V/A - Classic music: Prokofiev

Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (Серге́й Серге́евич Проко́фьев, tr. Sergej Sergejevič Prokofjev;[n 1][4][5] 27 April [O.S. 15 April] 1891 – 5 March 1953)[n 2] was a Soviet composer, pianist and conductor. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerous musical genres,
he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His
works include such widely heard pieces as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet—from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken—and Peter and the Wolf. Of the established forms and genres in which he worked, he created – excluding juvenilia – seven completed operas, seven symphonies, eight ballets, five piano concertos, two violin concertos, a cello concerto, a symphony-concerto for cello and orchestra, and nine completed piano sonatas.

A graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory,
Prokofiev initially made his name as an iconoclastic composer-pianist,
achieving notoriety with a series of ferociously dissonant and virtuosic
works for his instrument, including his first two piano concertos. In
1915, Prokofiev made a decisive break from the standard composer-pianist
category with his orchestral Scythian Suite, compiled from music originally composed for a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets. Diaghilev commissioned three further ballets from Prokofiev—Chout, Le pas d'acier and The Prodigal Son—which
at the time of their original production all caused a sensation among
both critics and colleagues. Prokofiev's greatest interest, however, was
opera, and he composed several works in that genre, including The Gambler and The Fiery Angel. Prokofiev's one operatic success during his lifetime was The Love for Three Oranges, composed for the Chicago Opera and subsequently performed over the following decade in Europe.

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