excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 18 June 1925' pp. 181 (207 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 18 June 1925' pp. 181 (207 words)

part of

Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 18 June 1925

original language

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

in pages

181

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text excerpt

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In the evening there was a tribute to Koussevitzky at the Comédia to celebrate his appointment to the Légion d'honneur, which he had received before leaving for America last year. Casadesus, who organised the occasion, asked me to write a short pièce d'occasion, saying that a whole group of composers had written pieces for the most unlikely combinations of instruments. I had therefore, a few days ago, written a fragment for pianola: it begins simply but later on inflates into passages where it appears that twelve hands are playing the piano. This was recorded into the pianola to be performed in the evening, after all the speeches, along with some things by other composers - Honegger, Tansman, Roussel, I think Ravel. Casadesus played out a little comedy saying that Prokofiev had become très timide and was too nervous to play in public, so as soon as I had come out on stage the curtain was lowered and the pianola began to play. As long as the music stayed conventionally simple nothing much happened, but when it grew to twelve hands the effect was very funny. Koussevitzky himself was not particularly friendly, having been recently infected by an enhanced sense of his own importance.

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excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 18 June 1925' pp. 181 (207 words)

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