Prokofiev's Visions fugitives, Op. 22 (Fleeting Visions), sound very little like most of his other music. He wrote it for a group of friends, some of whom were evoked by some of the 20 short pieces. Many sound a good deal like Debussy, although their dry economy is pure Prokofiev. Still, for a composer who wrote mostly in large public forms, this is unusually intimate music, and it's nicely suited to the rather idiosyncratic style of Russo-German pianist Anna Gourari, who takes them mostly slowly, in an almost improvisatory way. The set is not often played as a whole, but they maintain their interest in her hands. The Chopin Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58, comes off in this performance almost as another vision fugitive. This spontaneous, discursive reading is not the version one would want when acquiring just one, but it fits within the extremely intimate dimensions of this recital, with Nikolay Medtner's Fairy Tale in F minor Op. 26/3 (one of his "Skazki"), as a very evocative entr'acte. Best of all is Manfred Eicher's production for ECM, at the Historischer Reitstadel, Neumarkt (a venue favored by high-end sound engineers), which as it were seems to hold the program in the palm of his hand. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Visions fugitives, op. 22|
|Fairy Tales (Skazki) (4) for piano, Op. 26|
|Sonata No. 3 in B minor, op. 58|