For many years I have enjoyed the two violin concertos by Sergei Prokofiev. My sense is that it was a performance by David Oistrakh that first introduced me to this amazing music. Then much later I heard these works done by Gil Shaham, as well.
On this recording we get to hear the following works:
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19, with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi conducting.
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63, with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi conducting.
Sonata in D major for solo violin, Op. 115
The violin soloist in all of the above works is Vadim Gluzman (violin)
Nathan Milstein once described Sergei Prokofiev’s first violin concerto as ‘one of the best modern violin concertos… a brilliant piece, perhaps the finest of all Prokofiev’s works’, while the second concerto was later taken up by violinists such as David Oistrakh and Jascha Heifetz.
Here the two works are interpreted by the Ukrainian-born Vadim Gluzman, who as many critics have remarked is firmly based in the glorious tradition of these and other virtuosos of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Guzman rounds off the program with Prokofiev’s only solo work for the violin, the Sonata in D major, Op.115 – one of the composer’s less familiar compositions for the instrument. Strictly speaking it is a sonata for several violins: Prokofiev wrote the piece in 1947 to be played in unison by violin students.
Here is the concerto number two, with Gluzman and the Berlin Philharmonic: