excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 29 June 1911' pp. 220 (276 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 29 June 1911' pp. 220 (276 words)

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Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 29 June 1911

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One day she [Marina Pavlova, singing student at the Imperial Conservatoire] invited me to play the piano accompaniment for her singing exam, and I was delighted to agree. Although she repeated the invitation, when I proposed coming into her class so that we could try out our repertoire together, she took fright and chased me away. As the exam approached, I could see that Pavlova was torn between wanting me to be her accompanist and not wanting me to hear her sing in, so to say, an informal situation. Without telling her, I therefore went directly to Professor Ivanov-Smolensky, for whose class I had never before accompanied, and proposed that I should be the accompanist for the exam, a suggestion the old man was delighted to accept. On my part this was a heroic act, because it meant taking on my shoulders the burden of more than ten singers of both sexes, with four lengthy rehearsals. I saw Marinochka at only two of them, She proved to have an enchanting voice, with a lovely timbre, but like herself, rather small. Her phrasing was refined and intelligent, and Ivanov-Smolensky says the voice will develop and she has a great future. At the exam itself (which was on the day before my own) she was terribly nervous, and was at such pains to tell me that I must not let her down, and would have to extricate her from any difficulties she might get herself into, that she even made me nervous, so once on stage I assumed what I hoped was such a reassuring air of blithe serenity that I was in danger of hitting wrong notes.

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excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 29 June 1911' pp. 220 (276 words)


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