Prokofiev’s nine piano sonatas span the whole of the composer’s career and provide a very interesting chronicle of artistic growth.
The First, written at age 15, was his first Opus; the incomplete 10th contains the last music he set down on paper.
The most well-known works of the series are without doubt the so called War Sonatas Nos. 6-8, rich and complex masterworks, written during the Second World War.
But the earlier works are also an important part of the piano repertoire, not least the single-movement Sonata No. 3, with its masterful treatment of form and motivic development and its brilliant virtuoso writing.
The fifth Sonata, written in 1922 under the influence of Stravinsky’s Neoclassicism, is perhaps one of the more curious works here – Prokofiev himself was unhappy with it, and revised it near the end of his life, softening some of its dissonances.