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Sergey Prokofiev Diaries 1924-1933: Prodigal Son

Sergei Prokofiev

Sergey Prokofiev Diaries 1924-1933: Prodigal Son is the final volume in the critically-acclaimed Prokofiev Diaries.

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The third and final volume of Prokofiev’s Diaries covers the years 1924 to 1933 when he was living in Paris. Intimate accounts of the successes and disappointments of a great creative artist at the heart of the European arts world between the two world wars jostle with witty and trenchant commentaries on the personalities who made up this world. The Diaries document the complex emotional inner world of a Russian exile uncomfortably aware of the nature of life in Stalin’s Russia yet increasingly persuaded that his creative gifts would never achieve full maturity separated from the culture, people and land of his birthplace. Since even Prokofiev knew that the USSR was hardly the place to commit inner reflections to paper, the Diaries come to an end after June 1933 although it would be another three years before he, together with his wife and children, finally exchanged the free if materially uncertain life of a cosmopolitan Parisian celebrity for Soviet citizenship and the credo of Socialist Realism within which the regime struggled to strait-jacket its artists.

Volume Three continues the kaleidoscopic impressions and the stylish language – Prokofiev was almost as gifted and idiosyncratic a writer as a composer – of its predecessors.

Critic Reviews

The third and final instalment of Prokofiev’s diaries . . . in Anthony Phillips’s excellently clear translation . . . These diaries are addictive and the effect of not seeing the life through his eyes anymore is a wrench . . . A stupendous work.

Alexander Waugh, Literary Review
Critic Reviews

Should appeal well beyond Prokofiev’s immediate fan base to readers intrigued by the siren song of Christian Science and / or sympathetic outsider’s take on the Diaghilev set.

David Gutman, Gramphone
Critic Reviews

Unsurprisingly, there’s a somewhat breathless air about these fascinating diaries. Prokofiev is constantly moving between rented houses, always on a train for the next concert date, bumping into famous people in restaurants . . . Editor Anthony Phillips has once again lavished endless care on the translation and the footnotes.

Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953) returned to his native Russia in 1933, having established himself as one of the leading 20th century composer-pianists. His works include the ballet Romeo and Juliet and the music for Eisenstein’s film Alexander Nevsky, and he remains one of the most performed and popular composers world-wide.

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