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News - Pushkin Meets Prokofiev

Denise Applewhite
Sunday, April 1, 2007
From April 12-14, 2007, the Berlind Theater at Princeton University presents the world premiere of Alexander Pushkin's 1825 play Boris Godunov, with choral and instrumental music written for it by Sergei Prokofiev. This premiere, presented in a new English translation by Antony Wood, highlights Prokofiev's 1936 score which was composed to accompany the artistic vision of innovative Russian theater director Vsevolod Meyerhold. However, for political reasons, his production was never mounted. In 1939, Meyerhold was arrested and shot in 1940. His vision for Pushkin's play languished during and after the Stalinist era. Tim Vasen directs these four performances.Until now, Prokofiev's score has never been used for a live performance with Pushkin's play. The score contains 24 sections and features a myriad of musical allusions: Eastern and Western military music, drunken singing, ballroom dances, a reverie, and an ethereal amoroso. Prokofiev framed these passages with their emotional inversions: a widow's lament, a sing-along for blind beggars, three behind-the-scenes choruses, and four songs of
Boris Godunov, Op. 70a   45'Chorus; 2.1.2.tsx.1/4.4.2.bhn.2/perc/

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