Sergei Prokofiev
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1891-04-27
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/0e43fe9d-c472-4b62-be9e-55f971a023e1
Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev Biography (BBC)

Sergey Prokofiev perhaps contributed more new music to the standard ‘classical’ repertory than any of his contemporaries. Yet he remains a difficult figure to pin down. Born and raised in Tsarist Russia, he established himself as a musical enfant terrible in the years before the Revolution, cultivating novel dissonances while still a student pianist-composer at the St Petersburg Conservatory.

Like Beethoven, he completed five concertos for his own instrument, losing interest once he was no longer primarily an executant himself. Despite political and economic turmoil, a burst of creativity around 1917 produced a large pile of scores, not least the First Violin Concerto and the ‘Classical’ Symphony, in which the composer’s lyrical vein is more strongly apparent alongside his keen sense of irony.

After 1918 he lived abroad, first in the USA, where his opera The Love for Three Oranges (1919) was staged, later mainly in Paris, where he became a peripheral member of the Diaghilev set. Several key compositions from this period have a tortured, Expressionistic character, notably the opera The Fiery Angel (1919–23, rev. 1926–7) and the related Third Symphony (1928).

The 1930s brought a surprising and, to some, inexplicable reconciliation with the new Soviet Russia. Prokofiev spent the last 17 years of his life in the USSR, stimulated as well as stifled by the cultural politics dictated by Stalin. The two men even died on the same night (5 March 1953).

Prokofiev’s return to Russia coincided with a state drive for greater directness of expression in the cultural sphere and, whatever the personal and professional setbacks, Prokofiev was encouraged to showcase his melodic gift in a series of major works that have proved to have enduring appeal. Notable among these are the ballets Romeo and Juliet (1935–6) and Cinderella (1940–44), the last three (of seven) symphonies, the last four (of nine) piano sonatas, the film music for Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1942–5), and the children’s fable Peter and the Wolf (1936). Acceptance of his magnum opus, the epic opera War and Peace (1941–3, rev. 1946–52), has been hindered by the lack of a definitive text and perceived ideological problems. But, for good or ill, he was an artist for hire, who prided himself on his professionalism.

As we come to know the composer’s personality through his music – in all its bracing humour, tender nostalgia and considerable tragic power – we can sense a uniquely positive response to difficult and dangerous times.

Profile by David Gutman © BBC

Sergei Prokofiev Biography (Wikipedia)

Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (Russian: Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев, Sergej Sergejevič Prokofjev; 23 April 1891 – 5 March 1953) was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist and conductor. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerous musical genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His works include such widely heard works as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet – from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken – and Peter and the Wolf. Of the established forms and genres in which he worked, he created – excluding juvenilia – seven completed operas, seven symphonies, eight ballets, five piano concertos, two violin concertos, a cello concerto, a Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra, and nine completed piano sonatas.

A graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory, Prokofiev initially made his name as an iconoclastic composer-pianist, achieving notoriety with a series of ferociously dissonant and virtuosic works for his instrument, including his first two piano concertos. In 1915 Prokofiev made a decisive break from the standard composer-pianist category with his orchestral Scythian Suite, compiled from music originally composed for a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev commissioned three further ballets from Prokofiev – Chout, Le pas d'acier and The Prodigal Son – which at the time of their original production all caused a sensation among both critics and colleagues. Prokofiev's greatest interest, however, was opera, and he composed several works in that genre, including The Gambler and The Fiery Angel. Prokofiev's one operatic success during his lifetime was The Love for Three Oranges, composed for the Chicago Opera and subsequently performed over the following decade in Europe and Russia.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Sergei Prokofiev Performances & Interviews


Sergei Prokofiev Tracks

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Sergei Prokofiev
The Fiery angel - opera in 5 acts Op.37: Act 2; Zdes', bessporno, mnogo dragocennych ukazanij
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The Fiery angel - opera in 5 acts Op.37: Act 2; Zdes', bessporno, mnogo dragocennych ukazanij
Sergei Prokofiev
Violin Sonata No.2
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Violin Sonata No.2
Sergei Prokofiev
Dance of the Knights (Romeo and Juliet)
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Dance of the Knights (Romeo and Juliet)
Sergei Prokofiev
March; Scherzo (The Love for Three Oranges, Op 33b)
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March; Scherzo (The Love for Three Oranges, Op 33b)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi
Symphony no. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111 (feat. Sergei Prokofiev)
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Symphony no. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111 (feat. Sergei Prokofiev)
Sergei Prokofiev
Prelude - No. 7 from 10 Pieces for piano (Op.12)
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Prelude - No. 7 from 10 Pieces for piano (Op.12)
Sergei Prokofiev
Violin Sonata no 2 Op 94bis
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Violin Sonata no 2 Op 94bis
Sergei Prokofiev
The Young Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)
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The Young Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)
Sergei Prokofiev
Cinq Melodies Op 35bis
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Cinq Melodies Op 35bis
Sergei Prokofiev
Waltz Suite: Happiness (from Cinderella)
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Waltz Suite: Happiness (from Cinderella)
Sergei Prokofiev
Montagues and Capulets from 'Romeo and Juliet' Ballet Suite Op 64
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Montagues and Capulets from 'Romeo and Juliet' Ballet Suite Op 64
Sergei Prokofiev
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution - 7th mvt: Victory
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Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution - 7th mvt: Victory
Sergei Prokofiev
Dance with Mandolins (Romeo and Juliet)
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Dance with Mandolins (Romeo and Juliet)
Sergei Prokofiev
Alexander Nevsky (Op.78)
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Alexander Nevsky (Op.78)

Alexander Nevsky (Op.78)

Choir
Russian Radio and TV Academic Chorus
Orchestra
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor
Dimitar Manolov
Singer
Sergei Prokofiev
Violin Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op 63 (1st mvt)
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Violin Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op 63 (1st mvt)
Sergei Prokofiev
Snow on the Window (Winter Bonfire)
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Snow on the Window (Winter Bonfire)
Sergei Prokofiev
Cinderella's waltz from Zolushka [Cinderella] suite no.1 (Op.107)
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Cinderella's waltz from Zolushka [Cinderella] suite no.1 (Op.107)
Sergei Prokofiev
Lieutenant Kije - suite for orchestra, with baritone ad lib. (Op.60), Troika
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Lieutenant Kije - suite for orchestra, with baritone ad lib. (Op.60), Troika
Sergei Prokofiev
Hail to Stalin Op 85
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Hail to Stalin Op 85
Sergei Prokofiev
Sonata no 8 in B flat major Op 84 - Andante sognando
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Sonata no 8 in B flat major Op 84 - Andante sognando
Sergei Prokofiev
War and peace Op 91 - She's wonderful and so beautiful
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War and peace Op 91 - She's wonderful and so beautiful
Sergei Prokofiev
War and peace Op 91 - When I was at Otradnoye in May
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War and peace Op 91 - When I was at Otradnoye in May
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Playlists featuring Sergei Prokofiev

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