Rethinking Prokofiev

ISBN : 9780190670764

Rita McAllister; Christina Guillaumier
544 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Among major 20th-century composers whose music is poorly understood, Sergei Prokofiev stands out conspicuously. The turbulent times in which Prokofiev lived and the chronology of his travels-he left Russia in the wake of Revolution, and returned at the height of the Stalinist purges-have caused unusually polarized appraisals of his music. While individual, distinctive, and instantly recognizable, Prokofiev's music was also idiosyncratically tonal in an age when tonality was largely passe. Often more political than artistic, these appraisals have depended not only upon the date of publication but also the geographical location of the writer. Prokofiev's output therefore has been largely elusive and difficult to assess against contemporary trends. More than sixty years after the composer's death, editors Rita McAllister and Christina Guillaumier offer Rethinking Prokofiev as an assessment that redresses this enigmatic composer's legacy.
Commissioned from some of the most distinguished and rising scholars in the field, this collection highlights the background and context of Prokofiev's work. Contributors delve into the composer's relationship to nineteenth-century Russian traditions, Silver-Age and Symbolist composers and poets, the culture of Paris in the 1920s and '30s, and to his later Soviet colleagues and younger contemporaries. They also investigate his reception in the West, his return to Russia, and the effect of his music on contemporary popular culture. Still, the main focus of the book is on the music itself: his early, experimental piano and vocal works, as well as his piano concertos, operas, film scores, early ballets, and late symphonies. Through an empirical examination of his characteristic harmonies, melodies, cadences, and musical gestures-and through an analysis of the newly uncovered contents of his sketch-books-contributors reveal much of what makes Prokofiev an idiosyncratic genius and his music intriguing, often dramatic, and almost always beguiling.


List of Contributors


About the Companion Website

A Note on Archival Sources

Rita McAllister


Simon Morrison

Introduction: Why Re-Assess Prokofiev?

Rita McAllister and Christina Guillaumier

Part I Prokofiev and the Russian Models

1 Prokofiev and the Russian Tradition

Marina Raku

2 Prokofiev and the Development of Soviet Composition in the 1920s and 1930s

Patrick Zuk

3 Prokofiev and the Soviet Symphony

Daniel Tooke

Part II Prokofiev and his Contemporaries

4 'Monsieur Prokofieff': Prokofiev in the French Context

Marina Frolova-Walker

5 Prokofiev and Shostakovich: A Two-Way Influence

Ivana Medic

6 Prokofiev and Atovmian: The Story of a Unique Friendship

Nelly Kravetz

Part III Music and Text: Prokofiev's Relationship with his Literary Sources

7 The Sun-Sounding Scythian: Prokofiev's Musical Interpretation of Russian Silver-Age Poetry

Polina Dimova

8 Editing Prokofiev's Seven, they are Seven: A Case Study

Nicolas Moron

9 From Film Score to Art Music and Back: Prokofiev's Film Music in the Context of Text-Based Genres

Julia Khait

10 Semyon Kotko and War and Peace: Prokofiev and His Collaborators

Terry Dean

Part IV Drama and Gesture

11 Staging Prokofiev's Early Ballet

Jane Pritchard

12 Drama, Theatre and Gesture in the Operas of Prokofiev

Christina Guillaumier

13 Audio-Visual Montage in Ivan the Terrible: Understanding Prokofiev's Film Score through Eisensteinian Sound Theory

Katya Ermolaeva

14 'Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death..': An Introduction to Prokofiev's Thanatology

Natalia Savkina

Part V Identity and Structure

15 A Genealogy of Prokofiev's Musical Gestures from the Juvenilia to the Later Piano Works

Christina Guillaumier

16 The Five Piano Concertos: The Pianist's Perspective

Boris Berman

17 'Things in Themselves': An Analytical Study of Prokofiev's Music Notebooks

Rita McAllister

18 Towards an Analysis of Prokofiev's Middle Period Works

Konrad Harley

Part VI The Reception and After-Life of the Music

19 Prokofiev's Reception in the United Kingdom: A Case Study

Joseph Schultz

20 Prokofiev, Soviet Influence, and the Music World in Stalinist Central Europe

David G. Tompkins

21 Prokofiev in the Popular Consciousness

Peter Kupfer

22 Prokofiev's Problems - and Ours

Richard Taruskin




Rita McAllister is a composer, pianist, educationalist, and writer on music. She holds a Research Chair at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She was educated at the Universities of Glasgow and Cambridge: her doctoral thesis was on the operas of Sergei Prokofiev. She has published extensively on Prokofiev and on many other aspects of Russian and Soviet music in journals, magazines, and music encyclopedias, and recently re-constructed the first version of Prokofiev's War and Peace, which was premiered in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Rostov-on-Don. Christina Guillaumier is a musicologist, pianist, and writer on music. She is Head of Undergraduate Programmes at the Royal College of Music (London) and is a member of the Centre for Russian Music at Goldsmiths, University of London. A graduate of the Universities of St Andrews, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Oxford, her research has been awarded several grants and fellowships. She is a published author on Russian music,; including Prokofiev's childhood compositions, his operas, and his early orchestral music.