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to come. Maybe we have lost the ability to enjoy ourselves together.’ Quite a different light is thrown on the composer at this time by a study of the suppressed passages unavailable to previous biographers. As far as the orchestration of the Rhapsody is concerned it may be suggested that Debussy threw himself willingly into this professional task to escape from stormy times in his marriage to Emma. Why it was entitled the ‘first’ rhapsody is a matter of surmise: there is no sequel.

Programme notes © Richard Langham Smith

Richard Langham Smith is a well-known writer on French Music. He is currently Arnold Kettle Distinguished Scholar in Music at the Open University and is currently writing a book on Carmen. His edition of this opera was premiered at the Châtelet in Paris in May this year.

Programme Notes

Information for Thu 14 Jun 2007 7.30pm

Sergey Prokofiev (1891–1953) Cantata for the Twentieth Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op 74 (1936–37)

1

Introduction

2

Philosophers

3

Interlude

4

Marching in Close Ranks

5

Interlude

6

Revolution

7

Victory

8

The Pledge

9

Symphony

10 The Constitution

Eddie Hesian | Ian Watson | Karen Sweet | Tracey Goldsmith | Owen Murray accordion Band players Members of the Mariinsky Chorus London Symphony Chorus

‘Prokofiev ... ended up like a chicken in the soup ...’ (Shostakovich, purportedly quoted in Solomon Volkov’s Testimony)

‘Prokofiev and his wife Lina spent the New Year of 1936 in Moscow, celebrating with friends and making final preparations to move back to the Soviet Union with their children. In an interview published in the Moscow Evening News on 28 January, Prokofiev announced:

‘I’ve thought up for the 20th anniversary of the October Revolution a big cantata on texts from the works of Lenin. As far as I know, this will be the first time that Lenin’s words have been used as the basis for a large-scale musical work.’

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