Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

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Episodes

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01The Russia Of The Tsars *2006050120070716

Donald Macleod begins his survey of Sergei Prokofiev with his childhood years, which were spent on a vast estate in the agricultural region of Ukraine.

It was through his mother, an accomplished pianist, that Prokofiev first developed an interest in music.

Winter Bonfire, Op 122 (excerpt 1st mvt)

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Jose Serebrier (conductor)

Vivo

Frederic Chiu (piano)

Piano Concerto No 1

Evgeny Kissin (piano)

Berlin Philharmonic

Claudio Abbado (conductor)

The Ugly Duckling

Carole Farley (soprano)

Roger Vignoles (piano)

The Alien God and the Dance of the Evil Spirits from Scythian

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Simon Rattle (conductor)

Classical Symphony, Op 25

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Donald Macleod begins his survey of Sergei Prokofiev with his childhood years, which were spent on a vast estate in the agricultural region of Ukraine. It was through his mother, an accomplished pianist, that Prokofiev first developed an interest in music.

Excerpt from Winter Bonfire, Op 122 1st movement

(Allegro gusto)

José Serebrier (conductor)

The Alien God and the Dance of the Evil Spirits from Scythian suite

02Beyond The Pacific Ocean *2006050220070717

Donald Macleod explores how, like many other artists, the events of the October Revolution determined Prokofiev's departure from the Soviet Union. Having been lucky enough to gain official permission to leave his homeland, in 1918 he stepped onto the Trans-Siberian Railway, eventually making his way to America. Once there he set about establishing a name for himself as a virtuoso pianist and composer.
Sonata No 2 in D minor, Op 14 (Vivace)
Barry Douglas (piano)
Piano Concerto No 3
Yefim Bronfman (piano)
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Zubin Mehta (conductor)
The Love of 3 Oranges (excerpt from Act 3, Sc 3)
Evgeny Akimov (tenor)
Anna Netrebko (soprano)
Larissa Shevchenko (soprano)
Mikhail Kit (bass)
Olga Korzhenskaya (mezzo-soprano)
Alexander Morozov (bass)
Kirov Chorus and Orchestra
Valery Gergiev (conductor).

Like many other artists, the events of the October Revolution determined Prokofiev's departure from the Soviet Union. Having been lucky enough to gain official permission to leave his homeland, in 1918 he stepped on to the Trans-Siberian Railway, eventually making his way to America. Once there, he set about establishing a name for himself as a virtuoso pianist and composer. With Donald Macleod.
Vivace from Sonata No 2, Op 14 in Dm
Barry Douglas (piano)
Piano Concerto No 3
Yefim Bronfman (piano)
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Zubin Mehta (conductor)
The Love of Three Oranges, excerpt from Act 3, Sc 3
Evgeny Akimov (tenor)
Anna Netrebko (soprano)
Larissa Shevchenko (soprano)
Mikhail Kit (bass)
Olga Korzhenskaya (mezzo soprano)
Alexander Morozov (bass)
Kirov Chorus and Orchestra
Valery Gergiev (conductor).

03The European Years *2006050320070718

After a sojourn in America and several years of wandering, in 1922 Prokofiev settled in the mountains of Ettal in Germany. The rural peace he found there proved to be ideal circumstances for composing and, as Donald Macleod finds out, gave him the opportunity to establish himself in Europe as a pianist.

The Fiery Angel (excerpt from Act 2)

Sergei Leiferkus (bass-baritone)

Vladimir Galuzin (tenor)

Members of the Kirov Chorus and Orchestra

Valery Gergiev (conductor)

Chout (excerpt)

London Symphony Orchestra

Walter Susskind (conductor)

Violin Concerto No 1 in D

Gil Shaham (violin)

Andre Previn (conductor)

Semero ikh, Op 30

Yuri Elinikov (tenor)

USSR Radio Chorus and Orchestra

Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (conductor).

After a sojourn in America and several years of wandering, Sergei Prokofiev settled in 1922 in the mountain air of Ettal in Germany. The rural peace he found there proved to be ideal circumstances for composing. The base also gave him the opportunity to establish himself in Europe as a pianist. With Donald Macleod.

Excerpt from The Fiery Angel, Act 2

Excerpt from Chout

Violin concerto No 1 in D, Op 19

André Previn (conductor).

04Return To The Soviet Union *2006050420070719

Almost a decade after the October Revolution, Prokofiev returned to his homeland as an honoured guest of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. As Donald Macleod discovers, this homecoming marked his gradual return from voluntary exile to permanent residence in his birthland.
The Love for 3 Oranges (March)
London Symphony Orchestra
Antal Dorati (conductor)
L'enfant prodigue (excerpt)
WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln
Michael Jurowski (conductor)
Sonata for 2 violins (2nd mvt)
Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer (violins)
Romeo and Juliet (Act 1, Sc 2)
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Seiji Ozawa (conductor)
Alexander Nevsky (The Battle on the Ice)
London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra
Claudio Abbado (conductor).

Almost a decade after the October Revolution which had precipitated Prokofiev's departure from the Soviet Union, he returned there as an honoured guest of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This homecoming marked his gradual return from voluntary exile to permanent residence in the land of his birth. With Donald Macleod.
March from The Love for Three Oranges
London Symphony Orchestra
Antal Dorati (conductor)
L'enfant prodigue (excerpt)
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
Michael Jurowski (conductor)
Sonata for two violins, 2nd movement
Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer (violin)
Romeo and Juliet, excerpt from the ballet, Act 1, Sc2
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Seiji Ozawa (conductor)
Alexander Nevsky: The Battle on the Ice
London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra
Claudio Abbado (conductor).

05 LASTStalinist Russia *2006050520070720

With Donald Macleod. Having returned to the USSR at the invitation of the Soviet authorities, Prokofiev spent his final years in the shadow of Stalin's repressive control. In 1948 he found himself amongst a group of composers who were publicly denounced as having anti-democratic tendencies, but there was little he could do to retaliate.
Song of the collective farmers (Story of a Real Man)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre
Mark Ermler (conductor)
Piano Sonata No 7 in B flat
Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano)
Betrothal in a Monastery (excerpt from Act 1, Sc 2)
Nikolai Gassiev (tenor)
Sergei Alexashkin (bass)
Orchestra of Kirov Opera
Valery Gergiev (conductor)
Fifth Symphony (Adagio)
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
Mariss Jansons (conductor)
Andrei's vision of Natasha and death (War and Peace)
Alexandr Gergalov (baritone)
Yelena Prokina (soprano)
Kirov Chorus and Orchestra
Valery Gergiev (conductor).

Having returned to the USSR at the invitation of the Soviet authorities, Prokofiev spent his final years in the shadow of Stalin's repressive control. In 1948, he found himself amongst a group of composers who were publicly denounced as having anti-democratic tendencies, but there was little he could do to retaliate.
Presented by Donald Macleod.
Song of the Collective Farmers, Story of a Real Man
Chorus and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre
Mark Ermler (conductor)
Excerpt from Act 1, Scene 2, Betrothal in a Monastery
Nikolai Gassiev (tenor)
Sergei Alexashkin (bass)
Orchestra of Kirov Opera
Valery Gergiev (conductor)
5th Symphony (Adagio)
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
Mariss Jansons (conductor)
Cello sonata, 1st movement
Alexander Ivashkin (cello)
Tatyana lazareva (piano)
Andrei's Vision of Natasha and Death, War and Peace
Alexandr Gergalov (baritone)
Yelena Prokina (soprano)
Kirov - Chorus and Orchestra
Valery Gergiev (conductor).