FIRST COMPLETE RECORDING OF PROKOFIEV’S 72 SONGS FOR VOICE AND PIANO
The 72-song collection features singers associated with the Kirov who are also well-known song recitalists in Russia: Victoria Yevtodieva, soprano; Lyubov Sokolova, mezzo-soprano; Konstantin Pluzhnikov, tenor; Andrey Slavny, baritone; and Sergei Aleksashkin, bass.
The collection was created by pianist Yuri Serov, who is the accompanist and who “cast” each song matching voice category with song content. Mr. Serov also wrote the original program notes, which Delos has adapted from an English translation. The set is the first in a series presenting the complete songs of Russian composers whose reputations in the West rest on their larger, primarily instrumental works, but whose songs are virtually unknown outside their homeland. Prokofiev wrote his first songs in 1910 at age 18, while a student at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and returned to the genre regularly throughout his life, writing the last of them in l951, two years before his death. While his reputation rests primarily on his instrumental compositions, Prokofiev was involved throughout his life with vocal music, be it songs, choruses, cantatas, operas (he wrote three by age 12) and one oratorio. The songs were recorded at St. Catherine Lutheran Church, St. Petersburg.
PROKOFIEVThe songs fall roughly into three groups: the primarily lyrical songs written between 1910 and 1921 [Opp. 9, 18, 23, 27, 35, 36]; the Soviet patriotic songs, songs for children and the Pushkin romances from the 1930s and early 1940s [Opp. 66, 68, 73, 76, 79, 89]; and the arrangements of Russian traditional and folk songs written mostly in the 1940s [Opp. 104, 106, 121]. The Op. 60-bis and Op. 78-bis songs from Lt. Kije and Alexander Nevsky are not included in this collection because the piano versions were not written by Prokofiev. The Op. 76 Songs of Our Days, first written for several voices, chorus and orchestra, is included in this set because the composer himself wrote the piano version.