Sergei Prokofiev

Cantata from Alexander Nevsky, op. 78

        Prokofiev and Dimitry Shostakovich are the two composers who stood above the rest of those who labored during the years of the Soviet Union.  Unlike, Shostakovich, however, Prokofiev enjoyed part of his career living and composing in the West, returning to the USSR in 1936 voluntarily.  Like his compatriot, he must be counted as one of the great composers of the twentieth century, although unlike Shostakovich, his direct influence on composers outside of the Soviet sphere was minimal.  He was a virtuoso pianist, but who composed from the beginning, graduating from the St.

Peter and the Wolf

          Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich are the two composers who stood above the rest of those who labored during the years of the Soviet Union.  Unlike, Shostakovich, however, Prokofiev enjoyed part of his career living and composing in the West, returning to the USSR in 1936 voluntarily.  Like his compatriot, he must be counted as one of the great composers of the twentieth century, although unlike Shostakovich, his direct influence on composers outside of the Soviet sphere was minimal.  He was a virtuoso pianist, but who also composed from the beginning, graduating from the St.

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, op. 18

            Those who create art, whether in the performing arts or in the visual arts, inevitably find their personal “niche” in matters of style.  And it is of little consequence whether or not their artistic orientation is a conscious personal choice, or one seemingly imposed by their audiences and by professional critics.   Simply put, there are artists whose voice naturally is to work within tradition and commonly-understood artistic language; they strive to develop that tradition to new levels of meaning through their own talent and personal vision.   Others make a total commitment to artistic truth arrived at through new voices, new styles, new languages.   Every museum and gallery of art, and every concert hall is testimony to this essential dichotomy.   And it must be admitted,

Piano Concerto No. 3, op. 26

        Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich are the two composers who stood above the rest of those who labored during the years of the Soviet Union.  Unlike, Shostakovich, however, Prokofiev enjoyed part of his career living and composing in the West, returning to the USSR in 1936 voluntarily.  Like his compatriot, he must be counted as one of the great composers of the twentieth century, although unlike Shostakovich, his direct influence on composers outside of the Soviet sphere was minimal.  He was a virtuoso pianist, but who also composed from the beginning, graduating from the St.

Selections from “Romeo and Juliet”

           Prokofiev and Dimitry Shostakovich are the two composers who stood above the rest of those who labored during the years of the Soviet Union.  Unlike, Shostakovich, however, Prokofiev enjoyed part of his career living and composing in the West, returning to the USSR in 1936 voluntarily.  Like his compatriot, he must be counted as one of the great composers of the twentieth century, although unlike Shostakovich, his direct influence on composers outside of the Soviet sphere was minimal.  He was a virtuoso pianist, but who also composed from the outset, graduating from the St.

Symphony No. 1 in D major, op. 25 (“Classical”)

          Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich are the two composers who stood above the rest of those who labored during the years of the Soviet Union.  Unlike Shostakovich, however, Prokofiev enjoyed part of his career living and composing in the West, returning to the USSR in 1936 voluntarily.  Like his compatriot, he must be counted as one of the great composers of the twentieth century, although unlike Shostakovich, his direct influence on composers outside of the Soviet sphere was minimal.  He was a virtuoso pianist, but who also composed from the beginning, graduating from the St.

Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, op. 63

            Prokofiev’s first violin concerto was composed in quite different circumstances than that of the second.   The first was begun in stormy 1917—the year of all of the cataclysmic events that initiated the Russian Revolution.  It was nevertheless a year of great artistic productivity for the young composer.  Among the compositions from that year familiar to audiences today are the Classical Symphony and the third piano concerto.  He had by then garnered a reputation as a dedicated modernist, a composer of considerable capacity to shock with his sarcasm, motoric rhythms, adventuresome melodies, and pungent harmonies.  Yet, the essentially lyric side of him was pronounced and innate.   So, the first violin concerto is distinguished for its lyricism—almost romantic in its