The works on this recording by Jerry Wong represent some of Prokofiev's best works for solo piano. The notes point out that they cover the greater part of Prokofiev's compositional career, although they are not presented in chronological order. The Four Pieces are some of the first pieces of his own that Prokofiev performed in recital, and they are meant to show off his performance skills, as well as his talent for composition. Wong has no trouble at all with the technical demands and plays with good energy and strength. Yet he also gives them a thorough and thoughtful musicality that might not necessarily be associated with such youthful music. Wong applies the same maturity to everything here, from the briefest of the Visions Fugitives to the fullness of the opening of the Sonata No. 8, the last of Prokofiev's "War" sonatas. He knows these are major works and performs them with seriousness, but he is not so earnest as to miss the hallmark signs of Prokofiev's wit when they appear, particularly in the Visions, where he navigates easily through the rapidly changing moods. In places like that, where some pianists would take a more percussive approach to their attack, Wong pays more attention to the overall pianistic qualities of Prokofiev's writing. The sound of the recording is very deep and picks up Wong's attention to the colors of the instrument. A worthy recording of these works.
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AllMusic Review by Patsy Morita
|Sonata No. 8 in B flat major, Op. 84|
|Four Pieces, Op. 4|
|Visions Fugitives, Op. 22|