A genealogy of Prokofiev’s musical gestures from the juvenilia to the later piano works

Guillaumier, C. (2020) A genealogy of Prokofiev’s musical gestures from the juvenilia to the later piano works. In: Rethinking Prokofiev. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780190670764 (hardback) 9780190670771 (paperback)

Abstract

Prokofiev’s early, unpublished works for piano were composed between 1896 and 1907. They demonstrate the origins of his pianistic idiom, as well as provide us with a genealogy of musical ideas and gestures that were to remain key features of his compositional voice. These early works, in addition to evidence drawn from a number of primary sources, also present us with insights into Prokofiev’s own development as a pianist and his musical personality, shedding light on his technical strengths, his preferences, and his at times unorthodox approach to performance. The chapter concludes with a hermeneutic and analytical discussion of his Toccata, op. 11, composed in 1912, the climactic work of this early period.

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