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17.10.2015. Piano sonatas by Nikolai Myaskovsky: performing in context by Konstantin Shamray

The University of Adelaide
Elder Conservatorium of Music
Faculty of Arts
MPhil project in musical performance
The first four piano sonatas by Nikolai
Myaskovsky: performing in context.
by
Konstantin Shamray
Masters Recital A
Elder Hall
Saturday 17 October 2015, 7pm
Project supervisors: Prof. Charles Bodman Rae
A/Prof. Kimi Coaldrake

Program:
Alexander Scriabin 2 Poèmes op.32: F sharp major and D major
Nikolai Myaskovsky Sonata no. 1, op. 6 in D minor
- Interval -
Sergey Taneyev Prelude and Fugue, op. 29 in G sharp minor
Sergey Prokofiev 5 Sarcasms, op.17
Nikolai Myaskovsky Sonata no. 2, op. 13 in F sharp minor

Program notes

Nikolai Myaskovsky - Sonata no. 1, op. 6 in D minor
Glenn Gould considered the first Sonata to be one of the most significant pieces of
its time. It has a mono-thematic, cyclic structure (a theme which comes in all four
movements). The strongest influence in this work is from Alexander Scriabin, a
contemporary of Myaskovsky. He uses the same harmonic and textural language
as Scriabin does in his early works. Myaskovsky’s process of development is
similar to Scriabin’s Third Sonata, and he creates a thick texture by using full
chords, large leaps in the bass and many polyphonic lines, features which he
develops further in his later sonatas.


Nikolai Myaskovsky - Sonata no. 2, op. 13 in F sharp minor
There are many differences between this sonata and the first. It is composed in one
movement containing the typical Sonata-Allegro structure, but with a fugue in the
coda. The addition of the fugue reflects influence from Sergei Taneyev’s Prelude
and Fugue op. 29. The development techniques in the fugue are almost identical to
Taneyev’s, even down to fine articulation details. It is interesting to note that
Myaskovsky uses the Dies Irae motif as a closing theme in the Exposition; it is
used to build the development and acts as one of the contrapuntal lines in the
Fugue. Traditionally the Dies Irae theme is used to create dark and ominous
feelings, as it is known to be a symbol for death and destruction.

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