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Frederic Chiu: Prokofiev – Complete Music for Solo Piano (10 CD box set, APE)

Frederic Chiu: Prokofiev - Complete Music for Solo Piano (10 CD box set, APE)

Frederic Chiu: Prokofiev – Complete Music for Solo Piano (10 CD box set, APE)

Performer: Frederic Chiu
Composer: Sergey Prokofiev
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 10 CD box set
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Size: 1.88 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 1
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor (“From Old Notebooks”), Op. 28
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Piano Sonata No. 4 in C minor, Op. 29
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Piano Sonata No. 5 in C major (Version 2), Op. 135
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major (“War Sonata 1”), Op. 82
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major (“War Sonata 2/Stalingrad”), Op. 83
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Piano Sonata No. 8 in B flat major (“War Sonata 3”), Op. 84
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Piano Sonata No. 9 in C major, Op. 103
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Lieutenant Kij?, film score and suite for orchestra, Op. 60 Romance
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Lieutenant Kij?, film score and suite for orchestra, Op. 60 Le marriage de Kij?
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Visions fugitives (20), for piano, Op. 22
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Toccata for piano in C major, Op. 11
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 3
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 4
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 7, Allegretto in A minor
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 5, Vivo in G minor
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Sarcasms (5), for piano, Op. 17
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Tales of an Old Grandmother, for piano, Op. 31
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 3, Presto
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 12, Allegro in D minor
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 6, Lento
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Music for Children, easy pieces (12) for piano, Op. 65
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (10) for piano, Op. 12
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 1, Tarentella in D minor
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 8, Allegretto in C minor
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 14, Tempo di marcia
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 11, Scherzo in C major
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Things in Themselves (Choses en soi), pieces (2) for piano, Op. 45
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pens?es (3), for piano, Op. 62
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 16, Study-Scherzo in C major
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 13, Waltz in G minor
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 4, Allegro in F
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 9, Allegro in A flat major
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Etudes (4) for piano, Op. 2
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 32
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 2, Melody in E flat major
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 17, Fugue in D major
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 10, Minuet in F minor
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 18, Scherzo in D major
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Juvenilia for piano No. 15, Prestissimo in C major
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (6) for piano, Op. 52
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Sonatinas (2) for piano, Op. 54 Sonatina No. 1 in E minor
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Sonatinas (2) for piano, Op. 54 Sonatina No. 2 in G major
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (3) for piano, Op. 59
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Romeo and Juliet, pieces (10) for piano, Op. 75
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (3) for piano (from the ballet Cinderella), Op. 95
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (10) for piano (from the ballet Cinderella), Op. 97
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (3) for piano (from the opera War & Peace), Op. 96
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

March & Scherzo for piano, Op. 33 ter (arr. from The Love for Three Oranges, Op. 33)
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Pieces (6) for piano (from the ballet Cinderella), Op. 102
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Divertissement for piano, Op. 43 bis
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Gavotte for piano (arr. from Hamlet, Op. 77), Op. 77 bis
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Prelude and Fugue in D minor for piano (trans. from Buxtehude)
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Waltzes (trans. from Schubert), for piano (or 2 pianos)
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Lieutenant Kij?, film score and suite for orchestra, Op. 60
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Sonata for violin & piano No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

The Love for Three Oranges, suite for orchestra, Op. 33 bis March
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in D major, Op. 94 bis
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Melodies (5) for violin & piano, Op. 35 bis
Composed by Sergey Prokofiev
with Frederic Chiu

Disc: 1
01. Allegro
02. Allegro ma non troppo
03. Scherzo. Allegro marcato
04. Andante
05. Vivace
06. Allegro molto sostenuto
07. Andante assai
08. Allegro con brio, ma non lyrico

Disc: 2
01. Allegro tranquillo
02. Andantino
03. Un poco allegretto
04. Allegro moderato
05. Allegretto
06. Tempo di valzer lentissimo
07. Vivace
08. Allegro inquieto – Andantino
09. Andante caloroso
10. Precipitato

Disc: 3
01. Andante dolce
02. Andante sognando
03. Vivace
04. Allegretto
05. Allegro strepitoso
06. Andante tranquillo
07. Allegro con brio, ma non troppo presto
08. Romance
09. Le marriage de Kije

