Cello Concerto (Prokofiev)
- Andante – Poco meno mosso (andante assai) – Adagio
- Allegro giusto
- Tema (allegro) – Interludio 1 – Variations 1–3 – Interludio 2 – Variation 4 – Reminiscenza (meno mosso) – Coda (poco sostenuto) – Più mosso
The premiere of Prokofiev's Cello Concerto (Op. 58) was generally thought to have been very poorly interpreted by the cellist, though the blame fell on Prokofiev for writing a "soul-less" concerto. The pianist Sviatoslav Richter, who rehearsed the piece with Berezovsky prior to its premiere, considered the soloist ill-suited to the piece ("the music was foreign to his nature") but felt that the conductor was also responsible for the performance's failure: "Melik-Pashayev's tempi were as impossible as they were wrong. It seemed to me that he utterly failed to grasp the work's inner essence. It was a total fiasco."
The concerto was seldom played afterwards, until Prokofiev heard Rostropovich play it at a 1947 concert at the Moscow Conservatory. The performance reawakened Prokofiev's interest in the cello, and he rewrote his concerto (with advice from Rostropovich) to create the Symphony-Concerto (Op. 125).
The work is scored for solo cello, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (cymbals, castanets, bass drum, snare drum, tambourine), and strings.
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