Princeton University’s BORIS GODUNOV
Caryl Emerson and Simon Morrison
Princeton’s Boris Godunov, 1936/2007: after seventy years, Prokofiev’s music is attached to Meyerhold’s vision of Pushkin’s play
(Caryl Emerson and Simon Morrison)
Boris Godunov in Audio-Visual Syncopation: Testimonials
Devin Fore and Boris Wolfson on Meyerhold, Prokofiev, and the debacles of 1936
CELLISTS PAY TRIBUTE
TO MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH
Karine Georgian, Stephen Isserlis, Alexander Ivashkin, Raphael Wallfisch and Jamie Walton
Boris Godunov in America: notes on a Meyerhold production resurrected (Andrew Grossman)
Concert, CD and DVD reviews
The Gambler Grange Park Opera, 3 June 2007
Gergiev’s Stravinsky, Debussy, Prokofiev series concluded (David Nice)
On his definitive return to the Soviet Union, Prokofiev was invited to take part in the grandiose Pushkin Jubilee being planned in 1937 to mark the centenary of the poet’s death. Prokofiev wrote music for three works – the two plays Boris Godunov and Eugene Onegin, and the film The Queen of Spades. None of these works was ever realised. Determined that his music would not be totally lost, Prokofiev incorporated some of it in other works over the following decades. The first attempt after the composer’s death to release more of this beautiful music was in 1962, when the great Prokofiev advocate, the conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, pieced together extracts from the three works into a symphonic suite aptly named Pushkiniana. Next came Edward Downes’ pioneering work with Eugene Onegin, in which the music was heard for the first time in its entirety within the play (in English translation). Boris would remain untouched and unknown until 2003 when Michail Jurowski recorded with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin the 24 short numbers Prokofiev had composed for the play. In a sound recording however, incidental music is denied its deep meaning and function, its ties with the dramatic action. The premiŤre of Boris Godunov as a play with music would have to wait until April 2007 when Princeton University brought to life the Meyerhold - Prokofiev creation, an exciting project which is featured in depth in this issue. The Boris project was led by two eminent specialists from Princeton University – Caryl Emerson, Professor at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Simon Morrison, Professor at the Department of Music. The Boris Godunov Feature in this issue was prepared and edited by these two indefatigable and inspired people, to whom I offer my most sincere and grateful thanks.
A great many people from varied backgrounds have contributed to this issue, which created no mean challenge to this editor, whose concern is to maintain consistency in the way names and places are transliterated from the Cyrillic. I have therefore resisted the temptation to spell first and family names phonetically, and applied consistently the journal’s transliteration system.
Over the past few years, Prokofiev’s dramatic works of the 1930s and his close partnership with Meyerhold have attracted a great deal of interest, both in Russia and the West. This will be reflected in the next issue with articles from Russian contributors.