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Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559624 01/31/08 05:16 PM
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I'm no expert on Prokofiev, but slowly I have gained more and more interest in his piano pieces and piano concertos.

There is two of his piano pieces I'm totally into, and that is his Op. 11 (Toccata) and Op. 4 (Suggestion Diabolique). To me they sounded like total nonsense in the first listens, but there was also a underlying harmony beneath them one could not deny.

My favorite of his piano concertos is for sure the second one. The darkness in the first movement and the crushing third movement makes me smile each time. The third piano concerto is also a good one. It maintains the excitement while still being in the major key. I've never heard the fifth though.

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I certainly do enjoy the "evil" and dark feeling in some of his compositions. Is any of his other piano pieces recommended? I'm somewhat of a beginner when it comes to Prokofiev.

At last: What do YOU like about him?


"Silence is music too"
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559625 01/31/08 06:02 PM
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Try the Sonatas #2,3,6,7.

I like the "Prokofiev Sound". Prokofiev just has unconventional harmonies that sound amazing and great. It's just something that connects with me. I don't really know how to explain it better.


Houston, Texas
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559626 01/31/08 06:41 PM
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Loki:

I love the sixth sonata, but I never understood why the seventh one is so popular. The last movement (especially) is just too noisy and happy for me at the same time. I will check out the second and the third.

I agree on the "Prokofiev Sound". That's one of the things I forgot to write about. Unconventional, but not without a reason I think.


"Silence is music too"
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559627 01/31/08 07:05 PM
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My all-time favourite Prokofiev piano work is the 8th sonata. In terms of why it affects me the way it does, I suppose it is the mixture of lyricism/humour/pathos/violence/tranquility, together with a great sense of structure, tension build-up and release, a variety of textures from evocative chordal pianissimo atmospheres through to outright fortissimo linear virtuosity, all in a very free but recognisable tonal harmonic environment.

This is no surprise I suppose, as I am also a great fan of Bartók, Stravinsky, Britten, Shostakovich, Hindemith, etc., who though of course quite distinct in their different ways, were (along with Prokofiev and others) all exploring the limits of conventional tonally-based composition (in both harmonic and rhythmic terms) in the first half of the 20th century, rather than leaping off the deep end into complete atonality and/or serialism.

Michael B.


There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559628 01/31/08 07:52 PM
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Percussive and lyrical both. Often at the same time. Usually a composer is either one or the other, but usually not both in the same work. I really recommend the Browning set of concertos.

Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559629 01/31/08 09:11 PM
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I love how you can refer to him as Sergey Prokofief, Sergey Prokofieff, Sergey Prokofyev, Serge Prokofief, Serge Prokofieff, or Serge Prokofyev. smile

In all honesty I haven't listened to enough of his music to say. I like his opera "Romeo and Julliet" and I like "The Love For Three Oranges." His music can be very powerful.


"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559630 02/01/08 08:09 AM
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Grove Music spells his name as "Sergey Prokofiev" and they are the authority, so...

Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559631 02/01/08 08:12 AM
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Anders39, listen to Prokofiev's Second Symphony, and report back. I'm very curious as to how you will respond to it!

P.S.: I've seen another spelling: Prokofjev. Probably a mistaken variant. Nevertheless, upon seeing this, an acquaintance remarked (with no malice, mind you), "I didn't know he was Jewish!"


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559632 02/01/08 09:23 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by cherub_rocker1979:
Grove Music spells his name as "Sergey Prokofiev" and they are the authority, so...
Well, his name is actually spelled with Russian letters, not English letters. So any transliteration into English is just that -- a transliteration -- and there is no single way to do it.


Sam
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559633 02/01/08 09:41 AM
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Hey pianojerome -- I'm curious how (or even if) old Sergei transliterated his name himself. Do you happen to know?


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559634 02/01/08 03:04 PM
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Prokofiev to me doesn't seem like something I would really want to play for a lot of family and friends even though I love the music myself. I do really think you have to be slightly nuts to like the music at all. I like the fact that you get so many images or scenes in your mind, but listening to him you only get really crazy scenes.


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Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559635 02/01/08 06:25 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by pianojerome:
Quote
Originally posted by cherub_rocker1979:
[b] Grove Music spells his name as "Sergey Prokofiev" and they are the authority, so...
Well, his name is actually spelled with Russian letters, not English letters. So any transliteration into English is just that -- a transliteration -- and there is no single way to do it. [/b]
True, I was just repeating what my Graduate Research Seminar in Music History instructor says one should do, when one is writing scholarly papers about music.

Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559636 02/01/08 08:51 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Janus Sachs:
Hey pianojerome -- I'm curious how (or even if) old Sergei transliterated his name himself. Do you happen to know?
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

(Serge Prokofieff)

But.....

In the intro to his father's diaries (titled: "Prodigious Youth: Sergey Prokofiev"), Svyatoslav Prokofiev spells it "Prokofiev". (Interesting also that he always refers to his dad simply as "Prokofiev" and not as "my father" or "Sergei Prokofiev", etc).


Sam
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559637 02/02/08 10:00 AM
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pianojerome, you've gone above and beyond the call of duty yet again! You must tell me the source of those scans -- an autographed score, I assume? Part of your school's collection? If so, quite impressive!

Yeah, I've heard that Prokofieff's family life was, um, interesting, to say the least! And I heard that his son says that modern performers tend to perform his slow movements too slow.


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559638 02/02/08 10:13 AM
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You over-estimate me this time - isn't google wonderful? laugh

So, I don't know how authentic they are, but all three are from different sources: BBC , Sergei Prokofiev Foundation , and Lion Heart Autographs .


Sam
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559639 02/02/08 10:19 AM
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You still have my hearty thanks for putting in the effort!


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559640 02/02/08 02:57 PM
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I especially like how he attaches a small piece of music every time he signs his name laugh = )musical geek)

I also notice that they are different each time. I wonder if he does that every time!

I still did not dive into Prokofiev as one should, but I love the combination of motoric, lyrical and esp. the grotesque.

Anyone here loves the first concerto? smile

Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559641 02/02/08 03:02 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Bassio:
Anyone here loves the first concerto? smile
[raises hand]
A pity it's frowned upon because of its brevity.

The First Violin Concerto is also a great favorite of mine -- and which I prefer to the relatively overplayed Second.


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559642 02/03/08 11:41 AM
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Isn't the first handwritten musical snippet from Symphony #1, the Classical Symphony.

Re: Prokofiev - what do you like about him?
#559643 02/03/08 11:46 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
Isn't the first handwritten musical snippet from Symphony #1, the Classical Symphony.
Yep, and it's also from Romeo and Juliet, too.


The Symphony was composed in 1916-17.

Romeo and Juliet was composed in 1935-36.


I wonder why he reused the gavotte.


Sam
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