Sergei Dukachev

Russian Piano Music Vol. 7: Prokofiev

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Russian powerhouse Sergei Dukachev meets Russian legend Sergey Prokofiev in this stunning album of piano sonatas and smaller pieces, including selections from the well-known ballet Romeo and Juliet. The Piano Sonata No. 2 shows off the beautiful contrasts between the bass in the left hand and the shimmering higher register in the right hand and a complexity of concurrent rhythms in both hands. Everything is executed with great precision, for every note matters to Dukachev. It is simply thrilling and unbelievable music, especially in the fourth movement, which gallops and carries the listener off on a wild ride. Visions Fugitives are a palette of moods and characters, all of which Dukachev plays adeptly. Some of the movements of note are No. 1, which is performed with a certain lightness in his touch and No. 6, with its dotted rhythms. Certainly, the excellent recording quality makes for an enjoyable experience in listening to this music, in addition to the pianist and the composer. Prokofiev fans will rejoice in the Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, but here, only four are offered. "Juliet as a young girl," has a youthful quality to it, like a child's song or lullaby. But this gives way to the familiar "Montagues and Capulets," with the bass that swings like a pendulum in the piano, and its exquisite phrasing. "Mercutio" captures the character's playful nature, and "Romeo and Juliet before parting" is a delicately restrained, graceful, and elegant piece. The album concludes with Sonata No. 7 in B flat, and this, too, does not disappoint. Lively rhythms and intertwining lines entertain the listener, and never do Dukachev's staccati sound hammered. The artist breathes life into each line, marching up and down the keyboard with ease, agility, and grace. The conclusion of the sonata is fascinating with its distinctive accents; its a sign of his sensitive musicality that Dukachev executes them with absolute precision without making the music sound simply like an exercise in technique. This recording is a fantastic musical experience that does Prokofiev full justice.

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