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Prokofiev - Piano Sonata No. 7, Op. 83 III. Precipitato (Pollini)

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Published on Mar 19, 2010

Precipitato, third movement from Piano Sonata No. 7, Op. 83

Maurizio Pollini, piano

Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, Op. 83 (sometimes also called "Stalingrad"), the second of his three War Sonatas, was composed between 1939-1942 and premiered January 18, 1943 in Moscow by Sviatoslav Richter. Considered by some to be one of the most brilliant toccatas ever written, the Precipitato boldly affirms the key of the sonata through a more diatonic harmonic language than found in the first movement. This is obvious from the very beginning, with simple B-flat major triads repeated over and over again. Despite a wide range of performance tempos chosen by different pianists, the effect is nevertheless imposing and exciting. The toccata culminates into a furious recapitulation of the main theme, taxing all ten fingers to the utmost, until the piece finally ends in a thundering cascade of octaves.

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