excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 1 - 31 May 1921' pp. 601 (296 words)

excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 1 - 31 May 1921' pp. 601 (296 words)

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Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 1 - 31 May 1921

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For me, the most important event was the start of the orchestral rehearsals [for Chout]. Unfortunately, these were taking place not in the auditorium but in a small foyer, with the result that the sound differed greatly from how it would be in the theatre. The orchestra was no better than indifferent. From the point of view of conducting I knew the score inside out, and although God only knows how long it was since I had stood behind the conductor's desk it took me no time at all to get back into my stride. The only problem was that I tired quickly, and after an hour's rehearsal I would pass the baton to Ansermet, who was rehearsing other repertoire. 

I found it difficult to assess precisely whether it sounded good, indeed whether the sonorities were those I had intended. But Ansermet and Diaghilev were both deeply impressed, as were the critics who from time to time came into rehearsals. Diaghilev alternated between being very nice and very distant, the latter especially when I needed money to pay the copyists, whose tardiness in delivering the work brought me to the brink of apoplexy. I complained bitterly to Diaghilev. Larionov was also not quite up to speed with his choreography, and many places were done hastily or not at all. Naturally, it would have been better if the first night could have been on the 27th rather than the 17th. As for me, I had four rehearsals every day, going straight from the orchestra rehearsal to the choreography rehearsal, and I became so tired that at times I suffered 'lapses', forgetting what I was about to say. Linette and I tried to have lunch and dinner together, and these were the only times we saw one another.

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excerpt from 'Sergey Prokofiev diaries: 1 - 31 May 1921' pp. 601 (296 words)


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