Alexander Malofeev

Alexander Malofeev
Alexander Malofeev, pianist (b. 2001, Moscow). Photo by Liudmila Malofeeva

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sergei Redkin plays Maurice Ravel: Sonatine for piano in F sharp minor, & Sergei Prokofiev: 3 Pieces from Cinderella & Piano Sonata No.2 in D minor

Russian pianist Sergei Redkin (third prize at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015) performs Maurice Ravel's Sonatine for piano in F sharp minor, M.40, and Sergei Prokofiev's 3 Pieces from Cinderella, Op.95, and Piano Sonata No.2 in D minor, Op.14. Recorded at St Petersburg Music House, English Hall, on June 24, 2014.

Maurice Ravel: Sonatine for piano in F sharp minor, M.40

Sonatine is a piano work written by Maurice Ravel. Although Ravel wrote in his autobiography that he wrote the Sonatine after his piano suite Miroirs, it seems to have been written between 1903 and 1905. He most likely referred to the dates he finished both of the works.

Ravel wrote the first movement of the Sonatine for a competition sponsored by the Weekly Critical Review magazine after being encouraged by a close friend who was a contributor to that publication. The competition requirement was the composition of the first movement of a piano sonatina no longer than 75 bars, with the prize being 100 francs.

In 1941 the publication Music & Letters printed the article When Ravel Composed to Order by Michel Dimitri Calvocoressi. Calvocoressi discussed how he supposedly encouraged Ravel to write the piece in response to a competition posted in the Paris Weekly Critical Review. Peter Jost of Henle found the original article in the Review published in three March 1903 editions. The original manuscript that Ravel submitted had the text "par Verla" written and struck out, replaced with "par Maurice Ravel". Ravel submitted the piece under a pseudonym and chose an anagram of his name.

The Sonatine was first performed fully in Lyon on March 10, 1906 by Paule de Lestang. Shortly afterwards the piece received a Paris premiere, where it was played by Gabriel Grovlez. The work was dedicated to Ida and Cipa Godebski; he later dedicated his Ma mère l'oye suite to their children.

Sergei Prokofiev: 3 Pieces from Cinderella, Op.95

This is the smallest of the three sets of piano pieces Prokofiev transcribed from his ballet Cinderella (1940-1944). The other two were comprised of ten pieces (Op.97) and six pieces (Op.102). He also derived three suites for orchestra from the ballet (Opp. 107, 108 and 109) and an Adagio (Op.97a) for cello and piano, a work that is really a transcription of a transcription, since it is taken from the last piece in the Op.97 set.

What sets the Three Pieces here apart from the other music derived from Cinderella is that they were extracted long before the composer had completed the ballet. Some musicologists have surmised from that fact that they must represent Prokofiev's personal favorites from among the various transcriptions from the ballet.

The first, Pavane, is taken from No.20 in the ballet, Dance of the Courtiers. It is charming and somewhat stately in the orchestral score, but sounds a bit different on piano, more biting and less regal. Gavotte corresponds to No.10 in the ballet, also called Gavotte, but shares music as well with No.7, The Dancing Lesson. Again, this generally light music turns grittier on the piano, though its color and thematic appeal are just as strong.

The last piece here, Valse Lente, is taken from the ballet's similarly-named penultimate dance, No.49. This is one of Prokofiev's loveliest creations, featuring a beautiful melody, warm harmonies and a mood of passionate romance. The composer had this set of piano pieces published in 1943, thus making it also the first Cinderella-derived work to appear in that venue.

