Tag Archives: Sergei Prokofiev

At the Met Museum

From what I can discern, it appears the last time I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art was in June 2019. What drew me back, booster in hand and case numbers down, was Susan Tallman’s review in the New York Review of Books, and in particular her observation that “[o]ne century’s wavering is another’s experimentalism.” [cite]

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A Feast of Chamber Music

Thanks to David Nice’s Russian Music class, I’ve been introduced not only to a wealth of chamber music I didn’t know, but also to a cornucopia of brilliant musicians. In a past class, this included Boris Giltburg, and in the most recent class Alina Ibragimova and Benjamin Baker—and through Baker, Daniel Lebhardt. Continue reading

Going Back to the Bolsheviks

Mikhail Larionov, Portrait of Sergei Prokofiev (1921)

The 1920s in the Soviet Union, as elsewhere, were roaring with invention. Sergei Prokofiev, after several years abroad, returned to Russia in 1927. On the day of his departure, January 13, he wrote in his diary: Continue reading

The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce

Prokofiev and Myaskovksy

[Nikolai] Myaskovsky was a friend of Prokofiev at the St Petersburg Conservatory, and later befriended Shostakovich. He wrote 27 symphonies, only to have his works banned by the Soviets in the late 1940s with the Zhdanov Decree, which also affected Shostakovich and Prokofiev. He was a soldier on the Eastern front during WWI until he was injured. [cite] Continue reading