Piano Concerto No. 4 (Prokofiev) by Sergei Prokofiev

Summary

'''Piano Concerto No. 4 in B-flat major''' for the left hand, Op. 53, was commissioned by the one-armed pianist Paul Wittgenstein and completed in 1931.

Wittgenstein did not understand the work, but it is not the case (as has sometimes been claimed) that he refused to play it. He was simply not prepared to play it until such time as he had appreciated its inner logic. That time never came, but Wittgenstein and Prokofiev always remained on friendly terms.

It was the only one of Prokofiev's complete piano concertos that never saw a performance during his lifetime. It was premiered in Berlin on 5 September 1956 by Siegfried Rapp and the West Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Martin Rich. The United States premiere was in 1958, by Rudolf Serkin and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy.[http://www.left-hand-brofeldt.dk/index.htm Hans Brofeldt: Piano Music for the Left Hand Alone] The British premiere was in 1961, by Malcolm Binns.[http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Name/Malcolm-Binns/Performer/25226-2 Arkiv Music]

Prokofiev expressed some interest in making an arrangement for piano two-hands and orchestra, but never went through with this idea.[http://www.lsu.edu/faculty/bhowe/publications.html Blake Howe, "Paul Wittgenstein and the Performance of Disability, "The Journal of Musicology 27 (2010): 135-80.]. Retrieved 25 February 2014

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