excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: October 1917' pp. 237-238 (277 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: October 1917' pp. 237-238 (277 words)

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Sergey Prokofiev diaries: October 1917

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The weather and air in Kislovodsk were so seductive that one was permanently drawn to be out of doors. Nevertheless, I spent two hours or so each day on the Andante of the Fourth Sonata, and devoted another hour and a half to Kant, absorbing the mind-bending complexities of his transcendental analysis. In the evening I often went to the Operetta at the Kursaal, where I had a seat reserved in the front row of the stalls. I had hardly ever been to the operetta before, having a thoroughgoing disdain for it, but now I became very interested and viewed the whole repertory with a critical eye less, needless to say, on ccount of the music than from the point of view of action and stagecraft. 

And what was my verdict? That operetta composers don't really know how to write music. For the most part the drama is confined to those scenes where the dialogue is spoken, without music: the composers simple lack both the technique and the dramatic imagination to write music for them. There are places where the action does come alive and the drama takes wing, and sometimes there is a certain refinement (not of a very high order, be it said), but it could all be done a thousand times better. I even conceived the desire myself to write - not an operetta, I would not have the cheek to do that - but a lively, gay opera with a light touch. For the time being I have laid this idea aside, but I will return to it. And along with this project, another: an opera on the life of anarchists: The Anarchist.

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excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: October 1917' pp. 237-238 (277 words)


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