Source: Robert Cummings (

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No.2 in D minor, Op.14

In this Piano Sonata in D minor, Prokofiev clearly broke from the influence of Rachmaninov and Scriabin, as exemplified in the Sonata No.1, Op.1, (1907; rev. 1909), and he thus laid the groundwork for his highly individual keyboard style. Cast in four movements, it is unified by shared thematic material in the outer panels and by other motivic and intervallic elements. The opening movement (Allegro ma non troppo) begins with a rapid descending theme that is heard twice, each time seeming to crash upon its conclusion. The ensuing theme is the dominant one, a lovely, lyrical, somewhat ethereal creation also of a mostly descending contour. The development features an exciting buildup, weaving the two themes and climaxing in a powerful statement of the second one. A reprise and brilliant coda close out this panel. The very brief succeeding Scherzo (Allegro marcato) is lively and spicy, motoric in its rhythmic drive, the kind of wild piano music with which Prokofiev became identified. The Andante third movement is lyrical but dark, with a theme that exudes tension in its constant roiling and harsh climaxes. It alternates with a gentle, descending melody whose mysterious manner brings calm following the two stormy appearances of the main theme. The finale (Vivace) features a playful opening theme and a more driven, almost jazzy alternate one. After the second theme from the first movement is recalled, there follow a brilliant reprise and coda.

Source: Robert Cummings (

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

♪ Sonatine for piano in F sharp minor, M.40 (1903-1905)

i. Modéré
ii. Mouvement de menuet
iii. Animé

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

♪ 3 Pieces from Cinderella, Op.95 (1942)

i.  Intermezzo
ii. Gavotte
iii. Valse lente

♪ Piano Sonata No.2 in D minor, Op.14 (1912)

i. Allegro ma non troppo
ii. Scherzo. Allegro marcato
iii. Andante
iv. Vivace

Sergei Redkin, piano

St Petersburg Music House, English Hall, June 24, 2014

(HD 720p)

Sergei Redkin was born in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, on October 27, 1991. He began to play the piano at the age of five. At the age of six he began to study at the Music Lyceum of Krasnoyarsk, in the class of Galina Boguslavskaya. At the same time he began to study improvisation and composition with Eduard Markaich.

In year 2004, after becoming a laureat of the International Gavrilin competition of young composers in Saint Petersburg, Sergei continued his education at the Special Music School of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, in the class of Olga Kurnavina. At that time Sergei won his first several prizes at competitions for young pianists, such as Rachmaninov competition (Saint Petersburg, 2005, First prize) and Chopin competition (Estonia, 2006, Grand prix). Sergei also played his first solo recitals in Russia and abroad, getting engagements from Germany, Switzerland, Poland.

Simultaneously Sergei studied composition under prof. Alexander Mnatsakanyan, one of the last students of great Shostakovich. Among the young composer's works you can find a string quartet, a trio for winds, chamber music, a lot of music for piano. Suite for cello and piano won the First prize at the young composers' competition in Saint Petersburg in 2007.

In 2008 Sergei was honored to receive the Maestro Temirkanov Award as one of the best students of Saint Petersburg Special Music School.

In year 2009 Sergei successfully passed his entrance exams and became a student of prof. Alexander Sandler at the Saint Petersburg state Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He also continued his composition studies under prof. Mnatsakanyan.

During the year 2011 with the support of St Petersburg House of Music Sergei Redkin trained at the famous International Lake Como Piano Academy in Italy, studying under such musicians as William Grant Nabore, Dmitry Bashkirov, Peter Frankl, Fou Ts'ong among others.

In year 2012 Sergei became the winner of III International Maj Lind competition in Helsinki, in 2013 – the winner of VI International Prokofiev competition in Saint Petersburg. In 2015 Sergei Redkin won the Third prize and the Bronze medal at the XV International Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow.

Currently Sergei is continuing his studies under prof. Sandler in Saint Petersburg Conservatory. In 2016 he's playing his first concerts in New York, Mexico and Paris (all with Maestro Valery Gergiev and Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra), touring with solo recitals throughout the world, from Portugal and Israel to Vladivostok and Yakutsk, taking part at prestigious classical music festivals, playing a lot of chamber music and composing in the meantime.


More photos

See also

Sergei Redkin – All the posts

The winners of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, 2015

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