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Masques, the title of this CD, is a reference to Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet; it mirrors his visionary music, so full of wit, colour and drama, that expresses every possible human emotion. The thousand characters created by the music are both actors in and spectators of their own lives by turns. The Sonata No. 1 is a truly epic work; it leads us from an anguish-laden grief permeated with a gust of wind from the grave to a nostalgic lyricism — the memory of a lost paradise? — that is then driven by tremendous rhythmic energy to the apocalyptic climax of the work: we experience an explosion, a dissolution of every hope, before a return to the frozen whiteness of the beginning and an ending in resignation. The Sonata No. 2, unrestrainedly lyrical and punctuated with humour, can be seen as a contrasting counterpart to the previous work. The CD also includes the undervalued Sonata for solo violin and two miniatures in Prokofiev’s characteristic style: they are filled with alacrity, humour and biting wit — an extract of life! Elsa Grether