This post is a companion piece to my entry of September 30, 2009, in which I presented Prokofiev’s original version of this sonata, written for flute and piano. One year following its composition, Prokofiev transcribed the flute part for violin at the urging of his friend David Oistrakh, and it is in this version that the sonata has gained its widest audience.
I came to know this piece during my freshman year at the University of Colorado, in a recording by Joseph Szigeti and Artur Balsam. This video features Gidon Kremer, who was himself a student of Oistrakh, in a glorious collaboration with his long-time partner, Martha Argerich.
A personal note about Martha Argerich, and I am quoting here from Wikipedia:
In 1990, Argerich was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. After treatment, the cancer went into remission, but there was a re-occurrence in 1995, eventually metastasizing to her lungs and lymph nodes. Following aggressive treatment at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, which included the removal of part of her lung and use of an experimental vaccine, Argerich’s cancer went into remission again. In gratitude, Argerich performed a Carnegie Hall recital benefiting the Institute. Once a heavy cigarette smoker, Argerich quit smoking following her treatment. As of 2010, Argerich remains cancer-free.
Let’s have a round of applause for medical science!