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The first scholar to gain access to Prokofiev's sealed files in the Russian state archives, Morrison (music, Princeton Univ.; Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement) reveals new and captivating information about a period of Prokofiev's life that has been little known. Concentrating on the years between 1936, when Prokofiev returned to Russia from his exile in Paris, and his death in 1953, the book explores the issues of what he composed, why he returned, the kind of reception he received, and how his genius both suffered and profited under Soviet control. The composer's artistic life, as seen through his letters, diaries, speeches, and a thorough analysis of his compositions, is an absorbing story of idealism, deception, and clashing values, as Prokofiev strove to reconcile his creative genius and his deep Christian Science beliefs with the crushing godless dictates of Stalin's Soviet Union. Enthusiastically recommended for public and academic libraries.
—Timothy J. McGee