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Donald Macleod looks at how America influenced Prokofiev – and if the composer’s American dream ever died.

Donald Macleod looks at how America influenced Prokofiev – and if the composer’s American dream ever died.

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.

In his later years, Prokofiev committed himself to a life in Russia but despite finally having a place to call home, he could never quite escape the pull of America.

American Overture, Op 42
St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor

Peter and the Wolf (excerpt)
Sir John Gielgud, narrator
Academy of London
Richard Stamp, conductor

Five Poems, Op 36 (selection)
Claudia Barainsky, soprano
Axel Bauni, piano

The Love of Three Oranges Symphonic Suite, Op 33bis
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Neville Marriner, conductor

Romeo and Juliet, Op 64 (excerpts)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Yuri Simonov, conductor

Producer: Glyn Tansley for BBC Wales

22 days left to listen

59 minutes

Last on

Last Friday 12:00

Music Played

  • Sergei Prokofiev

    American Overture Op.42

    Orchestra: Imperial Music Choir. Conductor: Vladimir Ashkenazy.
    • Exton OVCL00323.
    • OVCL00323.
    • 9.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Peter And The Wolf Op.67 - extract

    Performer: Academy of London. Narrator: Sir John Gielgud. Conductor: Richard Stamp.
    • VIRGIN CLASSICS CUV5611372.
    • VIRGIN CLASSICS.
    • 1.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Five Poems Op.36 - Four and Five

    Performer: Axel Bauni. Singer: Claudia Barainsky.
    • Orfeo: C436031A.
    • Orfeo.
    • 4.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    The Love for Three Oranges Symphonic Suite Op.33b

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Neville Marriner.
    • PHILIPS 4422782.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 1.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Romeo and Juliet - Suite No. 2 Op.64b

    Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Yuri Ivanovich Simonov.
    • REGIS RRC1258.
    • REGIS.
    • 1.

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