FEATURE: Prokofiev remembered
Two friends of Prokofiev: Serge Moreux and Georgii Gorchakov
(Bernard Moreux with Ivan Bellocq)
Georgii Gorchakov and the story of an unknown Prokofiev biography (NoŽlle Mann)
Prokofieff: an intimate portrait (Serge Moreux)
The songs of Sergei Prokofiev: texts and contexts, imitations and interrogations
(Philip Ross Bullock)
The house in which Romeo and Juliet was born (Sviatoslav Prokofiev)
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Milkin’s portrait of Prokofiev
Prokofiev’s recording of his Third Piano Concerto: London, June 1932
Letter to the Editor: on Christian Science
L’Amour des trois oranges at the Opťra National de Paris (Bastille), December 2005 (Edward Morgan)
Ballet, CD and DVD roundup (David Nice)
Who knows Georgii Gorchakov? Many well-known (and less well-known) people have published memoirs which invariably include references to personalities. Where Prokofiev is concerned, the most often quoted are the personal reminiscences of critic Nicolas Nabokov in Old Friends and New Music and of composer Vernon Duke (pseudonym of Vladimir Dukelsky) in Passport to Paris. Yet the Prokofiev Archive holds a copy of an unknown manuscript which provides more informed and altogether credible recollections than either of the above two. For the first time ever, the life and work of Georgii Gorchakov, Prokofiev’s musical secretary in the 1920s and his most dedicated advocate, is brought to light, thanks to the contribution of Bernard Moreux, son of Gorchakov’s closest friend, the music critic Serge Moreux. Our Feature is therefore “Prokofiev remembered”, with an outline of Moreux’s and Gorchakov’s lives and their relationship with Prokofiev, a reprint of Moreux’s 1949 portrait of Prokofiev and, most critically, extracts in translation of the Prokofiev biography Gorchakov had written in the 1950s, and which remained unpublished due to unfortunate circumstances. This is an Editor’s dream – new, reliable and moving stuff – and I feel privileged to be the one who brings well overdue recognition to Gorchakov’s dogged dedication to Prokofiev, the composer and the man.
More recollections are offered by Sviatoslav Prokofiev who takes us back to 1935 Russia, namely in Polenovo where his father spent the summer composing Romeo and Juliet. His own personal reminiscences are complemented with details he gathered from letters Prokofiev wrote to his wife, Lina, as he was waiting for her and their two boys to join him. This offers a vivid picture of their lifestyle, just a few months before they moved permanently to Moscow.
Most of Prokofiev’s vocal music is little known in the West and often neglected in Russia. In a comprehensive survey of his songs, Prokofiev’s affinities with, and creative response to, a wide range of Russian poetry and texts are examined. This is a subject rarely covered in Prokofiev literature and, significantly, the author Philip Bullock is one of the very few western specialists of the Russian song.
A new feature of this issue is the inclusion of a Letter to the Editor. I decided to include this one because it offers valuable insights and bibliographical information on Christian Science, a subject which is likely to expand in years to come, when Prokofiev’s Diary becomes more widely available in translation. Natalia Savkina’s perceptive and challenging article in Issue 10 prompted a Christian Scientist (and a musicologist) to contact me with information that I thought would be interesting to anyone wishing to pursue further research on the subject, where Prokofiev is concerned.
Finally, I welcome the publication of a book on Prokofiev’s Ballets for Diaghilev by Stephen Press, a dedicated scholar who has often contributed to this journal. Note the 25% discount the publisher Ashgate offers to Three Oranges subscribers (p. 23).