Martin Sixsmith on Prokofiev's relationship with Russia's socialist regime

Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 13:45

Sergei Prokofiev had a turbulent relationship with the Soviet regime, as journalist and author Martin Sixsmith reveals in this short video.

The composer’s 1917 cantata Seven, They Are Seven – a piece of dark concentrated drama - was seen by many in the Soviet Union as out of keeping with the ‘true music of the revolution’. His subsequent move into romanticism, though fruitful - producing works such as his First Violin Concerto - was gazumped by the new wave.

Later Prokofiev went all out to please the regime, producing his Cantata for the Twentieth Anniversary of the Revolution - a bombastic piece featuring the words of Socialist Soviet leaders - surely with this, he couldn’t fail.

When he died - on 5 March 1953 - there were no flowers for his funeral… all of Moscow's flowers were needed for Joseph Stalin
Martin Sixsmith on Sergei Prokofiev

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