesome technique; Douglas goes far beyond, uncovering a fund of true eloquence. A

Prokofiev: Sonatas Nos. 2 & 7
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