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PROKOFIEV PIANO CONCERTO 4
in B flat major, Op 53 for the left hand alone



The Prokofiev Piano Concerto 4 is one of a number of works for piano and orchestra for the left hand alone commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein, the well known Austrian concert pianist who lost his right arm during World War I. It was completed in 1931 but Wittgenstein, who lived until 1961, never performed the concerto which remained unperformed until 1956 when the German pianist Siegfried Rapp gave its first performnce in Berlin. Rudolf Serkin gave the American premiere in 1958 with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. You can hear this paring below.

The Prokofiev Piano Concerto 4 is a four movement work with a gorgeous Andante movement. The two Vivace movements share a good deal of thematic and rhythmic material, and while the first movement is more expansive and looks forward to subsequent movements, the fourth is more of a brief recapitulation of the opening material and brings the concerto to its inevitable conclusion.

N.B. The first of the Ginzburg videos is correctly labeled. The second and third videos are incorrectly labeled as concerto 2, but I assure you this is a complete recording of the fourth concerto.



LEO GINZBURG
Russian pianist (1901-1979)

Kurt Sanderling conducting the USSR State Symphony Orchestra


i Vivace



ii Andante



iii Moderato
iv Vivace




RUDOLF SERKIN
Bohemian-born American pianist (1903-1991)

Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra


i Vivace



ii Andante



iii Moderato



iv Vivace




GARY GRAFFMAN
American pianist (b 1928)

Vladimir Spivakov conducting the Moscow Virtuosi

1990 video




GABRIEL TACCHINO
French pianist (b 1934)

Louis de Froment conducting l'Orchestre de Radio Luxembourg

ii Andante




VLADIMIR ASHKENAZY
Russian-born Icelandic-Swiss pianist (b 1937)

André Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra


i Vivace



ii Andante



iii Moderato



iv Vivace




VLADIMIR KRAINEV
Russian pianist (1944-2011)

Dmitri Kitaenko conducting the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt 

Piano Concerto 1 in D major Op 10 
15:10  Piano Concerto 2 in G minor, Op 16
47:05  Piano Concerto 3 in C major, Op 26
1:15:07  Piano Concerto 4 in B major, Op 53
1:39:45  Piano Concerto 5 in G major, Op 55




BORIS BERMAN
Russian pianist (b 1948)

Neeme Järvi conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

recorded in 1989




ALEXANDER TORADZE
Georgian pianist (b 1952)

Valery Gergiev conducting the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg


i Vivace



ii Andante



iii Moderato



iv Vivace




ABDEL RAHMAN EL BACHA
Lebanese pianist (b 1958)

Kazushi Ono conducting the Monnaie Symphony Orchestra


i Vivace



ii Andante



iii Moderato



iv Vivace




FREDERIC CHIU
American pianist (b 1964)

Alexander Titov conducting the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra




ALEXEI VOLODIN
Russian pianist (b 1977)

Valery Gergiev conducting the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg

i Vivace
04:50  ii Andante
13:04  iii Moderato
20:31  iv Vivace

2012 video










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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