excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 1 March 1909' pp. 84 (290 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 1 March 1909' pp. 84 (290 words)

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Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 1 March 1909

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[...] Just then the orchestra assembled on stage again after their break, and began to tune up by running through some of my themes. 'A bit late in the day!' smiled Myaskovsky. On came Warhlich ... and suddenly I heard an E minor chord with a fifth above it, and my Symphony started again. This was a completely unexpected and joyous surprise. This time everything went far more smoothly and sounded twice as good as the first time: the orchestra was making an effort in front of the Baron* and really playing for all it was worth. I was absorbed in the music, following attentively the integration of the themes, the part-writing, even though the first hearing had made me pretty tired. This is the only way I can account for the fact that although the Symphony was played right through without a break, I had absolutely no impression of it as a whole, merely an assortment of separate fragments and individual passages. It distressed me for some time afterwards that I had not come away with an idea of what sort of work I had come up with; I had to ask everyone what sort of impression it made on theme. The Andante I more or less understood, and hearing it the second time I liked it the best of the movements because of its fullness, its lovely harmonies and overtly seductive passages. The Finale could and indeed should sound much better, and as for the first movement I don't know what to say as I have no clear impression of it at all. Myaskovsky, Zakharov and all my relations liked it very much. When a week later I got the score back, I found that I liked it too.

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excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 1 March 1909' pp. 84 (290 words)


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