Sergei Prokofiev was a Soviet composer, pianist and conductor. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerous musical genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His works include such widely heard works as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet – from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken – and Peter and the Wolf. Of the established forms and genres in which he worked, he created – excluding juvenilia – seven completed operas, seven symphonies, eight ballets, five piano concertos, two violin concertos, a cello concerto, a Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra, and nine completed piano sonatas.
Olli Mustonen has assembled a disc from Prokofiev's piano transcriptions of the "Cinderella" ballet music, "Music for Children," and a couple of other pieces. Mustonen's articulation certainly brings out the playfulness of the music. It is agile, bright, and lively, each note clear, even in the moodier movements where a little more connection of notes in certain parts might be expected in order to intensify both the emotional content of the music and that quintessential Prokofiev contrast between energetic percussion and melodic lyricism. "Music for Children" is more direct and simply stated, so Mustonen's clarity serves it very well. He does have an eloquent way of using dynamics constantly to shade the music in all the works here. The sound level of the recording is a bit quieter than most Classical recordings, so the volume needs to be raised slightly to hear the wide range of his dynamics.
For a full track listing see attached images.