Really great works for two violins can be counted on the fingers of one toe.” – Mark Kaplan
Our Video of the Week is a birthday tribute to Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, (born on April 23, 1891), played by two of our faculty masters at the Heifetz Institute: Violinists Ilya Kaler and Mark Kaplan, who in his introduction before a full house in Francis Auditorium describes what Prokofiev does with just two violins at his disposal as “nothing short of miraculous.”
Prokofiev wrote this twin-violin tour de force in 1941. As he recounted in his autobiography:
Listening to bad music sometimes inspires good ideas… After once hearing an unsuccessful piece for two violins without piano accompaniment, it struck me that in spite of the apparent limitations of such a duet one could make it interesting enough to listen to for ten or fifteen minutes….
Have a look and listen to Prokofiev’s exercise, and remember, if you enjoy our Video of the Week feature, you can check out the entire series here – and subscribe to get them in your inbox every week!