Tuesday (2/9) on the National Public Radio website, Jeff Lunden writes, “Symphony orchestras and ballet companies routinely program his music, but now, 57 years after his death, some newly discovered works by Prokofiev will be premiered Tuesday night at New York’s Zankel Hall. When it comes to the music of Prokofiev, pianist and Yale University professor Boris Berman is the go-to guy. He’s recorded the composer’s complete piano works, written a book about his sonatas and founded the Prokofiev Society of America. Still, until recently, Berman had never seen or heard Music for Athletic Exercises. The music is part of a 1939 composition, which didn’t see the light of day again until 2004, when a facsimile of Prokofiev’s manuscript was published. … Tuesday night’s concert will sample music from various phases of Prokofiev’s career. The 1924 ballet Trapeze is also featured, and includes two recently discovered movements. … Perhaps one of the most intriguing pieces in the concert provides a taste of a composition Prokofiev never finished. It’s a 20-minute fragment from an opera he started writing in 1948, called Distant Seas.”

Posted February 9, 2010