Disc: 4
01. No. 1, Lentamente
02. No. 2, Andante
03. No. 3, Allegretto
04. No. 4, Animato
05. No. 5, Molto giocoso
06. No. 6, Con eleganza
07. No. 7, (Harp) Pittoresco
08. No. 8, Comodo
09. No. 9, Allegretto tranquillo
10. No. 10, Ridiculosamente
11. No. 11, Con vivacita
12. No. 12, Assai moderato
13. No. 13, Allegretto
14. No. 14, Feroce
15. No. 15, Inquieto
16. No. 16, Dolente
17. No. 17, Poetico
18. No. 18, Con una dolce lentezza
19. No. 19, Presto agitassimo e molto accentuato
20. No. 20, Lento irrealmente
21. No. 1, Story
22. No. 2, Jest
23. No. 3, March
24. No. 4, Phantom
25. No. 1, Reminiscences
26. No. 2, Elan
27. No. 3, Despair
28. No. 4, Diabolic Suggestions
29. No. 7, Allegretto in A minor
30. No. 5, Vivo in G minor
31. No. 1, Tempestuoso
32. No. 2, Allegro rubato
33. No. 3, Allegro precipitato
34. No. 4, Smanioso
35. No. 5, Precipitossimo

Disc: 5
01. No. 1, Moderato
02. No. 2, Andantino
03. No. 3, Andante assai
04. No. 4, Sostenuto
05. No. 3, Presto
06. No. 12, Allegro in D minor
07. No. 6, Lento
08. No. 1, Morning
09. No. 2, Walk
10. No. 3, Fairy Tale
11. No. 4, Tarantella
12. No. 5, Repentence (Regrets)
13. No. 6, Waltz
14. No. 7, Grasshoppers’ Parade
15. No. 8, Rain and Rainbow
16. No. 9, Playing Tag
17. No. 10, March
18. No. 11, Evening
19. No. 12, The moon sails o’er the meadows
20. No. 1, March (after: Little Songs, 5th series No. 6)
21. No. 2, Gavotte
22. No. 3, Rigaudon
23. No. 4, Mazurka
24. No. 5, Capriccio
25. No. 6, Legends
26. No. 7, Prelude (harp)
27. No. 8, Allemande
28. No. 9, Humorous Scherzo
29. No. 10, Scherzo
30. No. 1, Tarentella in D minor
31. No. 8, Allegretto in C minor
32. No. 14, Tempo di marcia
33. No. 11, Scherzo in C major

Disc: 6
01. No. 1, Allegro moderato
02. No. 2, Moderato scherzando
03. No. 1, Moderato
04. No. 2, Lento
05. No. 3, Andante
06. No. 16, Study-Scherzo in C major
07. No. 13, Waltz in G minor
08. No. 4, Allegro in F
09. No. 9, Allegro in A flat major
10. No. 1, Allegro in D minor
11. No. 2, Moderato in E minor
12. No. 3, Andante semplice in C minor
13. No. 4, Presto energico in C minor
14. No. 1, Dance in F sharp minor
15. No. 2, Minuet
16. No. 3, Gavotte
17. No. 4, Waltz
18. No. 2, Melody in E flat major
19. No. 17, Fugue in D major
20. No. 10, Minuet in F minor
21. No. 18, Scherzo in D major
22. No. 15, Prestissimo in C major

Disc: 7
01. No. 1, Intermezzo
02. No. 2, Rondo
03. No. 3, ?tude
04. No. 4, Scherzino
05. No. 5, Andante
06. No. 6, Scherzo
07. Sonatina No. 1 in E minor: Allegro moderato
08. Sonatina No. 1 in E minor: Adagietto
09. Sonatina No. 1 in E minor: Allegretto
10. Sonatina No. 2 in G major: Allegro sostenuto
11. Sonatina No. 2 in G major: Andante amabile
12. Sonatina No. 2 in G major: Allegro, ma non troppo
13. No. 1, Promenande
14. No. 2, Landscape
15. No. 3, Pastoral Sonatina in C major

Disc: 8
01. No. 1, National Dance
02. No. 2, The Street Wakens (Scena)
03. No. 3, The Arrival of the Guests, minuet
04. No. 4, Juliet as a Young Girl
05. No. 5, Masks
06. No. 6, Montagues and Capulets
07. No. 7, Friar Lawrence
08. No. 8, Mercutio
09. No. 9, Dance of the Girls with the Ladies
10. No. 10, Romeo and Juliet Before Parting
11. No. 1, Printemps (Intermezzo)
12. No. 2, Gavotte
13. No. 3, Valse lente
14. Spring Fairy
15. Summer Fairy
16. Autumn Fairy
17. Winter Fairy
18. Grasshoppers and Dragonflies
19. Orientalia
20. Pessepied
21. Capriccio
22. Bour?e
23. Adagio
24. No 1, Grand Waltz From “War And Peace”
25. No 2, Contredanse Intended For “Lermontov”
26. No 3, Mephisto Waltz Intended For “Lermontov”

