This is an intriguing disc of music by Sergei Prokofiev, all of which has been arranged by various hands for violin and piano duo. The program includes excerpts from the ballets Cinderella and The Stone Flower, the waltz from the opera War and Peace, and an arrangement of 20 of the Visions Fugitives, Op. 22, originally for solo piano (which were also transcribed for string orchestra). Some famous names are among the arrangers, such as Nathan Milstein (for Tales of an Old Grandmother No 2), and Jascha Heifetz, who is responsible for the best known transcription, that of the March from the opera The Love of Three Oranges.

Prokofiev by Arrangement

Because Prokofiev’s melodic and harmonic profile is so distinctive, these arrangements are more effective than they might be for other composers. The success of the recital is largely due to the choices made by the Russian Kalnits/Chaplina duo. Rather than try to emulate the grand orchestral sweep of the waltz from Cinderella, they opt for an intimate approach, making it sound as though the piece was conceived for violin and piano. Their panache in the Three Oranges march is equally effective.

Throughout, their musical choices are astute, finding an  ideal contrast between the gentleness of Evening from Music for Children (arr. Reitikh and Zinger), the elegance of the Gavotte from Four Pieces for Piano (arr. Heifetz), and the exoticism of The Fall of Cleopatra from Egyptian Nights (also arr. Reitikh and Zinger).

Sound quality is fine, if a touch rough-edged.

Composer: Prokofiev
Works: Works arranged for Violin and Piano
Performers: Yuri Kalnits v, Yulia Chaplina p
Label: TOCCATA TOCC0135

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