Composing for the Red Screen: Prokofiev and Soviet Film by Kevin Bartig

By Kevin Bartig

Sound movie captivated Sergey Prokofiev throughout the ultimate 20 years of his existence: he thought of composing for almost dozen images, ultimately project 8 of them, all Soviet productions. Hollywood luminaries comparable to Gloria Swanson tempted him with commissions, and arguably extra humans heard his movie song than his efforts in all different genres mixed. movies for which Prokofiev composed, particularly these of Sergey Eisenstein, at the moment are classics of worldwide cinema. Drawing on newly on hand resources, Composing for the pink Screen examines - for the 1st time - the whole volume of this prodigious cinematic occupation.

Author Kevin Bartig examines how Prokofiev's movie track derived from a self-imposed problem: to compose "serious" tune for a extensive viewers. the image that emerges is of a composer looking a person film-music voice, shunning Hollywood versions and objecting to his Soviet colleagues' ideologically expedient movie songs. taking a look at Prokofiev's movie track as a complete - with famous blockbusters like Alexander Nevsky thought of along extra imprecise or aborted tasks - finds that there have been a number of suggestions to the problem, each one with various levels of good fortune. Prokofiev conscientiously balanced his personal populist time table, the perceived aesthetic calls for of the movies themselves, and, afterward, Soviet bureaucratic calls for for accessibility.

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We began to record the first real take. Emotion, of course, and I played with much tension, not entirely steadily. The first disc nonetheless came out well except for the second clarinet playing wrong notes. We repeated it; the clarinet played correctly, but I played worse. Three hours thus passed. 82 Like most of the composers and performers who made recordings in the 1920s and 1930s, Prokofiev found the process unsettling and unforgiving. Following the session with the Third Piano Concerto, he bemoaned the challenge of playing with complete precision for four-minute stretches (the length of one side of a gramophone record).

The Kizhe score engages the audience through opposing means: the “bath of affect” is supplanted by punctuating shards of sound. Extended silences place the entrances of the seventeen numbers into sharp relief; as a result, the viewer becomes more cognizant of their existence. The dialogue in Kizhe tends to be terse, stressing the intonations of individual syllables and words; periods of musical silence hauntingly correspond to periods of verbal silence. 1). 1. 61 The motive pervades almost all of the score’s numbers, the only exceptions being the cues scored for solo percussion and the diegetic songs.

He is struck insane when the queen of spades inexplicably appears in place of the ace in what was to be his winning hand. This absorbing tale of tragic downfall soon appeared on the operatic stage. The first in a long line of stage versions—Eugène Scribe’s and Jacques Halévy’s adaptation, La Dame de pique, based on Prosper Mérimée’s French translation— had already appeared in 1850. 10 Herman’s feigned affection for Liza, the pretense of which runs so deep that even his love letters to Liza are poached from German Romantic novels, becomes an infatuation equal in dramatic force to Herman’s obsession with the three cards.

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