It is generally called, in France, Sergueï Prokofiev , even Serge Prokofiev . One can also meet the C-W communication Prokofieff .
Serge Prokofiev is born in Sontsovka, in the province of Iekaterinoslav. His/her mother, pianist amateur, are its first Master and the obviousness of the gifts of the child appears so early that she does not hesitate to engage it in a musical career. In 1900, it composes its first opera, the Géant , intended firstly for the children. According to its leaning for the theater, it composes two other operas: On a deserted island (1902) and Ondine (1904-1907) which takes as a starting point some taken again subjects of its childhood. From 1902 to 1903, he works mainly the composition with Glière which teaches the theory and the harmony to him, then returns to the Academy of Saint-Pétersbourg in 1904, at the thirteen years age. He studies the orchestration with the type-setter Rimski-Korsakov, the piano with Anna Essipova, the composition with Liadov and the direction of orchestra with Tcherepnine.
Its first appearances with the “evenings of modern music” reveal it like a phenomenon. March 6th, 1910, is created its first work by Jurgenson. Prokofiev was race of the “young barbarians”, resolutely nonconformists and stuffed “explosive forces”. “Outside, this robust, sporting man (one spoke much about its art to play football on its keyboard) and even agitator in his costumes, his natural way and these frightening moods, can seem a kind of improviser shining” written a Russian writer.
Since 1918, Prokofiev leaves Russia, the political events impassioning it much less than the music. It is true that the enormous effervescence which shakes its country leaves it completely indifferent… One long period of pianist who wanders of capitals in capitals starts then. Then it is established in the United States where it composes its principal works such the Love of three oranges created in 1921 in Chicago. It comes then to Paris where the Russian Ballets of Diaghilev created some of its works: in this same year 1921, admirable the Chout (history of a buffoon which swindled seven other buffoons); in 1928, the steel No, one year later, the Prodigal son . It is at the time of this stay in France that he quarrels with Stravinski. One often opposed the “perfection” of Stravinski to “rocky” art more of Prokofiev.
In 1923, he marries the soprano Lina Lu who will give him two wire.
In 1914, it receives the price Anton Rubinstein as pianist-type-setter with his Concerto for piano n° 1 opus 10.
Its compatriots insisting much so that it returns in Soviet Union, making him gleam the new spirit which would animate it, it returns to Russia in 1932. There, he becomes chief of school, is in charge of official functions but must adapt to the inevitable rigors of the new disciplines. In 1938, Sergueï Eisenstein invites it to work on the music of its project of film Alexandre Nevski . Its composition is used as original soundtrack with film, but is also interpreted as a cantata of the same name.
In 1947, Prokofiev is proclaimed Artiste of the People of the Soviet federative socialist République of Russia.
The second Stalinist purging condemned it publicly and in fact led it to misery. By chance, Mstislav Rostropovitch forced Tikhon Khrennikov, general secretary of the Union of the type-setters, to provide him 5000 roubles.
The history is not shown tender with Serge Prokofiev: the image of official type-setter invades his badly informed biographies. It is often forgotten that the writing of Zdravitsa, ode at the 60 years of Stalin, and other works “official”, were initially motivated by the catch as an hostage of Lina, his first wife, in Siberia. One also forgets that so others could profit from the relaxation imposed by Nikita Khrouchtchev to repurchase their music of propaganda by powerful musical representations of terror, Prokofiev died on March 5th, 1953, fifty minutes before his torturer… Its disappearance passed, so largely unperceived.
In 1957, the Prix Lénine is decreed to him on a purely posthumous basis.
Its work“Serge Prokofiev, like all the Russians, tells marvelously many various facts in his music. He indeed likes to create a particular climate, to paint a tragic situation or cocasse. Nothing astonishing so that it composed eight operas which are among most important of our time. He likes to leave envoûter by the image… Its opera the Angel of fire, touches indeed with the wonder. Whatever its adoptee, that it is about extraordinary the exubérance of the continuation Scythe like astonishing illumination of Chout, more realistic subjects such War and Peace like more lyric subjects like Romeo and Juliette, whom he treats in a sober and sometimes stripped way, the evocation of the characters is always obtained. This capacity of invocation is indeed present in all its works. ” Extracted from a Russian newspaper.
Prokofiev worked with Eisenstein: it composed the musics of Alexandre Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible while looking at films. It is told that Eisenstein was let convince to remake some scenes starting from suggestions that in him its music raised. “Prokofiev had an innate direction for the rates/rhythms. Its writing was as at ease in simple lyricism as in the modern style. Master of the instrumentation, it conceived a personal method to treat orchestral sonorities. ”
In 1948, the Central committee of the Communist party formulates criticisms as sour as absurd against the “formalism” of its music (of the type-setters such Khatchaturian and Chostakovitch underwent same criticisms). “These type-setters yielded too much to “the degenerated” impulses west”, said their authors! However, part of its works ( Pierre and the wolf for a Muscovite theater of children, Romeo and Juliette , Alexander Nevsky , the opera Guerre and peace , symphonies 5-6-7, several sonatas for piano) date of this period during which he was not opposed, in spite of him, with the communist constraints.
The life of Prokofiev resembles much to its Article It hates certain rules of the music. One often compares it with Richard Strauss which him also was opposed to the disciplines of its time. This “freedom” makes him a recluse then. That is reflected on the current judgments which one carries on his work.
“Although he was opposed to the various Russian movements of his time, Prokofiev is especially “the son of its fathers”. He likes them, knows them by heart and the intention prolongs some. But of all it is, perhaps with Moussorgski, largest because occasion was given to him to look further into the characteristics of the Russian heart.”
- List of works of Sergueï Prokofiev
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