Classical Symphony, Op. 25, in Full Score [NOOK Book]

Overview


Prokofiev's first symphony, which he mischievously dubbed "Classical," is a sprightly piece based on the symphonic models of Haydn. "I thought that if Haydn were alive today he would compose just as he did before, but at the same time would include something new in his manner of composition," Prokofiev remarked. "I wanted to compose such a symphony: a symphony in the classical style."
The composer's synthesis of twentieth harmonies and timbres with eighteenth-century structure ...
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Classical Symphony, Op. 25, in Full Score

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Overview


Prokofiev's first symphony, which he mischievously dubbed "Classical," is a sprightly piece based on the symphonic models of Haydn. "I thought that if Haydn were alive today he would compose just as he did before, but at the same time would include something new in his manner of composition," Prokofiev remarked. "I wanted to compose such a symphony: a symphony in the classical style."
The composer's synthesis of twentieth harmonies and timbres with eighteenth-century structure and form has captivated audiences since its premiere in 1918. This is Prokofiev's most frequently performed symphonic work, and this edition is meticulously reproduced from an authoritative early source.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486172019
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 5/13/2013
  • Series: Dover Music Scores
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,241,355
  • File size: 12 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt

Classical Symphony

Opus 25 In Full Score


By SERGEI PROKOFIEV

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-17201-9



INTRODUCTION

It seemed to me that had Haydn lived to our day he would have retained his own style, while accepting something of the new at the same time. That was the kind of symphony I wanted to write.


Prokofiev first set pen to manuscript on the Classical Symphony in 1916, just two years after completing his studies at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Although he listed such masters as Rimsky-Korsakov and Liadov as his mentors, Prokofiev's relationship with the establishment was abrasive at best. The enfant terrible nature of his character carried over into his adventuresome compositions, drawing more scorn than praise from a faculty he deemed too conservative. A recalcitrant Prokofiev did remain at the school after completing the composition course; however, he decided to focus on his piano skills and even extended his stay by enrolling in an organ program to avoid military service. There was one supportive mentor, Nicholas Tcherepnine, who was Prokofiev's professor of orchestral conducting. The little gems of insight into eighteenth century repertoire mined by the professor would be set onto Prokofiev, who described himself "acquiring a taste for Mozart and Haydn, which later found expression in the Classical Symphony."

Asides from exploring the Classical period with modern ears, Prokofiev's other motive for writing his first symphony was to exercise his compositional technique away from the piano. He observed that "thematic material composed without a piano was often better" and believed that "an orchestra would sound more natural" without the temptation to over-orchestrate at the keyboard. Retreating into his noetic neoclassical quest, and undoubtedly seeking respite from his intense keyboard studies, Prokofiev lived alone and pianoless when working on the symphony. He began with the third movement (Gavotta) and quickly sketched thematic materials for the rest. The following summer, he discarded his original Finale, rewrote the fourth movement, and fine-tuned the entire work. Once the work gained some cohesion, he christened it Classical "in the secret hope that in the end I would be the winner if the symphony really did prove to be a classic."

The first performance of the work took place in St. Petersburg on April 21, 1918. In the audience was the new People's Commissar for Education representing the Bolsheviks which had seized power the preceding November. The success of the work enabled Prokofiev to leave Russia with official permission and within three weeks he left on a tour which eventually led him to the United States. In his baggage he took along an album of piano compositions, the Scythian Suite, his first piano concerto, and the Classical Symphony. The U.S. premiere of the Classical Symphony was given by the Russian Symphony Orchestra in New York City in December 1918. Since its premiere, it has become one of Prokofiev's most beloved and performed works, proving "to be a classic" as he had hoped.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Classical Symphony by SERGEI PROKOFIEV. Copyright © 2006 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

I. Allegro
II. Larghetto
III. Gavotta. Non troppo allegro
IV. Molto vivace
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