excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 23 - 30 November 1916' pp. 154 (326 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 23 - 30 November 1916' pp. 154 (326 words)

part of

Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 23 - 30 November 1916

original language

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

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154

154-155

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text excerpt

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On the 27th, the hall was full, all tickets having been sold almost two months ago, as, incidentally, is not unusual for Ziloti's concerts. Boris Verin, who has been granted an amnesty and is in consequence speechless with joy, sat in the front row wearing a dinner-jacket and applauding 'like a man beserk'. I began with the Toccata, received in a rather lukewarm manner. Then followed Achevsky in the Duckling: some uncertainty at the beginning and some awful mistakes in the text - in a word, he had not learnt it properly. The appearance of the four bassoonists sheepishly making their way on to the stage, not in tails (none of them possessed them), one with his cheek all bandaged up, provoked amused laughter in the audience. The Scherzo was encored. Wolf-Israel's performance of the Ballade was almost very good. This was the work's fourth performance, but the first to be met with success. Popovochka chirruped away enchantingly in an incredible white gown, trying her hardest, but apart from 'The Boat Cast Off' sang everything badly.

In the second interval Alchevsky - now feeling himself right in the firing line - was hideously nervous about singing 'In My Garden' and 'The Wizard'. He still sang them well, even though there were mistakes in 'The Wizard'. The same thing: he had not learnt it properly. 'The Wizard' was encored. I went off to be by myself for a little while in order to concentrate before going on to play Sarcasms. In my perception I played them better than I had ever done before. The fifth Sarcasm ended the concert, I was presented with a wreath (from Gessen, which made me very proud), a huge laurel lyre on a stand, and a basket of flowers. Ivan from the Conservatoire, who had to lug the laurels on to the stage, whispered to me: 'S.S., you know this is a pretty rare event at any concert these days.'

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excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 23 - 30 November 1916' pp. 154 (326 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 23 - 30 November 1916' pp. 154-155 (326 words)

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