Prokofiev’s Shakespearian period
Recycling or new work: Romeo and Juliet
Suite No. 2 (NoŽlle Mann)
The significance of Christian Science in Prokofiev’s life and work
This article develops but one of the themes of a broader book on which the author is presently working: "Serge Prokofiev in the West"
FROM THE ARCHIVE
And more on Prokofiev’s Three Oranges!
Book review (Simon Morrison)
By way of Le Pas d’acier Prokofiev and Iakulov’s Ursiniol comes to the stage
Reviews: opera, ballet, concert
CD reviews (David Nice)
This is the tenth issue of Three Oranges, and therefore a special one. To mark the occasion, I have included for the first time a discussion of Prokofiev’s music along with examples, and I hope to preserve this feature in forthcoming issues. Even though not all the readership will be familiar with musical notation, a great many are and after all, music is Prokofiev’s principal language, the one through which he chose to express himself and for which he is known and loved. So I have attempted to discuss his music in an accessible language, which I believe is one of the appealing characteristics of this publication, even where complex ideas are involved.
Once again one of my contributors is from Russia. Natalia Savkina’s assessment of Prokofiev’s involvement with Christian Science, based essentially on the Diary, brings a new dimension to our understanding of this elusive man, and her discussion of the “religious” dimension of Soviet public rituals will most likely be of interest to a Western readership. By offering articles translated from Russian, Three Oranges can pride itself in being one of the very few periodical publications on music to bring the latest thinking from Russia to a non-Russian readership.
Edward Morgan’s article on Prokofiev’s Shakespearian period is the result of painstaking research into elusive sources, in particular reviews from the Soviet press in the 1930s. This article elucidates a question which has so far remained obscure, as it assesses Adrian Piotrovsky’s involvement in the early stages of Romeo and Juliet. Although Piotrovsky’s participation is hardly mentioned in the literature on Prokofiev, the director’s ideas were highly influential and only his arrest, soon followed by his death, prevented him from completing his work on this celebrated ballet. The other person dealt with in detail in this article is the director Sergei Radlov, a life-long friend of Prokofiev, whose productions of Shakespeare’s plays proved significant in Russia.
The Prokofiev Archive once more provides invaluable documents which bring to light Prokofiev’s thoughts on his opera Love for Three Oranges, capturing his thwarted attempts to bring it to the Parisian stage early in the 1930s.
Finally Simon Morrison offers a detailed review of the Diary published by the Prokofiev Estate in 2002. The Diary has already fed into musicological works worldwide and proves to be invaluable in addressing many moot points which successive biographers have often treated in a speculative way. Thanks to this Diary, Prokofiev’s personality is being revealed through minute details, even though some of his motives will remain perplexing to most.
May I use this opportunity to remind readers to check regularly The Serge Prokofiev Foundation’s Website and to consult the three Newsletters for the UK, USA and France, respectively.