Donald Macleod examines the most hectic year of Prokofiev’s life, where he faced uncertainties about his family and his financial future.
Donald Macleod examines the most hectic year of Prokofiev’s life where he faced uncertainties about his family and his financial future.
After a series of revolutions in his native Russia, the young composer Sergei Prokofiev made the decision to leave his homeland and to head to United States in search of fame and fortune. His years in the United States would turn into some of the most tumultuous of his life. Across this week, Donald explores how those years in exile and how it would prove to be one of his most challenging periods professionally, financially and personally.
His life was set against the turbulent events of the first half of the twentieth century, and forces beyond his control so often intervened to scupper his grand ambitions.
Further delays in his American commission and being reunited with old friends in Europe leads to a difficult decision for the composer.
The Gambler: Four Portraits from the Opera, Op 49 (Portrait No 1; Alexis)
Scottish National Orchestra
Neeme Järvi, conductor
Piano Concerto No 2 in G minor, Op 16 (mvts 1 & 2)
Freddy Kempf, piano
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Litton, conductor
Quintet in G minor, Op 39 (Selection)
The Prodigal Son, Op 46 (Scene 2, excerpt)
Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor
Chout Suite, Op 21 (excerpts)
London Symphony Orchestra
Claudio Abbado, conductor
Producer: Glyn Tansley for BBC Wales