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Sergey Prokofiev Diaries, 1924-1933: Prodigal Son (英語) ハードカバー – 2013/1/22

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ハードカバー, 2013/1/22
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The third and final volume of Prokofiev's Diaries covers the years 1924 to 1933, when he was living in Paris. Intimate accounts of the successes and disappointments of a great creative artist at the heart of the European arts world between the two world wars jostle with witty and trenchant commentaries on the personalities who made up this world.

The Diaries document the complex emotional inner world of a Russian exile uncomfortably aware of the nature of life in Stalin s Russia yet increasingly persuaded that his creative gifts would never achieve full maturity separated from the culture, people, and land of his birthplace. Since even Prokofiev knew that the USSR was hardly the place to commit inner reflections to paper, the Diaries come to an end after June 1933 although it would be another three years before he, together with his wife and children, finally exchanged the free if materially uncertain life of a cosmopolitan Parisian celebrity for Soviet citizenship and the credo of Socialist Realism within which the regime struggled to straitjacket its artists.

Volume Three continues the kaleidoscopic impressions and the stylish language Prokofiev was almost as gifted and idiosyncratic a writer as a composer of its predecessors."


"Lucidly translated and . . . illuminating."-Norman Lebrecht, Wall Street Journal (16-17 March 2013)

"Those familiar with Prokofiev's distinctive musical vocabulary challenging yet accessible, often with a sardonic undertone will find these traits reflected in his prose. . . . Prokofiev suffered no fools and was never shy about offering frank opinion; readers will delight at his many witty putdowns of his contemporaries and their works. The diaries also strikingly reveal his sincere dedication to Christian Science beliefs and practices. . . . Phillips's extensive annotations are very helpful in identifying the lesser-known figures who populated Prokofiev s world." Library Journal, starred review (1 February 2013)"

"Lucidly translated and . . . illuminating." Norman Lebrecht, Wall Street Journal (16 17 March 2013)"

"I have enjoyed reading all three volumes, which carry us from 1907 to 1933. . . . I marked a number of revealing passages though it is all revealing! Prokofiev's acerbic comments are exemplified in this one about a music critic of the New York Times 'Seven years ago he fell out of an airplane and landed on his head, a circumstance that prompted the largest American newspaper to offer him the job of music critic.'" Donald Vroon, American Record Guide (July/August 2013)"

"The remarkable standards of presentation set by the two earlier volumes of Prokofiev's diaries (1907 1914: Prodigious Youth and 1915 1923: Behind the Mask) are maintained here. An acute observer and a gifted writer, Prokofiev had a fascinating life; even without an intentional narrative, the book makes for compelling reading. The current volume and its two predecessors are indispensable for any library with a music collection. Summing Up: Highly recommended." Choice (1 September 2013)"

"Prokofiev's Russian prose varies from long, intricate sentences to short, telegraphic bursts, an idiosyncratic style that Anthony Phillips captures beautifully in his English translation. Detailed annotations and an exhaustive index both absent from the Russian edition make Phillips's tomes exceptionally user-friendly. Prodigal Son will be of obvious interest to English-speaking Prokofiev aficionados, but the volume is also indispensable reading for anyone interested in the cultural history of interwar Europe and America." Kevin Bartig, Michigan State University, Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association (June 2014)"


  • ハードカバー: 1125ページ
  • 出版社: Cornell Univ Pr (2013/1/22)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0801452104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801452109
  • 発売日: 2013/1/22
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 16.4 x 5 x 24 cm
  • おすすめ度: この商品の最初のレビューを書き込んでください。
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1 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち HASH(0x91c663e4) "The baby was in a cradle, purple and hideous." 2013/8/8
投稿者 Lawrence Rapchak - (Amazon.com)
Thus did the great Sergei Prokofiev describe his newly-born son Svyatoslav upon first seeing him in the hospital on Feb 27, 1924, the day the little guy was born.

Don't worry--next day, according to Prokofiev's diary entry "Svyatoslav looks a little more presentable and has lost his purplish tint. Generally he resembles me more than he does Ptashka" (Mrs. Prokofiev).

How amazing to realize that, some 60-70 years later, Svyatoslav would be primarily responsible for rescuing his papa's hand-written diaries from the State Archives in Moscow, painstakingly deciphering and transcribing them, and thus providing an endlessly fascinating window into Prokofiev's life-journey during his years of youth in late Tsarist Russia, his emigration and wandering in the West, and the ever-increasing conviction that the fulfillment of his life and work lay back in what had now become Stalin's totalitarian nightmare.

I'LL CUT TO THE CHASE--- I can't imagine another composer whose life and career could have possibly been as astonishing and compelling as that of Prokofiev. His diaries allow us to accompany him as it were, side-by-side, through this most thrilling and unbelievable period in the history of Western music and art. Add to it the fact that Prokofiev was a MARVELOUS writer---witty, vivid, insightful, observant, imaginative--so much so that I can't WAIT to read each entry, even though I must force myself to do so s-l-o-w-l-y, to savor every line, lest I finish the book too soon.


Imagine accompanying Prokofiev on his journeys through Italy, across Russia into Japan, across the Atlantic to Hawaii (beautifully described), to San Francisco and onward to Chicago and New York. How did he survive in post-Revolutionary Petrograd? How did he manage to avoid military service and secure a passport out of Russia? How did he deal with Mary Garden and her Chicago Opera Company during the creation and premiere of "Love of Three Oranges"? (Vol 2) What were his feelings as he struggled with his dark, clamorous, "futuristic" Second Symphony for Koussevitsky...or the machinations which ultimately resulted in the commission to create a new "Soviet-style" ballet ("Le Pas d'acier") for Diaghilev in Paris? (Vol 3). ALL OF THESE issues and events--and many more--are now revealed and described in detail by the man who experienced them FIRST HAND.

Prokofiev seemed to know EVERYONE who was anyone during this time: composers, impresarios, agents, instrumentalists, actors, dancers, artists, writers, poets, philosophers, politicians, business tycoons, arts patrons, critics, historians, theologians...etc etc....and he records and describes his interaction with all of them in his own brilliant, deft and occasionally outrageous manner.

In addition to Prokofiev's own "capture" of this Golden Age of art in 20th-Century Europe, the copious annotations by English translator Anthony Phillips are a superbly researched treasure trove of information--ALSO immensely readable and enjoyable. You will be stunned by the amount of fascinating historical information and insight provided by Mr. Phillips' authoritative notes; someday soon, I will sit down at my computer and begin to explore many of the intriguing people and events which are described in his foot-notes---which are featured IN ADDITION to Prokofiev's own masterful record of his daily life which comprise these three volumes.

I certainly hope that the Prokofiev Diaries are selling well; they belong in the library of ANY serious devotee/student of music and history. The joy that they bring to the reader is second only to their importance as a chronicle of the world in which they were written. How unfortunate--tragic, really---that Prokofiev's record of his life would end in June of 1933, during the time of his final decision to return to the Soviet Union...and not without his observations of the ominous events in Munich that year.

The thrilling, intoxicating artistic heyday of post-WWI Paris was coming to an end, as was Prokofiev's own custom of recording his private yet very outspoken thoughts and opinions....an unwise practice in his soon-to-be home in Stalin's USSR.

HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. A real piece of history, and a page-turner to boot.


PS-- Interesting photo of Prokofiev on the cover of Volume 3; almost looks like a Soviet-style paste-up job---the legs look
too small and are out-of-line with the torso. Slightly bizarre.
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