excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 11 January 1916' pp. 69 (236 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 11 January 1916' pp. 69 (236 words)

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Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 11 January 1916

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 My absence yesterday has compromised my reputation for reliability in Ziloti's eyes, and at nine o'clock this morning he was on the telephone checking whether I was up and ready to come to the rehearsal. The whole complement was on hand today, with the exception of some percussion instruments, the piano and others of that sort. Once again I began with the second movement, and after several repetitions, not completely devoid of brilliant effects albeit a trifle rough here and there, the orchestra rewarded me with a brief ovation. I certainly was not expecting this, despite the fact that the second movement is the most accessible and orchestras always have a weakness for stringly rhythmically accented pieces that end with a bang. The first half of the opening movement also went surprisingly well, but the second half was lamentable, everything mezzo-forte, tentative and muddy. The third movement was likewise undiluted mud, the only convincing sonorities being the sinister bottom Bs near the beginning. But thereafter there was no poetry, no terror, merely an intermediate sort of noise - Chuzhhbog's nocturnal assault on the chained Ala made no effect at all, because the trombones did not play forte. 'Lolli's pursuit' caused the orchestra to burst out laughing, and we did not succeed in getting through 'The Procession of the Sun' to the end. The outcome of the rehearsal was fatigue with no sense of the sonority achieved.

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excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 11 January 1916' pp. 69 (236 words)


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