Program Notes: Serge P for two pianos, by Paul Reale
The title refers, of course to Serge Prokofiev and is called a
"transcomposition" of that composer's Sonata Op. 56 for Two
Violins. Prokofiev's sonata was written in Paris in 1932 and shows a
kind of workmanlike manipulation of the neoclassic materials. It is
cast into four movements; my piece, which takes materials from the
first three and the opening of the fourth, is in three main sections with
two interspersed solo sections. The first section more or less follows
the Prokofiev first movement with major tonal elaborations. The first
solo entr'acte anticipates the section, which is drawn from the Third
Movement of Op. 56, and the second solo comes from the opening of
Movement IV. The Finale of my piece is really the skeleton of
Movement II of the Prokofiev.
Serge P is not so much a transcription as an homage to those
composers of the recent past who have influenced my work. I doubt
that anyone who heard Op.56 would know that it is a surrogate parent
to my work. Is the piece supposed to sound like Prokofiev, Paul Chihara,
or anyone else? No attempt is made to imitate any other composer's
style; rather, many streams are combined in my own tonal synthesis.
The piece was completed in the end of 1993 and substantially revised in the spring of
1994. It was premiered by the composer with Judy Huang in the spring of that year.