Symphony No. 1 (Prokofiev)
Sergei Prokofiev began work on his Symphony No. 1 in D major (Op. 25) in 1916, but wrote most of it in 1917, finishing work on September 10. It is written in loose imitation of the style of Haydn (and to a lesser extent, Mozart), and is widely known as the Classical Symphony, a name given to it by the composer. It premiered on April 21, 1918 in Petrograd, conducted by Prokofiev himself, and has become one of his most popular and beloved works.
The symphony is composed in a style based on that of Joseph Haydn, but does not follow Haydn strictly (for example, its use of modulation is much freer), and it does not contain any quotations from Haydn. Thus it can be considered to be one of the first neoclassical compositions. The work was partly inspired by his conducting studies at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where the instructor, Nikolai Tcherepnin, taught his students about conducting Haydn, among other composers.
Prokofiev wrote the symphony on holiday in the country, using it as an exercise in composing away from the piano.
The symphony is in four movements and lasts only about ten to sixteen minutes:
Prokofiev himself recorded a piano arrangement of the Gavotte movement in 1935.
Complete recordings of this symphony include: