The People's Artist: Prokofiev's Soviet Years

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Oxford University Press, Nov 25, 2008 - Music - 512 pages
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Sergey Prokofiev was one of the twentieth century's greatest composers--and one of its greatest mysteries. Until now. In The People's Artist, Simon Morrison draws on groundbreaking research to illuminate the life of this major composer, deftly analyzing Prokofiev's music in light of new archival discoveries. Indeed, Morrison was the first scholar to gain access to the composer's sealed files in the Russian State Archives, where he uncovered a wealth of previously unknown scores, writings, correspondence, and unopened journals and diaries. The story he found in these documents is one of lofty hopes and disillusionment, of personal and creative upheavals. Morrison shows that Prokofiev seemed to thrive on uncertainty during his Paris years, stashing scores in suitcases, and ultimately stunning his fellow emigr?s by returning to Stalin's Russia. At first, Stalin's regime treated him as a celebrity, but Morrison details how the bureaucratic machine ground him down with corrections and censorship (forcing rewrites of such major works as Romeo and Juliet), until it finally censured him in 1948, ending his career and breaking his health.
 

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The people's artist: Prokofiev's Soviet years

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The first scholar to gain access to Prokofiev's sealed files in the Russian state archives, Morrison (music, Princeton Univ.; Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement) reveals new and captivating ... Read full review

Contents

MOSCOWS CELEBRITY COMPOSER
1
1 PLANS GONE AWRY 19351938
29
2 SEEKING THE FORMULA 19381939
79
3 THE PUSHKIN CENTENNIAL
119
4 WAR AND EVACUATION 19401943
157
5 THE EISENTIEN FILMS
217
6 THE FOREFRONT OF SOCIET MUSIC 19441947
247
71948
295
8 AFFIRMATION 19491953
341
Acknowledgments
393
THE ORIGINAL SCENARIO OF ROMEO AND JULIET
395
The THE TONYA CUE SHEET
403
Notes
409
Glossary
475
Index
479
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Simon Morrison is Professor of Music at Princeton University. He restored the original, uncensored version of Romeo and Juliet for the Mark Morris Dance Group, who performed its world premier in 2008.

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