Disc: 9
01. March
02. Scherzo
03. Waltz (Cinderella And The Prince)
04. Cinderella’s Variation
05. The Quarrel
06. No 4, Waltz (Cinderella’s Departure for the Ball)
07. Pas-du-Chale
08. No 6, Amoroso
09. No. 1, Divertissement
10. No. 2, Nocturne
11. No. 3, Danse
12. No. 4, Epilogue
13. Suite
14. Suite
15. Suite
16. Suite

Disc: 10
01. Andante assai
02. Allegro brusco
03. Andante
04. Allegrissimo
05. March
06. Moderato
07. Scherzo. Presto
08. Andante
09. Allegro con brio
10. No. 1, Andante
11. No. 2, Lento ma non troppo
12. No. 3, Animato, ma non allegro
13. No. 4, Andantino, un poco scherzando
14. No. 5, Andate non troppo

This is remarkable, both interpretively and technically

I have yet to listen to all of the pieces contained in this set. Perhaps understandably I first listened to the usual suspects: the second and third Sonatas, the War Sonatas (6-8), the Toccata, the Etudes etc. This repertoire has been played and recorded by many pianists and while some of Chiu’s interpretive decisions raised an eyebrow now and then the overall effect is close to overwhelming. Certain this set is vastly superior to the Berman set which, in and of itself, is quite an accomplishment. Expect to hear remarkably clear and delineated playing, tempi that are often very fast without sounding hysterical or brutal (the last movement of the Eighth Sonata is a case in point; I’ve never heard the coda played at this tempo (Gavrilov excluded) and with such clarity. Chiu takes the last movement of the Seventh Sonata — so often heard at a blistering pace that can’t be sustained during the infamous “skips” at the end — quickly enough to justify the marking of Precipitato without sounding reckless. The recorded sound varies but certainly isn’t “voluptuous.” Rather, the instrument generally sounds rather lean. In any case, the ear quickly adjusts. I’ll close by saying that I agree with a previous reviewer in this thread. There is so much interesting repertoire in this set that is seldom heard. I can’t imagine a better way to get to know it. Bravo!

P.S. I have now had the opportunity to listen to a greater extent than before. The only revision I would make to my previous comments regards the recorded sound. Yes, in some of the repertoire the piano sounds rather lean and dry, but in other cases the piano is beautifully recorded with clarity and definition but with just a smidgeon of reverberation. Obviously this set was recorded over time, probably in different venues and possibly with different recording engineers. The only repertoire I’ve encountered so far in which I would say the recorded sound really falls short is the two Violin Sonatas. Both instruments sound distant and, especially in the case of the violin, shrill. But this is nit picking. This set is a formidable accomplishment.

Must-have

Prokofiev’s full piano repertoire could use more attention. His big pieces — the toccata, the war sonatas, suggestion diabolique, etc. — are phenomenal, but they steal the spotlight from his lesser known gems. Prokofiev was remarkably consistent with his nearly 200 piano pieces, and it’s a shame that only a subset gets attention. This is not the case for, say, Chopin — he produced pieces of consistent quality as well, but the attention is more distributed: it’s not uncommon for a performer to play the full Chopin etudes, or the full Chopin nocturnes, etc. Maybe Prokofiev could have done himself a service by more carefully organizing his pieces in a similar way; something about “Ten Pieces, Op.12” just doesn’t have a marketable ring to it.

So, based on music alone, this box set is worth getting. I’ve listened to it for over 7 years, and I feel like I’m still discovering new things.

A few things that makes this set in particular unique:

1) Chiu nails most of the sonatas. 6 is perfect. His 7th isn’t my number one favorite interpretation of the piece, but it’s wonderfully unique; you’ll hear things in the third movement that other pianists have failed to bring out. His 8th is my favorite by far — the vivace is played extremely fast, but it sounds so convincing that I now lose interest in slower, perhaps more proper, interpretations.

2) CD 9 contains piano transcriptions of the Lieutenant Kije Suite, arranged by Frederic Chiu himself. Prokofiev only covered two Kije pieces (found on CD 3). Chiu transcribed all 5 parts (parts 1/2 are combined into one piano part). At first listen, I didn’t even realize I was listening to an adaptation; Chiu really mimics Prokofiev’s style. The pieces are so well done that I bought the sheet music from Frederic’s website. I’ve only learned the Troika so far.

3) Recording quality is good, but not great. On most audio equipment, the quality will sound perfectly fine. On hi-fi equipment, the sound quality is hollow, but not distractingly so.

I’ve listened to other complete recordings (e.g. Berman), and Chiu’s is still my favorite.

19 thoughts on “Frederic Chiu: Prokofiev – Complete Music for Solo Piano (10 CD box set, APE)”

  1. Many thanks, i’m looking for these cds for a long time (i have mp3 version)
    Do you have, by any chance, complete chopin by ashkenazy recorded beetwen 1974 and 1984, i have only mp3 version

    Thanks

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