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Prokofiev

Among some of the best few Russian composers would definitely be Prokofiev. I have to be honest, I don't listen to his music that often (just hearing his first piano concerto again for the...3rd or 4th time :eek: I thought to start a thread on him).

To mention some favorites: The Love for Three Oranges, Romeo and Juliet (I only have excerpts, so any recommendations for a full album would be helpful), Pno Concerto 1 in D flat, and symphonies 5 and 7.
 
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Oddly enough, you're pretty safe with any of the complete performances of Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet, Maazel's classic from the seventies (I think), Ozawa's, Gergiev's, Previn's, Mogrelia's. All different. All good.
 

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One of my favorite Prokofiev compositions is his Toccata for piano. It's avery energetic but slightly darker piece.

@ Rondo and Some_Guy: weirdly enough, Romeo and Juliet is my least favorite Prokofiev piece (except maybe Peter and the Wolf). It just doesn't measure up to the symphonies and the piano concertos (not to mention the solo piano works).
 

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One of my favorite Prokofiev compositions is his Toccata for piano. It's a very energetic but slightly darker piece.
Now, that's an imaginative citation. I have that work on some old piece of vinyl somewhere.:eek: So... there are some memories tied to the mention of it.:)

I've previously said "the older I get, the more I appreciate Prokofiev." Yeah... I like symphonies 1 and 5- but my favorite Prokofiev composition is Violin Concerto #1.
 

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Romeo and Juliet has always been one of my favourites, but I've recently heard the piano concertos. They are really well composed and the 3rd is good, but I've fallen in love with the 1st! It's so neoclassical it's orgasmic!
 
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I attended a performance of Romeo And Juliet by the New York City ballet around 1974. I was fortunate enough to see Fernando Bujones dance in the role of Romeo. He died much too young. Sometimes it is gratifying to actually see the ballet that the music was written for.
The melodies in the 7th symphony are very lovely. I wish a modern day Bruckner would come along and develop them more fully than Prokofiev did. Variations on these themes would be very enjoyable for me to hear. I'm not sure if I ever heard the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th symphonies. Thet are not played often.
 
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I'm not sure if I ever heard the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th symphonies. The[y] are not played often.
Do you rely entirely on concerts or radio for listening? (It only takes one recording of a work and voilà, you can listen to it as often as you please.)

If you had ever heard the second or third, I think you'd remember that. The second is Prokofiev at his most energetic, with the tightest harmonies and the most pounding of rhythms ...at first. Then there's a long theme and variations section that covers the gamut of styles he was capable of, including the tight harmonies and pounding rhythms. I think it would have gotten your attention, any way. (If you like that, you'll also need to get the second piano concerto and the Scythian suite as well. In fact, even if you don't like it, you should still get the second piano concerto and the Scythian suite. You will thank me sooner or later for recommending those.:) )

The third is a remix of licks from The Fiery Angel. (I'm old enough to have seen the title Englished to The Flaming Angel, too, right around the time that "flaming" was narrowing down to only one meaning!) It's a full-on symphony, you know, with development and recapitulation and all the rest, but he did get a lot of flack for just redoing his opera for the symphony hall.

And then, when he redid The Prodigal Son the same way, in the fourth symphony, he got even more flack. The fourth exists in two very different versions, too, the opus 47 and the opus 47/112. A lot of people prefer the later version, I'm not sure why. It's longer and louder and bigger in every way. But those attributes are not necessarily better. I like the lean opus 47 better for what it's worth. There are recordings of both, sometimes both on the same CD. I'd get both myself, just because. (I rarely ever listen to the opus 112 any more, that's the only help I can be if you're trying to decide. I still recommend having both. In fact, get The Prodigal Son ballet, too, why not?)
 

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No. 1 Obviously typing is not my forte.
2. I attend a large number of concerts because I prefer live music to recorded. Also as soon as I buy high end audio equipment, it is very soon made obsolete.
3. I enjoy most of the music written by Prokofiev that I ever heard and I do depend on concerts and the radio for much of what I hear.
4. Peter and the Wolf is gateway music and may have influenced many young people to start enjoying and appreciating classical music.
5. I have most likely heard the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th symphonies but the 1st, 5th, 6th, and
7th are played a lot more often in both concerts and on the radio. I don't even want to hear the 1st because I place it in the overplayed Warhorse category.
 

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I've just got into the 3rd piano concerto!

Does anyone else think that the second mvt. theme and variations is immense?!
 

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I always think of Prokofiev's compositions as a selection of parades of other composers music..a bit like listening to Ravel,their music are a combination and aggregation of music from their piers.
Alot of the time I feel his music exaggerates to the point of 'micky taking' in this context.
He can't seem to write music without being 'up front' and 'in your face'.His quieter and supposedly sutler passages of music never seem to match that of Shoshtakovich.His Symphonies have never really inspired me but his more popular works are always nice to hear,my favorite being his Violin concerto.
He's OK,but I'm never sure what his music has ever meant in terms of personality and uniqueness in regards to other composers music of the same time.
 

