Donald Macleod looks at Prokofiev’s first turbulent days in America, where he had to face down immigration officials and the American critics.
Donald Macleod looks at Prokofiev’s first turbulent days in America – where he has to face down immigration officials and the American critics.
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.
The composer’s first encounters with the American cities he’d dreamed of would prove to be the first in a series of disappointments.
Tales of an Old Grandmother, Op 31
Matti Raekallio, piano
Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op 34
Prelude from 10 pieces for piano, Op 12
Cyprien Katsaris, piano
Concerto No 1 for piano and orchestra in D flat major, Op 10 (excerpts)
Vladimir Krainev, piano
The Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Dmitri Kitayenko, conductor
Scythian Suite, Op 20
New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conductor
Producer: Glyn Tansley for BBC Wales