Why Did Prokofiev Write the «Classical Symphony»?


In the paper by Yu. N. Kholopov the ingenious supposition about Prokofiev’s reasons to create the Classical Symphony is made. Interpreting the number of the composer’s statements, the scientist suggests that Prokofiev wrote his First Symphony as a «real» graduate work instead of the failed product of the same genre composed in the summer of 1908 to the graduation from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1909. In the analytical part of the paper it is shown that, while working at the Symphony, the composer aligned not only with the style of his beloved Viennese classics, but also with the specific patterns of classical forms drawn from textbooks. All the more the numerous «jokes of genius», the intentional violations of school rules addressed to an imaginary examination board, are impressive.

Published by Ivan S. Starostin