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A good feeling

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
Berlin Soloists

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

19 days left to listen

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Sergei Prokofiev

    The Tales Of An Old Grandmother Op.31

    Performer: Matti Raekallio.
    • ONDINE : ODE11032Q.
    • ONDINE.
    • 21.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Overture on Hebrew Themes Op.34

    Ensemble: Berlin Soloists.
    • WARNER 0927496372.
    • WARNER.
    • 7.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Prelude from 10 Pieces in C Major Op.12 No.7 Prelude

    Performer: Cyprien Katsaris.
    • WARNER 0927496372.
    • WARNER.
    • 13.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Concerto No.1 in D Flat Major Op.10

    Performer: Vladimir Krainev. Orchestra: Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Dmitri Georgievich Kitayenko.
    • Melodiya : MELCD1002227.
    • Melodiya.
    • 1.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Scythian Suite Op.20

    Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • SONY CLASSICAL 5162402.
    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • 24.

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