The Cyber-Cave

Reflections on the political, technological, cultural and economic trends of the world

Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

-Child prodigy (in piano and composition)
-Good chess player
-Encouraged by Glazunov to do music professionally. Rimsky-Korsakov was one of his teachers at the Conservatory of St.Petersburg.
-He worked with Diaghilev in promoting his ballets in Paris. He was inspired by Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ musical style- this can be heard quite clearly in some sections of his ballets such as the ‘Tale of the stone flower’.
-From 1918 to 1936 he lived in the USA and in Europe. In 1936 he returned to the Soviet Union. While he was in the USA he became a believer in the teachings of ‘Christian Science’.
-Despite being accused once of ‘formalism’ by the Soviet critics (some of his works were banned), the Soviets allowed him to have concerts around the world and commissioned to him several works (winning a few Stalin prizes).
-His wife Lina was accused of espionage and sentenced to forced labour.
-Composed soundtracks for several movies by Eisenstein
-Died the same day Stalin died

MY FAVOURITE WORKS

-Violin Concerto 1 (1917) [especially the last movement]
-Symphony 1 (1917)
-Vision Fugitives (1917)
-Overture on Hebrew Themes (1919)
-Chout (1920)
-Symphony 2 (1925)
-Le Pas d’acier (1926)
-Symphony 4 (1930)
-Egyptian Nights (1934)
-Romeo and Juliet (1936) [notable moments: the street wakens, dance of the knights, Romeo’s variation Love dance, dance with mandolins, Romeo at Friar Laurence’s, Romeo decides to avenge Mercutio, Introduction – Romeo and Juliet, Juliet alone. ]
-Boris Godunov (1936) [Volk songs, Amoroso]
-Russian overture (1936)
-Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74 (1937)
-Alexander Nevsky (1938) [Battle on the ice]
-Symphonic Suite, Op. 81bi “Semyon Kotko” [the village is burning]
-Symphony 5 (1944) [especially the ‘Allegro giocoso’]
-Cinderella (1944) [notable moments: duet of the prince and cinderella, waltz, midnight, first galop of the prince]
-Ivan the Terrible film score (1945)- [The storming of Kazan, Ivan’s Sickness, the Banquet, murder in the cathedral, finale]
-Ode to the End of the War, Op. 105 (1945)
-Meeting Of The Volga And The Don (1951)
-Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor (1952)
-Tale of the Stone Flower (1953) [The unmarried men’s dance, The appearance of Severyan, Scene of Katerina and Danilo, dance of the Russian precious stones, the Appearance of the Mistress and Katerina’s Joy, Severyan’s Dance, Solo of the Gypsy Girl, Dialogue of Katerina and the Mistress]

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