Diaries 1907–1914

Diaries 1907–1914

Prodigious Youth
Edited and translated by Anthony Phillips
Foreword by Sviatoslav Prokofiev
Sergey Prokofiev, a compulsive diarist and gifted and idiosyncratic writer, possessed an incorrigibly sardonic curiosity about individuals and events. When he left Russia after the 1917 Revolution, his diaries were recovered from the family flat in Petrograd and later hidden at considerable personal risk by the composer Nikolai Myaskovsky. Prokofiev himself smuggled them out of the country after his first return to the Soviet Union in 1927. The later diaries, written in the West, were brought back by legal decree after the composer's death in 1953, to be kept in an inaccessible section of the Soviet State Archive. Eventually Prokofiev's son Sviatoslav was allowed to transcribe the voluminous contents. When he and his son Sergei eventually emigrated to Paris, they undertook the gigantic task of reproducing the partially encoded manuscript in an intelligible form.

Diaries, 1907-1914, the first of three volumes that extend to 1933, covers Prokofiev's years at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire. Simultaneously attached to and exasperated by the tradition exemplified by composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov, and Tcherepnin, the brash young genius relishes the power of his talent to irritate, challenge, and finally overcome the establishment. In candid and lively prose, he records the all-too-normal preoccupations of a young man making his way in the brilliant social and artistic circles of the prewar Russian capital. Virtually every artist and musician of note appears in these pages, in penetrating and not always flattering vignettes. Prokofiev's main subject, however, is music, its creation and its performance. He reveals his own developing aesthetic principles through his assessments of the works of others, even as he composes such early masterpieces as the First and Second Piano Concertos, The Ugly Duckling, the First Violin Concerto, and the Classical Symphony.

An inexhaustibly rich portrait of a vibrant artistic culture on the edge of war and revolution, Prokofiev's Diaries are both a dramatic illumination of a great composer's creativity and an indispensable contribution to our understanding of musical modernism. They constitute an essential and entertaining reference for all lovers of Prokofiev's music.

Anthony Phillips



Translation:
Diaries 1924–1933
Prodigal Son
Sergey Prokofiev
The third and final volume of Prokofiev's Diaries covers the years 1924 to 1933, when he was living in Paris.



Story of a Friendship
The Letters of Dmitry Shostakovich to Isaak Glikman, 1941–1975
Dmitry Shostakovich, Isaak Glikman
After considerable hesitation and soul-searching I have decided to publish the letters Dmitry Dmitriyevich Shostakovich wrote to me. This choice by the composer's close friend Isaak Glikman brought the tormented feelings of the musical genius into...





Contributions:

Diaries 1915–1923
Behind the Mask
Sergey Prokofiev
"'To go to America!' Here was wretchedness; there life brimming over. . . . Such was the flag under which I greeted the New Year. Surely it will not disappoint my hopes'" With these words Sergey Prokofiev closed his diary for the revolutionary year...









Also of interest

Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman
A Memoir from the Early Twentieth Century
Matilda Rabinowitz

Subjects

History : History / Russia and the Former USSR
Art : Performing Arts / Music
Biography and Autobiography

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