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Thread: Sergei Prokofiev

  1. #61
    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    Hey, Sergei. I listened to your Cello concerto in E minor, Op 58 today at work. It's a single movement piece, or maybe the movements run together. I understand it's an earlier version of the "Symphony Concerto," Op. 125, but I am not familiar with that more famous work.

    Tell me, was the cadenza near the end written out or does the performer have free reign over it? The cadenza I heard I thought was sucky if you'll pardon the 21st century American slang. It just seemed like so much virtuoso noodling. Was I missing something?

    I do love the various orchestral suites, ballet suites, and film scores though.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    I love the first symphony. It defines his light-hearted playfulness

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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    I love the first symphony. It defines his light-hearted playfulness
    Prokofiev's "Symphony No. 5" is my favorite. It's such a dark work full of harmonic and melodic twists and turns.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    I like it too,

    Have you heard the 7th?

  5. #65
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    Sorry, but the 2nd and the 6th are my favorite. The 3rd, 5th, and 7th would be my next choices.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    The 6th is great too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    I like it too,

    Have you heard the 7th?
    I've heard them all, but the 5th is my favorite. I'm not a big fan of his symphonies though. I enjoy his concerti and ballets much more, especially "Romeo and Juliet." What a piece of music!

  8. #68
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weston View Post
    Hey, Sergei. I listened to your Cello concerto in E minor, Op 58 today at work. It's a single movement piece, or maybe the movements run together. I understand it's an earlier version of the "Symphony Concerto," Op. 125, but I am not familiar with that more famous work.

    Tell me, was the cadenza near the end written out or does the performer have free reign over it? The cadenza I heard I thought was sucky if you'll pardon the 21st century American slang. It just seemed like so much virtuoso noodling. Was I missing something?...
    I've recently become acquainted with the Symphony-Concerto Op. 125, the Rostropovich/Sargent recording. I haven't heard the earlier Concerto proper, but in the liner notes it does say that Prokofiev did rework that to produce the Symphony-Concerto, as you say. I'm pretty sure that in the latter work, Rostropovich played Prokofiev's cadenzas.

    The Symphony-Concerto is quite a complex work, some say it's overtly long. But I like the experimental nature of it, indeed, it shows what direction he was taking before his death. I recently saw the episode on Classical Destinations DVD dealing with Shostakovich & Prokofiev's & they played another amazing late work, the Sonata for two violins. This will be something I hope to get, his chamber music (what I've heard of it) is also superb. I think that he had so much more to give the world, but like many composers (Bartok, Hindemith, Berg) he was taken from us way too early.

    & in that DVD, I learned that Prokofiev's wife, who was Jewish, was sent to the gulags by Stalin. Even though Prokofiev tried to intervene & save her, this was to no avail. It just makes me very angry with Stalin - his bust is still alongside the wall of Red Square, as the DVD showed. It should be tossed in the trash can. But maybe the authorities want it to be a reminder of this horrible tyrant? Anyhow, it was noted that Prokofiev's wife survived her incarceration, and actually lived well into her 90's. How's that for a miraculous story?...
    Contrasts and Connections in Music

    "There will be a moment or two of confusion, but if we all keep our heads, everything will be fine" - Cary Grant.

  9. #69
    Senior Member Padawan's Avatar
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    Just heard Piano Concerto #3 In C for the first time today – very nice piece.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Yes it is, the Scherzo is unbelievable

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    I find Prokofiev rather cold sounding at times. Of course I don't dislike it all but I'm not sure he should have the place in 20th century music that he is sometimes given (probably because of bias to the first half of that century).

  12. #72
    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    I disagree with you Staryy

    He is my favorite 20th century composer. He has such a lyrical tongue-in cheek style I love it.

    Listen and Listen and Listen again to the 5th symphony - you wont regret it.

  13. #73
    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    I listened to his three Cinderella Suites at work this week and I didn't find them cold. I did however notice a tendency in Prokofiev and many other C20 composers to use an inordinate amount of percussion that makes a "whack!" sound, like two planks whacked together. (I have forgotten the name of this instrument.) It got to be so pervasive I almost found it annoying. They also use a lot of "tock" sounds which I know is a woodblock.

    Why would C20 composers favor this limited instrument over say a drum kit for instance and sometimes even over the timpani? Is it because they were trying to be different and so wound up being uniform? I foresee future musicologists telling their students to recognize early 20th century music by the abundance of "whack! and "tock."

  14. #74
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    He can craft a piece of music obviously, he knows how to write for instruments and can structure pieces well. Some of his 'pops' of course are well loved by many, Romeo and Juliet, Classical Symphony, Lieutenant Kije Suite....but like other composers of that period (Hindemith for example) I wonder if his status is elevated because he is in this more fashionable period.

  15. #75
    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Blasphemy!

    Listen deeper, use a score if you must.

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