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ClassicsOnline Home » PROKOFIEV (Eternal)
Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Prokofiev first attempted to write an opera at the age of nine. His mature operas include The Love for Three Oranges, written in 1919, The Fiery Angel and War and Peace, the last based on Tolstoy’s novel. His later ballets include Romeo and Juliet, and Cinderella. Both ballets as well as the first mentioned opera are known to concert audiences from orchestral suites based on them.
Prokofiev wrote seven symphonies. Of these, the Classical Symphony, a work written in 1916-17 with the work of Haydn in mind, is the best known. Of Prokofiev’s five piano concertos the third is best known, written in the composer’s instantly recognizable musical language, from the incisive opening to the motor rhythms that follow, in a mixture of lyricism and acerbic wit. More overtly romantic in feeling are the two fine violin concertos. His early Cello Concerto was followed in 1952, fourteen years later, by a Cello Concertino, completed by the cellist Rostropovich and the composer Kabalevsky after Prokofiev’s death.
Prokofiev, himself a formidable pianist, completed nine piano sonatas out of a projected eleven. His music for piano also includes piano versions of music from the ballets Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella.
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