Sergei Prokofiev: Sinfonia Concertante, op.125, E minor
Aram Khachaturian: Cello Concerto, E minor
“Both these concertos were written in the Stalin era in Moscow, Khachaturian’s concerto before 1948, Prokofiev’s after. It was the terrible year that so seriously changed the lives of many Soviet composers. The best composers, including Prokofiev and Khachaturian, were unexpectedly accused in 1948 Zhdanov’s decree of writing incomprehensible and formalistic music and thus adopted an anti-state stance. As a result, both (and also Dmitri Shostakovich) had to apologize in front of the communist committee and promise to write different music in order to serve the people and the state better in the future!
It is particularly interesting to hear these two cello concertos side by side. Despite their different musical language, both works have a strong theatrical side so typical for Prokofiev’s and also Khachaturian’s music. Both concertos are written in the last years of the Stalin era, within just six years of each other (1946 and 1952), and both are in E minor!”