Sonata for Flute and Piano in D Major, Op. 94 by Sergey Prokofiev: A Performance Guide
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This thesis contains a performance guide for Sergey Prokofiev’s Sonata for Flute and Piano in D Major, Op. 94 (1943). Prokofiev is among the most important Russian composers of the twentieth century. Recognized as a leading Neoclassicist, his bold innovations in harmony and his new palette of tone colors enliven the classical structures he embraced. This is especially evident in this flute sonata, which provides a microcosm of Prokofiev’s compositional style and highlights the beauty and virtuosic breadth of the flute in new ways.
In Part 1 I have constructed an historical context for the sonata, with biographical information about Prokofiev, which includes anecdotes about his personality and behavior, and a discussion of the sonata’s commission and subsequent premiere. In Part 2 I offer an analysis of the piece with general performance suggestions and specific performance practice options for flutists that will assist them as they work toward an effective performance, one that is based on both the historically informed performance context, as well as remarks that focus on particular techniques, challenges and possible performance solutions.