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Sergey Prokofiev

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  13 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
This is a comprehensive, illustrated biography for the music enthusiast of the Russian composer and pianist Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953) who composed some of this century's most widely loved music, be it the ballet Romeo and Juliet, his work for children Peter and the Wolf, or the march from his opera The Love for Three Oranges. Yet paradoxically, due to his itinerant life ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 6th 1998 by Phaidon Press
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Oct 26, 2007 Eric rated it liked it
Shelves: music
Jaffe is just the kind of biographer James Merrill had in mind when he wrote 'Matinees':

Lives of the Great Composers make it sound
Too much like cooking: 'Sore beset,
He put his heart's blood into that quintet...'

Jaffe is always summarizing Prokofiev's works as either distillations of what he thinks were Prokofiev's emotions at the time of composition, or as expressions of the ethnopsychic tumult of 20th century Russia. Yawn. It's not all bad though, the book contains some amazing pictures (Proko
Jan 04, 2010 Mynameisandycostello rated it it was amazing
By far the best Prokofiev biography I've read. Jaffe always seems to reference accurately, and doesn't blow things out of proportion. His insight is always valid, and his opinions are thoroughly informed.
Aug 30, 2010 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: music
This is another of the straightforward biographies in the Phaidon series. I found it particularly useful, since there aren't a lot of good books on Prokofiev available in English. Prokofiev led a life that would make him an easy target for over-politicization: he emigrated to the West during Russia's revolutionary period, but then returned from his exile in the 1930s. After his return, his relationship to the USSR's leaders and political factions had many ups and downs. When he was in the govern ...more
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