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Among some of the best few Russian composers would definitely be Prokofiev. I have to be honest, I don't listen to his music that often (just hearing his first piano concerto again for the...3rd or 4th time :eek: I thought to start a thread on him).

To mention some favorites: The Love for Three Oranges, Romeo and Juliet (I only have excerpts, so any recommendations for a full album would be helpful), Pno Concerto 1 in D flat, and symphonies 5 and 7.
Thanks for reminding me of Three Oranges, it's been a while since I've heard it. The cd I have also contains CHOUTOp. 21a, and LE PAS D'ACIER Op.41a. All suites on Chandos 8729.
Scottish National Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi conducting.
Putting it in the computer now.
 
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Rmac58,

If you love your ears, for ears sake get the complete pieces!! Love for Three Oranges is a spectacular opera, an absurdist, comic precursor to Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre. I'm not exaggerating. Well, not too much. I like the Gergiev best, even though it's in Russian (the libretto was originally in French).

And both Chout and Le pas d'acier are available in their balletic completeness, both with Jurowski on cpo. (There's a recording of Chout with Rozhdestvenky, too. I'm guessing that the five used ones listed on Amazon, from $7.03 up, are this one. All the listing identifies is the label, Melodiya.)

They're both fine.

3rd,

Your post makes me wonder how old you are. No, I'm not expecting you to say, but I wonder because when I was first starting out listening to classical music, I always found Prokofiev's music to be shallow and empty. At first. In time, I got to where I would just ignore my first impressions of each piece, because I knew I'd get to the point where I would enjoy it immensely. (Eventually that changed to liking pieces at first hearing. Don't know why first--and sometimes second and third and fourth--hearings were so unrewarding. Some glitch in my listening, I concluded.)

In short, don't give up on Prokofiev, or should I say "don't give up on yourself"?
 

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Rmac58,

Your post makes me wonder how old you are. No, I'm not expecting you to say, but I wonder because when I was first starting out listening to classical music, I always found Prokofiev's music to be shallow and empty. At first. In time, I got to where I would just ignore my first impressions of each piece, because I knew I'd get to the point where I would enjoy it immensely. (Eventually that changed to liking pieces at first hearing. Don't know why first--and sometimes second and third and fourth--hearings were so unrewarding. Some glitch in my listening, I concluded.)

In short, don't give up on Prokofiev, or should I say "don't give up on yourself"?
I'll be 50 this year, and have been enjoying classical music for twenty of those. Initially as a break from commercial radio, rock and roll.
The local public station has helped quite a bit by some of their shows, Adventures in good music with Carl Haas, comes to mind.
I don't delve into much dissection, just enjoy the fruits of composers.
I have hundreds of cd's, haven't made a direct purchase in years. If anyone is familiar with Cedille Records out of Chicago, they have a program to have their releases sent to you when they come out, at a decent price. Every now and again I get a cd in the mail. I have every recording they have produced, just received #103 a week ago.

I heard Three Oranges in the car, and with a name like that, I was able to remember it! I'm a fan the Russian big four, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Shostakovich. But my taste certainly doesn't stop there. Heard some new Joan Tower, may look into that.

I understand the early recordings on Melodiya are, well, not that good. I do have a two cd set of Shostakovich on that label, has been remastered. Sounds just fine.
I also have some on Reference Recordings, and they have some sort of trick in their recording I like, pipe organ when I feel like rattling the walls!

Not a big fan of Liegti, but it's been years since I've listened, so who knows.
 

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Half a year ago, I would shut my ears when I heard twentieth century music. That was when i discovered Prokofiev.
You have to admit there is something magical in Prokofiev's music that makes you never grow tired of it. I mean, how can one not just fall in love with those beautifully sarcastic tunes, the color, and the flow of his music?
Recently, I have fallen in love with Prokofiev's piano works.

Toccata, Op. 11
Suggestion diabolique
Prokofiev sonata 6 and 7 (Listen to Richter!)
Prokofiev piano concerto 1

But over all, I can't stop listening to prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto. I mean, listen to the Argerich version and you'll know what I mean. The first movement: there's that first theme which makes you lift your eyes to heaven. Then with the fiery uprising ending in this INCREDIBLE bitingly sarcastic second theme. And that's just the exposition! And HOLY COW! The third movement is SO CRAZY. Banging chords every eight of a second in seemingly random places. And plus, glissandos up and down, up and down. I get a headache listening to that, BUT I LOOOVE it!

Feel free to post your thoughts on this AWESOMELY COOL russian maniac!!!
 
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