Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was one of the few composers who have encapsulated the dilemma of being a 20th-century creative artist quite as poignantly as Prokofiev.
He was already composing by the age of six, and wrote his first opera, The Giant, when only nine. Two years later he began his advanced studies under Gliere and in 1904, at the tender age of 13, entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
In 1918 Prokofiev left revolutionary Russia for America, and arrived in New York to find himself welcomed as something of a celebrity. He was never very happy in the US, however, and composed little over the next five years, apart from the Third Piano Concerto and the operas The Love for Three Oranges and The Fiery Angel.
From 1932, Prokofiev’s visits to Russia became increasingly frequent, and in the spring of 1936 he returned for good. The pieces he composed during this transitional period show a new warmth of expression, and are among his most celebrated works, including Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet, the Second Violin Concerto and Peter and the Wolf. – via www.classicfm.com
There are few classical music pieces outside of Messrs Beethoven and Tchaikovsky that can get the blood flowing as does the works from Sergei Prokofiev.
Think of all those irritants each day that can get the blood boiling…traffic, any mainstream news cast, the maddening ding from your mobile tracking device that yet another text demands your attention or just the lack of respect, decency and taste of the modern era. Such bummers are commonplace. Seems better to stir the bloodstream with positive delights than negative vibes.
We here at the Asylum take our cue from Henry, our resident canine extraordinaire (and he who must be obeyed) and crank up the volume with a bit of Russian splendidness to shoo away the irritants, the doldrums, and just the outright nuttiness one encounters each day, just by stepping out one’s front door.
The first Prokofiev selection (included below) from Henry is his favorite to have doggie playtime to, yes, even within the inner sanctums here at the Asylum.
The second Prokofiev selection from Henry is his choice for doggie downtime and reflection – giving him time to ponder the many ways at his disposal to extract treats from this writer throughout the day.
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, No 13 Dance of the Knights
Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra
Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet / “Friar Laurence”/Münchner Philharmoniker – Valery Gergiev