Symphonic Song (Prokofiev)

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Sergei Prokofiev's Symphonic Song (Russian: Симфоническая песнь), Op. 57, was written in 1933.

Analysis[edit]

Symphonic Song is a work demonstrating Prokofiev's transition from Parisian modernism to Soviet lyricism. Prokofiev had described of it as "a serious piece of work, and I took great care in choosing the thematic material. It consists of three closely integrated parts."

Although there is no programme, the mood of the three parts might be defined as:

  • Darkness: A dark and gloomy theme emerges. Crushing brass chords and eerie string sonorities add tension to the music.
  • Struggle: The music becomes livelier, but there are still occasional dissonant outbursts.
  • Achievement: A lyrical melody soars freely, and the music ends in ecstatic triumph.

The work lasts around 13 minutes, and is in one continuous movement.

Instrumentation[edit]

The music is scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, english horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, cymbals, triangle, bass drum, snare drum, tambourine, strings.

Premiere[edit]

14/04/1934, Moscow, conducted by Alexander Gauk.

Recordings[edit]

Orchestra Conductor Record Company Year of Recording Format
Scottish National Orchestra Neeme Järvi Chandos Records 1989 CD
USSR Ministry of Culture State Symphony Orchestra Gennadi Rozhdestvensky Melodiya ? LP

External links[edit]