Sergei Prokofiev - 4 Etudes Op. 2 (audio _ sheet music) ( 1080 X 1920 )
0:15 Etude No.1 in D minor
2:40 Etude No.2 in E minor
5:37 Etude No.3 in C minor
9:30 Etude No.4 in C minor
No. 1 in D minor is indeed very unforgiving, judging by the score, as it demands the chords to be played as if effortlessly up and down the keyboard. The C major middle section offers a temporary calm before going back to the storm, concluding the entirety in D minor chords hammering at the low register. No. 2 in E minor, much mellower than the rest of the set, is a juggling act, if you will. One hand plays an 18/16 wave of demisemiquavers, the other plays the 4/4 bassline, the melody being passed on by both hands. No. 3 in C minor starts out in a macabre mood in Andante. However, this is just a smokescreen, as the piece slowly but surely spirals out of control, the performer having to play out the thirds and sixths that snake throughout the score. Holding out the inner melody that needs to be shared by both hands is an additional challenge here. Surprisingly, Prokofiev skipped this etude back in his 1910 concert. No. 4 in C minor is definitely a tour de force, one hand supplying the very sarcastic melody, and the other hand playing ostinatos -- at one point, one section of that resembles a boogie rhythm -- in Presto. For a fitting finale of the entire set, the end of the piece is marked in broken octaves up across the piano.