GREAT SON OF THE EARTH DONETSK SERGEY PROKOFIEV
Sergei Prokofiev is considered one of the largest, influential and most performed composers of the 20th century. He was also a pianist and conductor. Two years ago, to the 120th anniversary of the birth of the great composer, concerts and festivals were organized in Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany and other countries with which the name of the master is associated. Donbass, where the musician was born and his childhood passed, declared 2011 the Year of Prokofiev.
Controversy often flared up around the work of this composer, since eccentricity and originality always cause a controversial reaction. However, not only fans of Prokofiev feel the power and brightness of his talent. What is now called charisma was inherent in the composer. Strict, collected, extremely picky about everything related to his work, he swore with performers and directors, once even scolded David Oistrakh at the concert, and Galina Ulanova said: “You need drums, not music.”
Sergei Prokofiev was born on April 23, 1891 in the estate of Sontsovka (now the village of Krasnoe, Donetsk region), composer Sergei Prokofiev where his father served as the manager of the landowner estate. His two sisters died in infancy, so Seryozha was a long-awaited child in the family, in which his parents invested all their love and hopes. The musical talent of the boy appeared very early. At the age of five, he had already composed the first work.
The most impressive childhood experience was a trip with parents to Moscow and a visit to the opera house, where the boy heard Faust by Charles Gounod, Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin and saw The Sleeping Beauty by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Upon returning home, Seryozha was obsessed with the composition of “something like that.” So the first opuses in the opera genre appeared on the ten-year-old composer – “The Giant” and “On the Desert Islands”.
In December 1901 he was again brought to Moscow – to Sergey Taneev, professor at the Moscow Conservatory. Noting the boy’s talent, he advised him to begin serious and systematic music lessons with him. On the recommendation of Taneyev, a young musician arrived in Sontsovka for the summer, who graduated from the conservatory with a “gold” medal. It was Reinhold Glier (subsequently a famous composer, author of the ballets Red Flower, The Bronze Horseman).
Glier studied piano, improvisation, theory of composition, harmony with the boy, composer Sergei Prokofiev helped write the opera Feast During the Plague, a symphony, and he himself led him to Taneyev when Maria Grigoryevna brought her son to Moscow in the fall.
We decided to send Prokofiev to the conservatory. The chairman of the commission for entrance exams was Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. All those entering the conservatory were much older than the thirteen-year-old youth, while Sergei struck everyone: he entered, bending under the weight of two folders, in which there were four operas, a symphony, two sonatas and quite a few piano pieces. “I like it,” said Rimsky-Korsakov.
After the death of his father in 1910, the Prokofievs no longer return to Sontsovka. Nevertheless, throughout his life, the composer has repeatedly recalled it. Born in the growing industrial Donbass, the composer sensitively grasped the tread of the twentieth century iron and actually became his singer. Lovers of sweet-voiced music did not accept the innovation of the young musician. “Such a concert can be shown to us at home and cats,” they snapped at the Second Piano Concerto. But the author kept pace with the century, honing his skill, more and more gaining power and originality in his work.
The protracted tour of Sergei Prokofiev
In 1914, Prokofiev graduated from conservative education. The commission at the final exam awarded him the First Prize by the majority of the composer Sergei Prokofiev named after Anton Rubinstein (piano “Schroeder”).
After that, the musician went to London (it was a gift promised by his mother), where he meets for the first time with Sergei Diaghilev, the organizer of Russian Seasons in Paris. This acquaintance opens the composer the doors of many music salons. He travels to Rome, Naples, where his piano nights are successfully held.
On the eve of World War I, the composer returns to Russia. He works on the ballet “Ala and Lolli” based on the plot of Sergei Gorodetsky, but then he processes the material into the “Scythian Suite” for the orchestra, writes the piano cycle “Sarcasm”, the vocal tale “The Ugly Duckling”, the opera “The Player”. The premieres of his works were often accompanied by scandals. For example, the Petersburg public did not endure the “barbarism” of the Scythian Suite. In 1918, the composer went on a foreign concert tour, composer Sergei Prokofiev, which lasted for a long fifteen years. It was in a foreign period that the emotional palette of his music was enriched.
Gradually, his name is added to the brilliant names of the artistic world of the West. Prokofiev talks with Sergei Rachmaninov, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse.