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

By Kevin Bartig

Sound movie captivated Sergey Prokofiev through the ultimate 20 years of his existence: he thought of composing for almost dozen images, finally venture 8 of them, all Soviet productions. Hollywood luminaries akin to Gloria Swanson tempted him with commissions, and arguably extra humans heard his movie tune than his efforts in all different genres mixed. motion pictures for which Prokofiev composed, particularly these of Sergey Eisenstein, are actually classics of worldwide cinema. Drawing on newly on hand assets, Composing for the pink Screen examines - for the 1st time - the whole quantity of this prodigious cinematic profession.

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

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Kizhe opened the door for new commissions with new collaborators, increased the composer’s reputation in Soviet artistic circles, and encouraged him, for better and worse, toward a permanent return to his homeland. 2 The Queen of Spades, the 1937 Pushkin Jubilee, and Repatriation Pushkin belongs completely to us and to our times; he is alive and will live on in future generations. Pushkin, the glory and pride of the great Russian people, will never die. —Anonymous, 19371 Screen versions of the classics have become a complicated and significant endeavor concerning a legacy in its authentic, undistorted form.

93 He was much more impressed by Skazka o tsare Durandaye (The Tale of Tsar Duranday), an animated fairy tale under production at the Soyuzdetfilm Studios in Moscow. Its creators were two of the USSR’s leading cartoonists, Ivan IvanovVano and Zinaida Brumburg, who asked Prokofiev to write a score for the film on the final day of the composer’s 1933 Soviet tour. 94 Skazka adapted the plotline of a traditional satire about the plights of Tsar Duranday (meaning “old fool”) and his covertly wicked fiancée Tyotkha (old dear).

Outlines The master class that prompted Prokofiev’s musings occurred during the composer’s tour of the Soviet Union in spring 1933 (his most extensive to date, including Moscow, Leningrad, and excursions to Georgia and Armenia), when he renewed contact with Gusman and Fayntsimmer in Leningrad. Among the composer’s initial concerns was the mood of each of the pieces he would compose, a subject addressed in earnest at these meetings. 2), an experience that, to Fayntsimmer’s and Tïnyanov’s presumed consternation, disappointed Prokofiev.

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