excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 23 November 1913' pp. 549 (257 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 23 November 1913' pp. 549 (257 words)

part of

Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 23 November 1913

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urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

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549

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text excerpt

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At half past ten a student in a car came to take me to the evening of contemporary literature and music at the Bestuzhev Institute. When I got there, Igor Severyanin was reading - or rather mumbling - his verses. The students raved and howled in ecstasy, endlessly demanding encores. 

After the interval I played my pieces, on a fairly dreadful piano whose forte was tolerable but whose piano was execrable. Yulia Weisberg had warned me to choose a reasonably accessible repertoire for these musically non-specialist female students, so I played the 'Fairy Tale', the 'Gavotte', the 'Prelude', and the Scherzo from the Sonata. Wherever any of these pieces demanded a lyrical sound from the piano it was awful, so bad that I could hardly bring myself to play. But the Scherzo sounded crisp and full of bite, provoking applause, whistles and cries of 'encore' from the hall. I took my time coming back on stage, but when I did and bowed, it was strange to see a hall full to bursting with nothing but female faces - there was not a single male to be seen. As an encore I played the Etude No. 4 and the 'Rigaudon', and was stunned by all the whistling and cries for more encores; someone demanded the Sonata (I was extraordinarily gratified to learn that my 'literature' is getting so well known...). My performance was followed - with considerably less success - by some rather odd songs by Stravinsky performed by his brother, and then some witty little pieces by Karatygin. 

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excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 23 November 1913' pp. 549 (257 words)

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