excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 25 February 1913' pp. 326-327 (386 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 25 February 1913' pp. 326-327 (386 words)

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Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 25 February 1913

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From Filippov's I went to see Koussevitzky, in the same building in Glazovsky Lane as three years ago I had tried to meet Scriabin. Sergey Alexandrovich received me with great courtesy, and said that he was most interested in my Concerto which he knew had been performed last year with Saradzhev. He offered tea, while I told him about my years in the Conservatoire, past and present. We then moved to another room. 'What I should really like to hear is your Concerto,' said Koussevitzky.

'In that case you will understand the threefold pleasure it gives me to play it to you,' I returned politely.

He: 'Do you have any objection to playing on a Steinway?'

I: 'On the contrary, this make has the Nobe Prize for pianos!'

He: 'Myself I prefer Bechstein, but if you would prefer to play on a Bechstein we would have to go upstairs.'

I played my D flat Concerto pretty well, with conviction and enjoyment. He sat following the score with great attention, occasionally quietly conducting a phrase. When I had finished, my Concerto elicited praise exceeding anything it had previously attracted. 'Your work has brought me to a state of ecstasy. This is true music, magnificent, magnificent, magnificent music! I am greviously sorry that my subscription series for next season is already planned in detail and I cannot include it in the programmes, but I shall definitely include it in one of the non-subscription concerts for the general public. But it requires a great pianist to play it - yourself, perhaps. I hope that you will agree to perform it this winter in a public concert, and the season after next in the subscription series in St Petersburg and Moscow: either this concerto or whatever else you may have composed by then. Please forgive an intrusive question, but how old are you?'


'You are very, very young. To have written such a thing at your age, so alive with tension! Of course, Scriabin composed his concerto at the age of eighteen, but it is not to be compared with yours.'

I asked him how he thought pianists would find the Concerto from their point of view, to which he replied, 'I tell you, it is magnificent, magnificent, magnificent music!'

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excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 25 February 1913' pp. 326-327 (386 words)


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