Piano sonatas of Sergei Protopopov

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Rach3
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Piano sonatas of Sergei Protopopov

Post by Rach3 » Sat May 01, 2021 11:28 am

The pitch black, fearsome Piano Sonata No.3, Op.6 (1924-28) of Sergei Protopopov (1893-1954):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_0Y38pFVlQ&t=227s (Audio with score , 24 minutes)

Fedor Amirov (2012)

From YT poster:
"Sergei Protopopov was a Russian avant-garde composer and music theorist. After studying medicine at the Moscow University, he attended the Kiev Conservatory where he pursued studies of music with theorist Boleslav Yavorsky. He graduated in 1921 and started working as a conductor. Both in his compositions and in his teaching, Protopopov was a strong supporter of Yavorsky's theories of modal rhythm and tritone. He also maintained a close relationship with him. Protopopov's compositions include three piano sonatas and some vocal works with piano. The piano sonatas were strongly influenced by late Scriabin. Using simultaneously sounding semitones, he created a specific harmony. Technically, they are very demanding for the interpreter, as well as for the instrument—they employ full standard range of piano, sometimes going even beyond that. The piano sonatas are often notated in three staves, and for simplicity accidentals take effect only at the given note."

"Sergei Protopopov’s Sonata No. 3 is set out in a single, powerful movement that points out genuine darkness. Granite like monumental sections dig deep into the lower registers, descending into subterranean gloom and creating a daunting impenetrability which left the work pretty much unperformed between its première in 1929 and Thomas Günther’s revival of it in Berlin in 1983. The technical demands of the piece are comparable with Liszt at his most virtuosic, but there is an unstoppable logic in the piece’s rumbling progress that keeps the willing and perhaps even the unwilling listener in thrall throughout its duration."

His Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 are also at YT for the brave at heart.I acquired a recording of No.2 years ago.My first hearings today of Nos.1 and 3.What dedication,bravery by the pianists.
Last edited by Rach3 on Sat May 01, 2021 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barney
Posts: 5552
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Piano sonatas of Sergei Protopopov

Post by barney » Sat May 01, 2021 1:06 pm

What a wonderful name. I wonder what a Popov is that he was the prototype for. Wasn't a Popov one of the nicknames the Germans used for Russian troops in WWII?
There sounds something a little martial about the piano sonata you cite, in terms of being "pitch black". Now we need an opera composer called Postwagner!

Rach3
Posts: 3484
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: Piano sonatas of Sergei Protopopov

Post by Rach3 » Sat May 01, 2021 3:29 pm

barney wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 1:06 pm
What a wonderful name. I wonder what a Popov is that he was the prototype for…
There is a cheap American vodka by the name “Popov”. A chilled,neat dram would work with the sonata;wine would not.

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