Prokofiev: From Russia to the West, 1891-1935, Volume 1

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Yale University Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 390 pages
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Since 1991--the year that marked both the fall of the Soviet Union and the centenary of Sergey and birth--a new assessment of the renowned composer's life and work has become both possible and necessary. In this engrossing book, David Nice draws on a remarkable range of previously unexamined sources to present that reassessment. The book follows Prokofiev's personal and musical progression from his childhood on a Ukrainian country estate to the years he spent traveling in America and Europe as an acclaimed interpreter of his own works. Nice sheds new light on Prokofiev's early years at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire, his departure from Russia in 1918 for what he thought would be a short tour of America, and his marriage and family relationships. He considers the music of Prokofiev's years in the west (long dismissed by Soviet musicologists as decadent work weakened by the composer's absence from the motherland), moving from the lyricism of his St. Petersburg years to the fresh simplicity of his early Soviet scores. Nice also examines the complex reasons which led Prokofiev to move his family to the Soviet Union in 1936. A second volume will cover Prokofiev's life from this period to his death in 1952.
 

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User Review  - dorotheabaker - LibraryThing

Readability isn't this book's strong point. There seem to be nearly as many dates and references in the text as sentences. Originally I thought it was merely the difficulty of compiling so much ... Read full review

Prokofiev: from Russia to the West, 1891-1935

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

British writer, broadcaster, and lecturer Nice has taken advantage of recent scholarship to provide the first volume in what will be the definitive biography in English of Sergei Prokofiev. Greatly ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue Speak memory
3
Of giants and battleships 18911904
5
Prokosha in St Petersburg 19046
25
A friend for life 19069
41
Classical symbolical 190913
61
Sun worship 191315
89
A game of chance 191518
116
America France and Germany 191835
143
Stage and symphony 19279
243
Outlines of a real face 192932
268
Sound and vision 19324
298
The path to happiness 19345
320
Notes
337
Bibliography
357
Appendices
361
Works
363

In quest of three oranges 191819
145
Devils work 191922
166
Passion play 19223
186
Three steps of steel 19235
197
From America to Bolshevizia 19257
220
Recordings
369
Recital programmes
370
A game of chess
372
Index
373
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

David Nice is a writer, broadcaster, and lecturer on music, and author of books on Elgar, Tchaikovsky, and Richard Strauss.

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