Sergei Prokofiev: A Biography

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9780670804191: Sergei Prokofiev: A Biography

Traces the life of the great Russian composer, discusses influences on his work, and assesses the importance of his music

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About the Author:

HARLOW ROBINSON is Professor of Modern Languages and History at Northeastern University. He is the author of The Last Impresario: The Life, Times, and Legacy of Sol Hurok and the editor and translator of Selected Letters of Sergei Prokofiev, also published by Northeastern University Press. He is a contributor to the New York Times, Opera News, Dance Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the Metropolitan Opera-Texaco International Radio Network. He lives in the Boston area.

From Publishers Weekly:

More detailed and comprehensive, and less politically partisan, than previous biographies, this readable account by a professor of Slavic studies at the State Univ. of New York deals objectively but compassionately with the life and work of a major Russian composer whose career began like a skyrocket but ended sadly. He died in 1953, only hours before the death of his principal persecutor Joseph Stalin. An opinionated, difficult man of genius, the nonpolitical Prokofiev was inevitably caught up in the revolutionary changes that took place in his native land. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1918, to Germany in 1922, married an elegant Spanish soprano, moved on to France and became a sophisticated Parisian. When he returned with his wife and sons to the Soviet Union in 1936, he was almost immediately trapped in a situation from which he could not extricate himself. And although he wrote many works glorifying the regime, he was resented for his international past and connections, his foreign manner and arrogance. As soon as he separated from his wife, she was imprisoned "on suspicion of spying." In 1948 he married a Russian woman with whom he had been living for seven years. Almost until the day he died Prokofiev continued to be productive but was frustrated because his operas failed to win critical and popular acceptance. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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