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; 27 April 1891 – 5 March 1953) was a 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
Lieutenant Kije Suite
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Lieutenant Kije Suite
Sergei Prokofiev
Suite from Romeo and Juliet, Op.64 (extracts)
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Suite from Romeo and Juliet, Op.64 (extracts)
Sergei Prokofiev
Violin Concerto no.1 in D major, Op.19 - 1st mvt: Andantino
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Violin Concerto no.1 in D major, Op.19 - 1st mvt: Andantino
Sergei Prokofiev
Balcony scene (Romeo & Juliet)
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Balcony scene (Romeo & Juliet)
Sergei Prokofiev
Cinderella (Highlights)
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Cinderella (Highlights)
Sergei Prokofiev
Romeo and Juliet, Op.64 (Act 1 Sc 2) Dance of The Knights
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Romeo and Juliet, Op.64 (Act 1 Sc 2) Dance of The Knights
Sergei Prokofiev
Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op 60 II Romance
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Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op 60 II Romance
Sergei Prokofiev
Peter and the Wolf, children's tale for narrator & orchestra, Op. 67 – The wolf appears
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Peter and the Wolf, children's tale for narrator & orchestra, Op. 67 – The wolf appears

Peter and the Wolf, children's tale for narrator & orchestra, Op. 67 – The wolf appears

Performer
London Symphony Orchestra: Sir Charles Mackerras. Paul Dukas
Sergei Prokofiev
Piano Sonata No.7, Op.83 (1st mvt: Allegro inquieto)
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Piano Sonata No.7, Op.83 (1st mvt: Allegro inquieto)
Sergei Prokofiev
Introduction - Romance (Lieutenant Kije)
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Introduction - Romance (Lieutenant Kije)
Sergei Prokofiev
March: Love for Three Oranges
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March: Love for Three Oranges
Sergei Prokofiev
Romeo & Juliet: Folk Dance (village dance)
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Romeo & Juliet: Folk Dance (village dance)
Sergei Prokofiev
Waltz Suite, Op. 110: In the Palace
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Waltz Suite, Op. 110: In the Palace
Sergei Prokofiev
Romeo and Juliet: Dance of the Knights
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Romeo and Juliet: Dance of the Knights
Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony No 1 'Classical'
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Symphony No 1 'Classical'
Sergei Prokofiev
Piano Concerto No.3
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Piano Concerto No.3
Sergei Prokofiev
March for military band, Op 69 No 3
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March for military band, Op 69 No 3
Sergei Prokofiev
Romeo and Juliet “Dance of the Knights”
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Romeo and Juliet “Dance of the Knights”
Sergei Prokofiev
The Quarrel (Romeo and Juliet)
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The Quarrel (Romeo and Juliet)
Sergei Prokofiev
Overture on Hebrew Themes
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Overture on Hebrew Themes
Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony No. 2 In D Minor Op.40
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Symphony No. 2 In D Minor Op.40
Sergei Prokofiev
Amoroso (Cinderella Suite No 3); Waltz (Cinderella Suite No 1)
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Amoroso (Cinderella Suite No 3); Waltz (Cinderella Suite No 1)
Sergei Prokofiev
The Philosophers (Cantata for the 20th anniversary of the October Revolution)
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The Philosophers (Cantata for the 20th anniversary of the October Revolution)
Sergei Prokofiev
Quarrel (Cinderella Suite No 1)
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Quarrel (Cinderella Suite No 1)
Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony no. 5 in B flat major Op.100
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Symphony no. 5 in B flat major Op.100
Sergei Prokofiev
The Gambler: Act 4
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The Gambler: Act 4
Sergei Prokofiev
The Gambler: Act Three
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The Gambler: Act Three
Sergei Prokofiev
The Gambler: Act Two
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The Gambler: Act Two
Sergei Prokofiev
The Gambler [Igrok] - opera Op.24
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The Gambler [Igrok] - opera Op.24
Sergei Prokofiev
Departure (Winter Bonfire, Op 122)
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Departure (Winter Bonfire, Op 122)

Departure (Winter Bonfire, Op 122)

Conductor
Vincent Figuri
Orchestra
Russian Season Symphony Orchestra
Choir
Russian Season Choir
Sergei Prokofiev
Concerto no. 1 in D major Op.19
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Concerto no. 1 in D major Op.19
Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony no. 1 in D major Op.25
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Symphony no. 1 in D major Op.25
Sergei Prokofiev
The Ugly Duckling Op. 18
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The Ugly Duckling Op. 18
Sergei Prokofiev
Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova Op. 27
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Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova Op. 27
Sergei Prokofiev
Montagues and Capulets (Romeo and Juliet)
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Montagues and Capulets (Romeo and Juliet)
Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony No 7 in C sharp minor, Op 131
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Symphony No 7 in C sharp minor, Op 131
Sergei Prokofiev
Visions Fugitives Op.22
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Visions Fugitives Op.22
Sergei Prokofiev
Cinderella - Mazurka; Cinderella's Arrival; Grand Waltz
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Cinderella - Mazurka; Cinderella's Arrival; Grand Waltz
Sergei Prokofiev
Cinderella [Zolushka] - Suite No 1, Op 107
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Cinderella [Zolushka] - Suite No 1, Op 107
Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony-concerto in E minor Op.125 for cello and orchestra
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Symphony-concerto in E minor Op.125 for cello and orchestra
Sergei Prokofiev
Ivan the Terrible [Ivan Grosniy] - oratorio, arr. Stasevich from the film score - part 2
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Ivan the Terrible [Ivan Grosniy] - oratorio, arr. Stasevich from the film score - part 2
Sergei Prokofiev
Ivan the Terrible [Ivan Grosniy] - oratorio, arr. Stasevich from the film score - part 1
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Ivan the Terrible [Ivan Grosniy] - oratorio, arr. Stasevich from the film score - part 1
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