The ten brief movements of Shostakovich’s ‘Aphorisms’ look back to Prokofiev’s youthful sequences of piano miniatures such as his ‘Visions fugitives’ and ‘Sarcasms’. At the same time, they outdo Prokofiev in the violence and wilfulness of their modernism. Angular, dissonant and virtuosically unpredictable, these little pieces show the young composer determined to carve out a compositional language of his own, with as little connection to the past as possible.
The composer gave the premiere in Autumn 1927.
Note by Gerard McBurney