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The People's ArtistProkofiev's Soviet Years$
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Simon Morrison

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181678

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181678.001.0001

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Plans Gone Awry, 1935–1938

Plans Gone Awry, 1935–1938

(p.29) 1 Plans Gone Awry, 1935–1938
The People's Artist

Simon Morrison

Oxford University Press

This chapter chronicles Prokofiev's relocation to Moscow in the spring of 1936, his reaction to the denunciation of Shostakovich in Pravda; the composition of the ballet Romeo and Juliet and the Cantata for the Twentieth Anniversary of October; the censorship of those two works, and Prokofiev's service as a cultural representative for the Soviet regime during his last two trips abroad. The chapter addresses his collaborations with the director Sergey Radlov (who conceived a happy ending for Romeo and Juliet) and Nataliya Sats (who commissioned Peter and the Wolf for the Moscow Children's Theater), his fraught relationship with the Chairman of the Committee on Arts Affairs Platon Kerzhentsev, and his speeches at the Union of Soviet Composers. The description of his last trip to the United States corrects inaccuracies in the historical record concerning his interest in Hollywood film composition. Prokofiev was monitored throughout the trip by Soviet officials working for the VOKS organization and the Embassies in London and Washington.

Keywords:   censorship, denunciation, Shostakovich, October Cantata, happy ending, Peter and the Wolf, Moscow Children's Theater, Union of Soviet Composers, Hollywood, VOKS

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