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Prokofiev made some very good music. Just go on listening to it then I'm sure you'll start to love it! Have you heard his 5th symphony? Karajan made a great recording of it (DGG).

vonK
 
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Prokofiev's masterpiece has to be Romeo and Juliet. Not just the famous bit! The whole opus is continuously good in orchestration and tunes.
 

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I have only one Prokofiev CD of familliar works - Peter and the Wolf, Symphony No 1 (Classical), Lieutenant Kije Suite and The Love of Three Oranges Suite. I haven't heard anything of his other than Romeo and Juliet ( I have to admit I prefer the music of his contemporary, Shostakovich).
 

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I have some Prokofiev which I bought mainly to fill a gap in my collection, not particularly because I greatly liked it. I have S1, S5, Piano Con 3, Lieutenant Kije, and Romeo & Juliet excepts. It's not really possible to dislike these works. S1 is very nice but a bit short. Lieutentant is exquisite. The piano con is quite good actually. That was the last piece I bought, the Martha Argerich version whom I like. I would say I like Prokofiev more than Shostakovich, but that's not saying much. I need to give Prokofiev a better chance, and will do so now that I'm reminded.


Topaz
 

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The compositions I have heard by Prokifiev are all good. I favour his fifth symphony. I have heard few of his compositions; only Peter and the Wolf, Piano Sonata no. 3, Symphs 1,5,6 and the Russian Overture (and this thread reminded me of my gramophone-record of Romeo and Juliet I always forget to check out).
 

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I find that Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet to be the best work of that theme. Kije is likewise a great work. Prokofiev is one of my favorite composers, though I find Peter and the Wolf annoying. Do they make a STFU version where they just play the music? i just can't listen to the spoken portion after hearing it a few dozen times...
 

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I really like Prokofiev. The more I listen the more I like him. Again, I agree with Topaz.

There are a string of other great works by him that are rarely heard, even today. One in particular I love. Its title will sound bland for sure - 'Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution', Op.74. I heard it first on one of those BBC discs that we used to be able to buy with a BBC classical music magazine. It was phenomenal - and a live recording made in London. I managed to lose it shortly afterwards - gnash !!!!!! Wow - must get it again somehow. The scoring alone should fascinate you - for 2 choruses, accordions & orchestra.
 

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Hi Johnnyx

What did you think of The Tale of the Stone Flower by Prokofiev ? I am gettting really interested in Prokofiev these days. His work is wonderful.

Somebody said they don't rate his piano concertos very highly. Wonder if they have ever really listened to gems such as the Prolofiev 3rd concerto ? I heard it over the weekend in a live performance by Martha Argerich. Wow - it was great !!!
 

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Robert Nuewman
Hi. I enjoy all of Prokofiev's music, but seem especially fond of the ballets. Stone Flower, while not as good IMHO as Romeo & Juliet or Cinderella, is still a very nice piece of music. These works to me evoke an imaginary land of childlike memories, as do, for example, Tchaikovsky's ballets. This is no doubt due to the fact that my sister was a ballerina and ballet teacher, and I heard this music often in my house growing up.

His cello music is very enjoyable as well. I am not as familar with the piano music, but will have to check it out. Lucky you to hear Argerich perform!
x
 

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My favorite Prokofiev work is his 1st symphony. Everytime I listen to it, it never loses that freshness, that rush of inspiration.

My love for the "classical symphony" is followed closely by my love for his 5th and 6th symphonies, and I like his 7th, too. I suppose I'm partial towards his symphonies over his ballet scores. But of his ballet scores, no one has yet mentioned The Prodigal Son, which is very lyrical and moody. Also his Cinderella ballet score is very nice.

I love how atmospheric Prokofiev's music is, how under-the-surface it lies in my consciousness. Prokofiev seems to be the introvert and Shostakovich the extrovert.

I also have his opera War and Peace on disc, but I haven't delved into it yet. The overture is beautiful enough, though.

One aspect of Prokofiev's music that I like is how he brings out the percussive qualities of the piano, and in his compositions overall. It struck me while listening to the 5th and comparing it to symphonies by other composers.
 

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Thanks Johnnyx and also Orquesta Typica,

I would love to hear all the Prokofiev symphonies but at the moment know only that gem, the 'Classical Symphony', his 1st.

Great to hear that there are many treasures with his cello music too. And with his stage music. Can't wait for someone here on this forum to hear, for the first time, Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto - whether they love it or not. It's sure to provoke some sort of reaction. It left me truly amazed. Something wonderful !
 

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"Prokofiev seems to be the introvert and Shostakovich the extrovert." - orquesta tipica
Yes!
 
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ChamberNut,

I'd recommend that you buy the entire ballet. Why settle for snippets? The whole piece is so extravagantly beautiful. And there are several good recordings. Kitayenko, Gergiev, Ozawa, Previn, Maazel, Mogrelia. I grew up on Leinsdorf's recording of excerpts, and Maazel's was the first recording I had of the complete ballet. It's very fine, but I probably listen to Previn or Gergiev most often nowadays. The Mogrelia is surprisingly good--real scrappy, though--and has the additional advantage of being on Naxos.

Otherwise, I was surprised to see Prokofiev described in this thread as the introvert and Shostakovich as the extrovert as that's the opposite of what most commentators have said. I would say that both views are wrong as too limiting. Both of those composers were great composers, so they both cover a wide range of musical meaning. Prokofiev covered the wider range, I'd say, but almost all my Russian friends prefer Shostakovich. Prokofiev's too "cool" and "acerbic" for their tastes, I suppose, though he's so much more than those two words imply.

As for the piano concertos, they're all great, except for maybe the first one, which is often kind of silly. But it's such an engaging silliness, it's difficult not to love it. The fifth is the least well liked, for some reason. It's practically the most perfect thing Prokofiev wrote, that and the Quintet and the eighth piano sonata. Which is saying a lot, as the quality of Prokofiev's music is pretty uniformly high. It's not immediately engaging, a lot of it, which is why only a few works seem to be well-known. Give it time, and you'll see how rich and various it all is.

And don't forget those operas, either. Eight of them, and at least four of those among the finest operas ever. At least. (Love for Three Oranges, Semyon Kotko, Betrothal in a Monastery, and War and Peace. Which is not to say that Maddelena and The Gambler and The Fiery Angel aren't well worth a listen. I don't know about The Story of a Real Man, yet, as the only recording is of a truncated version of the truncated version. Yes, you read right.)
 

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ChamberNut,

I'd recommend that you buy the entire ballet. Why settle for snippets? The whole piece is so extravagantly beautiful.
In fact even better a DVD of the ballet. Several are available but for the real classic it's Margot Fonteyn and Nureyev. Unfortunately the sound is less than perfect so it would attract a ballet rather than music fan. The Bolshoi have done a more recent one with Natalya Bessmertnova and Irek Mukhamedov.

Otherwise, I was surprised to see Prokofiev described in this thread as the introvert and Shostakovich as the extrovert as that's the opposite of what most commentators have said.
yes, I couldn't understand that statement either. Shostakovich was the introvert of the two.

EF
 
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