Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony and the abiding question of sincerity in music (Edward Green)
Why did Prokofiev write the “Classical Symphony”? (Yury Kholopov)
Prokofiev and the Myth of Revolution: The Cantata for the Twentieth Anniversary of the October Revolution (Vladimir Orlov)
Creating the Lieutenant Kizhe Suite
Prokofiev’s autobiographical writings
The Prodigal Son, The Life and Work of Sergei Prokofiev (Andrew Grossman)
Concert, CD and DVD reviews (David Nice)
Someone recently asked what had prompted me to start Three Oranges, questioning the type of readership I was targeting. In our publicity, we claim that the journal draws on features that pertain to two established, but usually distinct, types of publications – the academic journal and the music magazine. Whilst each issue includes articles written by specialists in the field, of the sort typically found in scholarly publications, the inclusion of reviews and numerous illustrations and photos, some published for the first time, give this glossy journal a relaxed and unique identity among similar periodicals. Its style is also unusual because it offers articles of academic standards but purposefully written with a minimum of specialist jargon, for the enlightened but not necessarily initiated reader. This journal aims at informing a wide range of readership, bringing to them challenging thinking and sound documentation on Prokofiev.
Three Oranges also attempts to address one of the most important problems attached to this complex artist. Reflecting the fact that his life was split between continents and countries, at times of upheaval and deep social and political changes, written documentation on Prokofiev and his times is divided between Russian and western points of view and languages. And whilst the majority of significant studies on Prokofiev’s music and life, until very recently, have come from the former Soviet Union, only a handful of westerners with a knowledge of the language can benefit from past and recent Russian publications.
I therefore see this journal’s prime mission as bringing to a non-Russian readership documents in translation (whether from previously published or unpublished originals), current thinking from Russia also in translation (in this issue Vladimir Orlov’s article on the Cantata for the Twentieth Anniversary of the October Revolution), as well as the latest research from western specialists who have worked with prime sources located in Russia (here Kevin Bartig’s article on the Lieutenant Kizhe Suite). It is in the same spirit that I summarise in this issue the bewildering number of versions of Prokofiev’s autobiographical writings, as they feed into practically every article written by Russian and western authors alike.
Lastly, reviews are also important in my view as they strongly influence our perception of an artist’s significance, and in this issue I particularly welcome Andrew Grossman’s penetrating and sensitive review of the 1991 BBC documentary film by Andrei Nekrasov, The Prodigal Son, which can be viewed in the UK at the Serge Prokofiev Archive in Goldsmiths, University of London.